Writing Goals for April 2018

On YouTube, I’ve often seen other writers and published authors set what they call “Quarterly Writing Goals”. Now I’m too sure what that exactly means, but I was sitting in my bed contemplating my writing, and I thought that I should set some type of plan or goal for April if I really want to see some more progress.

It’s been a while since I’ve written my first draft–and that first draft probably took me about a year to write fully. Now I am on what I consider to be my second draft and I am heavily deep into revisions.

I’m a pretty fast writer, and I don’t really have a set word count goal for myself every single day. However—I feel like that would be a great idea some point in time. On average, I can write 1,000-5,000 words each writing session. Although—I do not write daily.

I finally feel that I am in a place where I am seeing progress where it’s clicking in my mind. Yes, there are a few scenes here and there where I am very, very indifferent about, but I have to move on because in time—It will come to me. Well, that is what I tell myself.

Anyway, these are my goals for this second draft of Mortal Hearts & Shadows!

Goal #1: FINISH FINAL DRAFT 2 ACT ONE REVISIONS

So, I am hoping by the middle of the month with the help of my CP’s—I will be able to complete my “final” stage of revisions of Act 1 of my story. I say “final”, because I’m still really early on in my drafting process.

I’ve already completed my self revision–it’s time for my CP’s to mark it up with all the things they see wrong and for me to correct it!

Goal #2 FINISH SELF REVISION (by the end of April)

This second goal also has to do with Mortal Hearts & Shadows, and basically it means YES, I would finally like to finish my darn revisions! Well…Self-revisions I still have to send it out to CP’s to get their feedback.

For me—I’m so sick and tired of looking at my book and being like WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOUR STORY. I have had enough—I am so stressed out. Then I will also have those moments where I’m literally like—OH right, I literally did this to myself.

I didn’t think that I would put this as a goal until I realized how far along I was in my self-revisions, and then I had this moment where I was like—I COULD FINISH THIS BY THE END OF APRIL! We’ll see how that goes.

Goal #3 Outline Urban Fantasy

A writer’s brain—It never stops. It’s come to a point where I’ve had to carry a notebook and pen in my purse because random bursts of ideas and plot breakthrough’s hit my brain like little rockets shooting into space.

Anyway, this next idea has the title holder “The Five Statues” because—there are five physical statues in this book. It’s been an idea that’s been slowly brewing in my head for quite some time now. This is one of the few cases where I’m like–I’m glad it took this long because I got to really flesh out certain aspects in my head.

I would say it’s been an idea for almost three years, but, I have not been able to dedicate my focus to it what so ever since I’ve been so occupied with my current WIP. I actually tried to draft it as I was revising my current project and it did not go well.

For MONTHS—I’ve been like, “Faith you gotta outline this thing.” Did that happen? No. Will it happen by the end of April…. I HOPE SO.

Anyway–I’ve really been wanting to buy some new headphones specifically bluetooth headphones. So, if I accomplish ALL of my goals I will buy myself some new snazzy head phones.

If I accomplish one or two, I will reward myself with some Lindor white chocolate! Although I’m pretty sure I want the chocolate more than I want the headphones…

 

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Critique Partners are the best!

I remember finishing the first draft of my novel. I had plans to revise and edit all on my own, and then send it off to potential critique partners. Although, I did know that it needed an extra push myself and my friends couldn’t give me. It needed an un-bias perspective–a fresh outlook.

I asked one of my favourite youtubers who is a now published author; Kim Chance when I should seek out critique partners. And she told me that she liked to do it in earlier drafts—and I listened.

It was so scary to send my first draft that had only minimal revisions and clean ups from myself to these complete strangers. However, finding the right critique partners was 100% one of the best decisions I have ever made. It was so worth it to go through the anxiety and fear of their judgement because without them I wouldn’t have been able to make progress with my story.

Throughout the last few weeks in particular, I’ve had this sense of progress and completion inside of me. Now I know I’m far from the query stage but there were parts in my story I had always been unsetteled by; they never clicked. With the feedback and critiques from my CP’s, I have been able to shift my mindset and have little breakthroughs every time I sit down and write.

Also–it’s so nice to have people who have experience in writing for advice! It’s the best feeling in the world that there is someone who is in somewhat of the same position you are.

In the beginning, I didn’t exactly know how critique partners would benefit my writing. And I have had encounters with some really awesome CP’s and a handful that never really meshed with me and that’s okay! We’re better off for it!

I couldn’t imagine further improving my novel without the help of CP’s.

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Character Name = Identity

So with my current novel, it’s been an idea in my head for nearly 6 years and throughout that whole time my main character has been named: Sabrina. I thought from the very beginning that, that would be her name from start to finish. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that I would consider changing it and I certainly did not think that changing her name would actually not only be for the better, but it also gave me a breakthrough with my story.

One day, I did the little “Find & Replace” search on my document and replaced Sabrina with Serena. From that moment…Sabrina felt like a whole different character from Serena while really—they were literally the same person.

It was really strange because it was like the name Sabrina was tied with so many things, and once I let the name go—I was able to have the strength to let go of certain scenes and sub-plots that had to do with the “old” Serena.

Now, all of the story changes feel “right” in a sense. They feel right in a way I’ve never felt before. I’m still in DEEP revision but I finally feel like my story is heading in a better direction!

 

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Sabrina The Teenage Witch

There are a couple things in common with Sabrina The Teenage Witch, and my book Mortal Hearts & Shadows. The MC, is named Sabrina–and they’re both witches. BELIEVE IT OR NOT, my use of Sabrina’s name did not come from Sabrina The Teenage Witch. In fact, during the time I came up with this idea—I had not been exposed to Sabrina The Teenage Witch.

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Would you like to know where I got the name from? The Cheetah Girls. YES, the Cheetah Girls. One day I was watching Dancing With The Stars and I recognized Sabrina Bryan from THE CHEETAH GIRLS, and I somehow latched onto her name.

Something that’s been recommended to me as a Writer is to google everything. Once upon a time, I did google Sabrina–and all the sudden I see “Sabrina The Teenage Witch”. For some reason, it did not click for past Faith to change my MC’s name because I then went 6 years not remembering the similarity.

And within those 6 years, I had become very, very attached to the name as one does when they’ve been stressing over a single story for so long. So when I did eventually remember/discover the similarity–I googled. Part of me was thinking—Should I leave it? Would it be so bad to be associated with Sabrina The Teenage Witch? I thought this to myself without realizing a whole bunch of other issues that included you know–copyright. To also help with persuading my brain to change my MC’s name, I found a very glamourous video from the TV show.

I’m sure the show was great, but when you’re writing a YA fantasy that’s set in an alternate magical realm, you kind of want it to be taken seriously if that makes any sense.

If you’re reading this wondering and have read some of my blog posts regarding my novel, why is Sabrina still your MC’s name. Straight answer—I just haven’t gotten around to physically changing her name to what I have in mind. Why? I’m in revisions, and, changing a character’s name is the last thing on my mind unless it is incredibly vital to the story. The only thing it’s affecting really is me, my brain and my heart, but at the end of the day it’s just a name.

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My Book’s Aesthetic

Being a very visual person, a lot–well, most of my inspiration comes from visuals. Those visuals can be images on Pinterest, TV shows, but it’s usually movies. For me, with every story I’ve come with there is a certain feeling or “aesthetic” that I envision for my novel.

The movie that heavily inspired the aesthetic of my book is Snow White & The Huntsman. I fell in love with this movie when I first saw it–and it continues to be one of my favourite films in the world. Every time I’ve watched it, I’m always just like  “Ah yes, this is what I envision my book to be in my head.”

Visually, in my opinion, it is absolutely STUNNING.

It’s really a film that whenever I’m feeling stuck or if I need inspiration I will go to it and watch it, because I know it will pull me out of whatever slump I’m in.

 

I feel like this is a very random post, but you know I want to write and post things that I want to see when it comes to writing. I’m not really sure how many people are interested in posts like this, but I know that I would be so that’s why I’m doing it.

A writer’s brain is magical, and I often wish I could see into another writer’s brain. To me, I feel like this is a good way to share that part of my mind. Every writer has a different way of building their stories, and for me that comes with various types of visuals.

Most of my stories have been based on visuals that I’ve either seen in film, or in my everyday life.

I think ever since Snow White & The Huntsman came out, it was always a fuel for inspiration in me. And I just didn’t really realize it at the time. Thinking about it, I think it definitely plays a role in the direction of where my novel is going–in terms of the darkness, and obviously “visually”.

The elements that I love about this film are:

1) The Darkness

In my book, the characters are kind of caught in a not so good time. And the way the corruptness is portrayed in this film is exactly what I have in my head. The mystery, the intrigue–everything about it makes my brain go crazy. IN A GOOD WAY.

2) The Fights

When it comes to action in films, I have always, always preferred hand on hand combat, or anything medieval. That’s probably why I’m writing a medieval based fantasy.

There is just something about the grittiness—and how raw it is that really gets to me. I’ve always found it more interesting than mechanical based action.

3) The Characters

I think a lot of books could use some really good friendships. And for a while, my book did lack that and it often got overshadowed by unneeded romantic subplots (There was totally a form of the love triangle), and stupid feuds between women.

A huge part of the film are the relationships, and I loved how everyone is brought together to defeat the greater evil.

So those were just some things about the movie that I loved!

Please let me know if you current WIP has an “aesthetic”