Welcome to the first installment of Novels of Narrations for 2021, where I discuss how my writing went for the past month, anything I’m excited about or struggling with, and new goals for the next month.
As you may have seen in my 2021 Intentions post, one of my main goals this year is to develop a writing habit. I miss writing consistently and not making my own writing a priority. It’s a muscle that used to be very strong, but has weakened over time, the more ensnared I become into adulting (ugh), so I am trying to build it back up again.
So, one of the new goals with this blog series to to try and lay out what I need to do to achieve what I want and sort of use it as almost an accountability thing? I have no idea if it’s going to work, but let’s give it a shot and see how it goes!
2021 Writing Goals
- Develop a writing habit
- Edit BLOOD PRICE and query it again
- Complete a draft of UNTITLED fantasy romance
To do this, in theory, I want to write for 30-6o minutes after work each day (so, Monday-Friday) and then go back through what I worked on during the week over the weekend to check and make sure of the overarching themes and improvements I’m trying to incorporate from my editor are being followed throughout.
So far, as of January 24th (I have to pre-schedule my posts if I want to get anything done, so I know I’m missing any data from this week, when this post goes live), here’s how I’ve done:
As you can see, it’s been great, singular days of productivity and then….a whole lot of nothing. My first instinct is to beat myself up for not immediately jumping into writing five days a week like I want to, as my ultimate goal is. Yet, I think I’ve written more in the month of January (5 times this month, as of the 24th), than I did almost the entirety of 2020.
When looking in that perspective, that’s…pretty damn incredible.
On top of that, in what I have edited so far, I have:
- Reworked Chapter 1 to include a new scene that helps set up the worldbuilding and Kajsa’s (previously named Natanni) role more
- Renamed (most; still working on a few things) of the locations, character names and conlang so it has a much more distinctive, Nordic-inspired feel
- Made the fact that this universe is very trans-friendly and queer normative much clearer, so this is never a question will have to ask
- Made Dayvn (previously called Teren) more three-dimensional, yet still 100% a supportive cinnamon role
- Had a lot of fun diving back into this world
When I list it like that, it’s hard to hold onto the feeling of being a failure that I had before. Not to mention that expecting to go from 0% to 110% is doing myself a great disservice and setting my brain up for failure. It makes sense that it’s going to take time and small steps to build that muscle back up. It’s okay if I take that time and celebrate the victories, instead of the missteps.
I want to finish edits on BLOOOD PRICE by April 1st. Then, I am going to send it to my editor, Jeni Chappelle, for a reread, where I’ll hopefully nail some elements she suggested and then have a clear sense of any lingering issues I can address after she sends it back to me. While she edits that, I plan to write (or at least start) my UNTITLED fantasy romance. Then, the goal is to spend the summer working on any lingering edits on BLOOD PRICE, before querying it again (and sending the requested R&R back to a few agents).
In order to do that, I need to edit roughly seven pages a day, going forward, five days a week, or 140 pages by the end of February (chapter thirteen). I think it is definitely doable, though it might take some flexibility and compassion on my part, i.e., don’t beat myself up if I miss a day, but also be willing to do double a different day to try and stay on track.
I’m hopeful, though. Honestly, some of the biggest bulk of the edits are happening in the first 100 pages. Once a certain character reaches a certain ominous place, a lot of what happens after stays the same and I’ll mainly be editing for consistency and tweaking scenes, rather than rewriting entire scenes (or chapters, like I am about to do with chapter three). So, I think I’ll be able to pick up the pace, if not this month, then definitely throughout March, as I reach closer to deadline.
- Reach roughly 220 pages in the manuscript
- Continue building routine
- Stop beating myself up when I fall short
So, that’s where I am at, currently, writing wise. This is a story I refuse to give up on and I am confident I can get it to the level where I am proud of it and ready to release it out into the world. It’s taking longer than I thought and more hiccups than I imagined, but that’s okay. It’s completely worth it.
My fellow writers, what are you working on? How can I support you? Let me know in the comments and thanks for supporting me in my own journey!
PS: I’ll prolly bring back the self-interviewing style at some point, but this seemed to work really well for me today, so I hope you still enjoyed it!
Well Tempered Proof says
Exciting stuff Nicole! And new character names!!! Raise a cheer for Find and Replace!
Philip, if I hadn’t had the ability to use that function…*dies*
Emilie Ma says
First time commenting, but I really enjoy this series and hearing about your progress with this story! I’ve been working on what I thought was a YA Fantasy, but I just got back freelance edits and found out it’s actually Adult! I had never expected to write Adult Fantasy so that’s a little daunting, but I agree it makes more sense for this story. I’m really excited to possibly wrap it up this year.
Emilie, thank you SO much for such a kind comment!! It honestly made my day. <3 Wow, I can imagine how that feedback was probably a little surprising, but I hope that, with that knowledge now, you are able to move forward and make this story exactly what you want it to be! I'm rooting for you!!
Too many ideas, not enough time. But hopefully once I finish my re-query of Thieves, I can have my brain back.
Yeah, I think I saw on Twitter that you’re having a lot of awesome brain moments recently, in terms of fun potential ideas!? I am so excited for you (and still rooting for Thieves).
Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky says
Look Nicole *smacks table* I’m just WAITING for the day that I can throw money at you and get my hands on this book. It makes me smile that you’re happy with it and I totally 1000% believe you can spruce it up and get it through publishing. <3 Oh and your writing stat for January IS incredible!!!
So for my own writing woes… I was working on this magical realism tennis story up until last year but covid hit and everything just stopped for a bit? Which was pretty discouraging. But then I was brainstorming how I wanted to revamp my blog and I had this idea for like, a magical book/storyteller's cafe that's manned by characters from different worlds. And I got really really curious about one of them – he's this prodigious metal crafter – and kinda followed his story back to his own world and started building things around it. And….now I'm rather hooked. So I've been working on the foundation of that! Which is also why my blog move has been taking longer than it should haha. Distractions + having to write/draw up cafe menus and whatnot 😅
Anywho, happy new years to you, your partner and your pup! All my love ❤❤❤
KATHY, why are you so amazing! *cries* Seriously, I cannot describe how much this meant to me and how helpful and wonderful this was to read.
I’m sorry your own writing journey hit a bit of a snag there (but not surprises, with the world and everything). But HELLO, the storyteller story has captivated me so utterly already! I am rooting for you in all of your stories AND your blog move (I am so curious, let me just say; I can’t wait to see what you have planned).
All my love to you!! <3 <3 <3 You're amazing and I adore you.
Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky says
(oh my God I’m so sorry if you’re seeing duplicate comments. Why does the wordpress comment system hate me)
(Trust me, you’re totally fine. I just deleted the extra one, but this has happened to me many a times!)