Step One: You’re planning out your story. You’ve got it all in your heads. Some of the details are a little wonky, but that’s okay. You’ll fix that later. For now, you have a story.
Step Two: Erm…. your story isn’t looking so great. You’ve written it, but it seems a little bare. You rushed some and forgot some stuff. Maybe rewrite everything up until chapter ten, and get rid of all those boring scenes about your MC making toast. Add some more action and make sure your characters shine with personality.
Step Three: Okay, so far so good. You’ve got a story. It makes sense. There are people who would be okay with reading it…. but why not keep editing? Give it all you’ve got! You know there are still typos in there and things that might not make that much sense. Don’t whine about it, just edit some more.
Step Four: Great job! Look at that shiny new story your have! It’s all edited and perfect! You’re sick to death of reading it, but it’s okay, because you’re done! Or… are you? Maybe take another look at it. Is this really what you want your story to be? Are your characters too perfect, do they never swear or sweat? Is it a teenage drama with no mention of a pimple where all the girls are smoking hot? Maybe you should do one more read through and see if there is anything you’d change.
Step Five: There you go. That’s something to be proud of. Now put a ring on it, put it on the shelf for a few years, and see if you still like it just as much in ten years.
I plan to write more this summer than I normally do. I know I’ll have enough time to do it, so it’s just a matter of setting goals. I went ahead and made a spreadsheet that can help me as Nano does with keeping track of my word count. It looks a bit like this.
Color-coded by month, because I’m a boss. If anyone would like to use this tool, you can download it here. I’ve used that site before and it’s safe. My document won’t give you any viruses, it’s just an excel file (it should be able to open with both Word and Open Office).
You can customize it as you’d like, delete May or August or get rid of the colors, but I already have all the formulas in there so that you don’t have to calculate a thing. Instructions are included in the file, but if you have any questions about anything feel free to ask!
I just think tools that let you see everything like that can be really useful. I want to see if anyone would like to write with my this summer. Nothing intense, nothing nearly as frantic as NaNoWriMo. My personal word goals are 10,000 for both May and July, then 20,000 during June and August. Obviously I won’t write every day, but I’m hoping to keep myself writing at least every week.
So if you’ve like to join me, leave a comment here! If enough people join up (you can write as much as you want, set your goal for 5,000 words a month if you want) then I’ll post each month to tell everyone how I’m doing and ask everyone else to report on their current status. I think it’ll be a fun way to meet some more bloggers and get to know them!
The project I’ll be working on primarily is A Game of Madness. If I finish I’ll just start my other project that was abandoned from trying to write too much at once. I don’t think I’ll get past A Game of Madness, though.
I’ve been fooling around making covers for my novel Woman of Fire, Man of Ice. I’m also considering changing the title. I’m not a very good cover-maker, in summary. Here are some attempts. (You can just ignore the dimensions, I’m ignoring that until I actually know what size I’m going to need it.)
I think I like the last one least and the candle/shell one the most. However, the shell one makes no sense with my current title. Dunno what I’m going to do, but I’ve wasted an afternoon figuring out basic gimp tools.