The Write Stuff: Well Color Me Surprised

Writing Challenge: The Write StuffMonth eight of The Write Stuff finds me in the middle of peak season at work. I can’t concentrate on anything for more than a few minutes, so I’m gobsmacked to report that I finished my third story.

Um, what?

via GIPHY

Goal 1: Finish four short stories in 2017

The Write Stuff, August 2017

Look at this. Look at it! I did a thing! “Beginnings” clocks in at 3,815 words — the longest thing I’ve written since college.

Remember those 106 instances of “action + pronoun” I said the story had? I hacked that down to just 31. I’m not sure how much of an improvement that makes — anyone who ends up reading it will have to let me know.

My brain is already trying to say, “But what about that fourth story…” but I’m not caring about that now. I want to bask in the glory that is accomplishing something big.

Goal 2: Write one in-character scene after every D&D session

(Formerly: Do as many of the 642 Tiny Things to Write About as I can)

Our group has met twice since my last update.

At our August 6th session, a major player character returned after months of in-game time, and my character had all the feels. I wrote and posted something in our Facebook group later that week.

Our last session, on August 20th, was more combat than RP-focused, so I haven’t seen super inspired. I’m thinking about writing something from my character’s past. Nothing’s gelled yet — I need some canon from the DM first.

Goal 3: Join a writing community (and actually share stuff for feedback)

I haven’t had anything fresh to post to Scribophile, but once I get that freakin’ fourth story idea I’ll be diving back in.

Goal 4: Document it all on this blog

Finally, something I’m excited to document!

How’s your writing going?

The Write Stuff: Excuses, Excuses

Writing Challenge: The Write StuffAs The Write Stuff wheezes itself into month seven, I’m having trouble focusing. I’ve done a lot of adulting lately (e.g., moving, writing large checks, and talking with my husband endlessly about “house stuff”), which is apparently worse for my creative output than even my negative self-talk.

Goal 1: Finish four short stories in 2017

The Write Stuff progress spreadsheet

Have I touched “Beginnings” since June? Nope. Have I thought of a fourth story idea? Also nope. Where do writers get their ideas from? I need help.

Goal 2: Write one in-character scene after every D&D session

(Formerly: Do as many of the 642 Tiny Things to Write About as I can)

On Sunday our group met for the first time since early June. We had basically forgotten how to play, so it took some time to ease back into it. Hopefully we’ll be meeting more frequently going forward; I’m so excited to get back into it!

I’ve had an idea germinating in my head for a few days, and finally had a chance to write it out and post it to our Facebook group last night. Fingers crossed someone responds!

Goal 3: Join a writing community (and actually share stuff for feedback)

I’ve…sort of done this? A few months ago I joined Toastmasters, and a couple days ago I finally gave my first prepared speech. It was non-fiction (I had to talk about myself for 4-6 minutes, yeesh), but it did involve writing and structuring stories and the speech itself. And the other members did give me feedback. So I’m going to count that.

Just let me have this.

Goal 4: Document it all on this blog

Enjoy my ever-quickening descent into madness. I hope you’re happy.

How’s your writing going?

The Write Stuff: Halfway Home

Writing Challenge: The Write StuffI’ve been on The Write Stuff journey for six months. Let’s see how it’s going!

Goal 1: Finish four short stories in 2017

The Write Stuff progress spreadsheet

Not much official movement since last month. I’ve incorporated most of the edits I got on the third draft of “Beginnings,” but I got a couple bigger pieces of feedback that need more work. More info on that below.

Goal 2: Write one in-character scene after every D&D session

(Formerly: Do as many of the 642 Tiny Things to Write About as I can)

Our next session isn’t until mid-July. I’ve got a couple ideas brewing, and I hope to post something short to our Facebook group before then. I love diving into my character and learning more about her.

Goal 3: Join a writing community (and actually share stuff for feedback)

The big thing someone pointed out to me about my writing is that I overuse the pronoun-action way of describing things. She pulled, He flinched, They turned.

I do it a lot: 106 times in a 4000-ish word story. Now that I’ve seen it I can’t unsee it, so I have to fix them. Trouble is, I’m not sure how.

Fortunately the internet provides. I found a thread where people give great tips on fixing this sneaky issue. Now it’s just a matter of me sitting down and hacking through my story. Lord give me strength.

Goal 4: Document it all on this blog

Are you not entertained?!

How’s your writing going?

The Write Stuff: Back in the Game

Writing Challenge: The Write StuffWe’re sliding into summer like a greased pig, and The Write Stuff is back on track.

Goal 1: Finish four short stories in 2017

The Write Stuff progress spreadsheet

Look at that! We’ve got movement in row four. It felt good to get the second draft of that chapter posted and critiqued. And most of the feedback was pretty nitpicky, which is generally a good sign.

Now if only I could come up with that fourth story idea…

Goal 2: Do as many of the 642 Tiny Things to Write About as I can

I think this one might be a bust. The writing exercises are too tiny and focused, and I don’t enjoy doing them.

Last month I talked about how several members of the D&D campaign I’m in are using our Facebook group to post in-character stuff. I’m really enjoying that. Our DM has plopped us into a great world and story, and it’s fun exploring my character.

Let’s adjust this goal. Write one in-character scene after every game session.

Bam.

Goal 3: Join a writing community (and actually share stuff for feedback)

Scribophile is still amazing. But I think I’ve been trying to “eat the elephant” by unhinging my jaw and swallowing it whole when everyone knows the best way is to take one bite at a time.

I started critiquing just one story per day. It took me longer to earn the karma I needed to post both parts of my chapter, but I felt much less overwhelmed. I also felt like the single critique I left was better and more comprehensive.

Posting my chapter was less scary this time, mainly because I knew it was in a good place. I pulled all the critiques into Google Docs, and will look at them this weekend when I have spare brainpower.

Goal 4: Document it all on this blog

It’s always easier to post when you have something to post about. June and July are going to be crazy, and I’m hoping to use the energy from feeling successful these last couple of weeks to coast through.

How’s your writing going?

The Write Stuff: Ugghhhhhh

Writing Challenge: The Write StuffA third of the year is almost over, and as you can probably tell from the title, The Write Stuff is not going great. I haven’t made progress on any of my four goals since March; I can feel the shame spiral forming.

It’s probably because I’ve spread myself too thin. There’s always a cross-stitch project to work on, chores to do, letters to write, friends to visit, games to play, dinner to cook…there’s just not always enough energy to go around.

The good news is that my creative energy isn’t being wasted. We started a D&D group last October, and it’s been so much fun getting into my character and seeing everyone get into theirs. Some crazy stuff went down in our last session, and we’ve been posting things in character in our Facebook group.

This doesn’t mean that I’m giving up on The Write Stuff. I’m so close to my goal of four completed stories, and I want to see the project through. I’m just giving myself permission to not be perfect, and to recognize that I’m creative in lots of other ways that bring me joy.