NaNoWriMo – Skipping Scenes

Day three and 5k words down, 45k to go. For some reason, it’s getting harder and harder to write those 1,600 or so words each day. It probably has to do with the fact that I don’t usually write the same amount of words each day. I guess it doesn’t help that I’m still working on rewriting Crimson Queen through the month of November or that I’m updating my Wattpad story on a weekly basis. I seem to have put too much on my plate. What can I say? I’m an overachiever at times.

I almost want to count my word count of those stories but I won’t. Personally, I think that would be cheating on my part. It’s just this mentality that I have where all 50k words must be part of one story as oppose to other projects. It’s just my way of thinking. For better or worse, I’m going to keep doing this until I can’t anymore.

Today, however, I will say that I was surprised by my story. Let me explain. As I struggled to continue the story from where I stop yesterday, a different and unrelated scene came to my head. It had nothing to do with the main story. I still don’t know if I’ll include it in the final draft but I’m not worried about that. I just knew that my mind wasn’t as exhausted after a long work week as I thought it would be and proved to me that there were still some creative juices up there. I put these creative juices to good use.

Writing a story doesn’t have to be linear. It is okay to skip around or take a break from the main story. When a story becomes painful to write and pulling out air is the next stage, something has to change. I’ve had this happened to me many times. I’ve gotten so stressed out about continuing the story that I don’t give myself a chance to take a deep breath and step back. Today, however, it was different.

For the second half of my daily writing goal, I typed up an emotionally charged scene between my two main characters. My fingers flew across the keyboard and my wrists started to hurt but I didn’t stop. This scene was important to me and my characters. I had to put it on ‘paper’ before I forgot. While the story didn’t progress much, I got to try an extra seven hundred words just for writing an unplanned scene. The words just poured out of me and I didn’t care if it related to the main story or not. I was skipping scenes and that was fine.

If writing unplanned scenes is something that gets me to write and discover my characters and more of my plot then so be it because eventually, those scenes can link together to become a cohesive story.  Some scenes may not be used but at least I wrote something. I gave the writer and creator inside me an opportunity to create and step away from the story that had started to ‘bog’ me down.

It works with writer’s block too. You’re not sure how the story will progress so why not put your characters in another situation, in another scene, and see what happens? It doesn’t even have to be part of the story. Not really. What if they would have done something completely different at the beginning of the story? Where would they be now? How would the rest of the story work out? Not only do you get distance from the current story and give your mind a break, but it might just help get those creative juices flowing again.

You’re still writing. You’re using those characters and world. Nothing has changed. Not really. It almost feels like writing fanfiction. Almost.

In the end, different methods work for different people. One way may work better for one person than another. It’s all a matter of how you write. Will I be using these extra words towards my daily word count? Yes I will.

Advertisements

Of Contests and Queries

It’s been a week or so that I sent out my query letters. I’ve gotten two rejects so that leaves four. I am hopeful of getting a response from the other agents but I’m also being realistic about it. In the meantime, I am also creating another list of agents to query in the Spring in case this time around I don’t get any response. I’m not exactly patient but I do have ways to keep myself busy.

Early this week, A Writer’s Path hosted a contest and yours truly won one of the prizes; it’s an 8k word editing services courtesy of Lopt & Cropt Editing. This is probably one of the few times I have ever won anything. I’m super excited to have a professional take a look at my manuscript. Sure, I’ve had beta readers read through it and all but I think a professional touch is needed. Saying this, I’ll probably go over my own work again before sending anything out just to make sure that I am sending out my best work. This will be an interesting process and I’ll make sure to give updates.

On another note, It Is October!

In my humble opinion, it is the best month of the year. No, not because my birthday falls in October. It is because of Halloween. Let’s face it, who doesn’t like free candy? But I rest my case. Not only is this a special month because of everything I mentioned above, but also because November is just around the corner. You know what that means? Yes, NaNoWriMo. 50, 000 words in 30 days. Am I ready for it? No. No, I am not.

However, I do have a novel in mind. I will be writing the second installment of the (currently named) Half-Blood series. *cough* I’m writing to publish the first novel in the queries I sent out *cough* So, the next comes the second book. I already have the plot of the story in my head. I have a few notes but nothing has been finalized yet. I’m going to take this month to prepare for November. Plus, I just might include some methods on how I plan out a book and other tips and advice that have helped me out.

As of now, I’m not sure if I’ll have a separate blog for NaNoWriMo. I didn’t have one for early this year, but that is also up in the air.

Until next time,

Kassandra C.

Houston Writing Workshop

This past weekend I attended the Houston Writing Workshop. Chuck Sambuchino was a great spokesman. He was engaging and informative. I learned so much about traditional publishing vs self-publishing. The 1 page critique by the attending agents was an eye-opener. Most importantly, we learned about creating a platform and this is one of the reason why I started this blog. I need to be extending my net on the web to be recognized and known. Not only that but also because I need spend time writing about how I manage to edit my novels and write them too. Maybe in this process I’ll be able to help struggling writers with their own process. Although I didn’t pitch to an agent, the experience of attending the event is very valuable to me. Overall, the event was amazing and I’m so glad I attended. I was able to meet amazing people and fellow writers. I know that I’m not alone in the struggle to get my manuscript ready for publication.