Posts Tagged ‘WordCount’
It always amazes me how attending my RWA chapter meeting recharges my creative battery.
Sure, it means a long day for me. I usually don’t get to bed until at least 2 a.m., and I’m up before 8 on meeting day. We meet from 10:30-ish to 2 p.m. and drive an hour and a half back home. Then I usually have to head into work and put in a full day there.
But I wouldn’t miss it. The chats while we’re carpooling are a great way to get new insights. And the meetings themselves always serve up something useful.
This time, we had a group critique: Several members submitted the first three pages of their WIP. Entries were read aloud, anonymously, then everyone shared their thoughts.
There wasn’t a single one that didn’t intrigue us enough to want to read more. That, of course, begs the question: Why haven’t any of us wannabes made a sale yet? But that’s probably a question best left for another post (in which I’ll rail against the publishing industry that depends so much on sheer luck. You have to be in the right place at the right time and know all the right people. Your MS could sparkle like the Hope Diamond, but if it crosses the desk when the editor’s having a bad day, too bad for you.).
Sure, a few of them had issues: Too much backstory, head-hopping. But the only way to improve is to have someone point out where you need improvement.
Our members are great at offering the right mix of encouragement and advice. I think (hope) we all left with a warm, fuzzy feeling — and some tips to take us another step closer to the ultimate goal of publication.
For my part, I realized (with feedback) the new beginning works really well. It was also pointed out I need a solid description of my hero in those opening pages.
As a side note, I had no idea Matt sounded so arrogant. But when you read it aloud, he sure does. He doesn’t remain arrogant throughout the novel, though, so I’m not sure what to do about that.
Since those first pages are in Meg’s POV, maybe we can chalk it up to her perception? He’s not really all that arrogant, she’s just in a bad mood, so she sees him as more arrogant than he really is?
I spent most of today working on a couple of scenes from Bethany and Cody’s story … 3,115 words written. I was surprised again, though: Beth’s mother sounds like a guest on “Jerry Springer.” She must be from Southern Illinois! 😉
It’s time for me to start polishing next year’s Golden Heart entries, though. My Orange Rose scores came back Friday. With those and Saturday’s feedback on the contemporary series story I want to enter, I’m ready to put the comments to good use.
No, I didn’t sell my MS … or even sign with an agent.
What I did do — no small accomplishment, let me tell you — is surpass my goal to write 100,000 words this year.
Yes, I said THIS YEAR — and it’s only June. Since NARWA’s word count challenge began in January, I’ve kept track of words written. My goal was to write 100,000 by our November meeting.
This afternoon, while sitting at Barnes & Noble, I hit 100,967. (I might not have been faithfully updating my “Word count countdown” widget in the sidebar, but I have been keeping track in my Excel spreadsheet.)
Thanks go out to Meg & Matt, Bethany & Cody, Bree & Mike and Cassie & Dustin, the characters that have helped me meet my goal. Thanks also go out to my NARWA sisters and the gals at the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood, all of whom have provided support and encouragement. I hope I can return the favor.
Of course, I’m not going to stop writing. Unofficially, I think I’ll push to write another 100K before the end of the year. With Bethany & Cody talking to me practically nonstop, it’s entirely do-able.
There’s not much to report here. Despite having a wisdom tooth removed Monday, I’ve been keeping up with the writing.
Mainly, I’ve been busy exploring my hero’s reasons for stripping and my heroine’s motivations for wanting to be married by 25. (With one less wisdom tooth — I’m now down to one — I’m having trouble seeing any wisdom in either of their hangups.)
Bree & Mike’s story is now up to about 42,000 words, leaving me to add 13K more to get it to category length. It’ll probably take a couple more read-throughs to get there, but I’ll do it … and then all three of the stories in my “Women of Willow’s Grove” series will be ready for prime time.