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Archive for the ‘Writing Goals’ Category

Flatliners: There are some funny lines of dialogue, one of which is the title of this post, but that’s not why I’m in awe of the scriptwriter. The premise of the movie is 5 people who kill each other to find out what’s beyond death, then bring each other back. How do you transform THAT into an entire movie? But he managed.

For some reason, I can’t find anything else to say about this movie.

Dr Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog: Now this I’ve got plenty to say, but that’s because it’s from Joss Whedon and I LOVE anything he creates.

So. Dr Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog is in 3 acts and in total is only 42, more or less. I wanted more the second it was over. And they might be doing a sequel!

It’s a musical/comedy about Dr Horrible, whose real name is Billy. He wants to join the Evil League of Evil who will be watching him to see what crime he commits. If it’s horrible enough, he can join the league.

As Billy, he’s pathetic and in love with Penny, who, naturally, doesn’t realize this. Standing in his way is Captain Hammer who ends up dating Penny.

Dr Horrible is played by Neil Patrick Harris from “How I Met Your Mother”.

Penny is played by Felicia Day—she played Vi in BTVS.

Captain Hammer is played by Nathan Fillion—he played Caleb in BTVS.

Favorite line: “The hammer is my penis.” —Captain Hammer

Writing: This is a pretty simple “revelation”, but I just found my solution to the lack of plot in my novels. To me, it’s all about the characters, so why not focus on creating realistic characters before starting my novel? Then I let the character interact and the plot will form itself. Does this make sense to anyone else but me?

Query Tracker: If you’re about to start querying—or going to next year like me—then you should definitely use Query Tracker to find agents. Know what else is your friend during the querying process?

Spreadsheets: So here are the different column headers in my “Agents to query” spreadsheet:

  • Agency
  • Agent’s Name
  • Who they represent
  • Address, e-mail, Twitter, website [this works better as one column for me—I use NeoOffice]
  • Genres they represent
  • Notes [such as “include first chapter in body of e-mail” or “only send query” or “any requested material is sent by mail” and the agent’s response time if they mention it on their website]
  • Date of Query
  • Date of Partial Request
  • Date of Full Request
  • Offer of Representation
  • Date of Rejection

My long list of goals

  • Reach 55 035 words in TWWAW by the 31st of August 2010
  • Edit chapters 1 through 9 of Kenna’s Choice by the 2nd of September 2010
  • Reach 68535 words in TWWAW by the 30th of September 2010
  • Reach 75 285 words in TWWAW by the 15th of October 2010
  • Edit chapters 10 through 17 + prologue of Kenna’s Choice by 31st of December 2010
  • Second round of editing Kenna’s Choice done by 31st of March 2011 (by then I’ll 17!)
  • Write query letter for Kenna’s Choice by the 30th of April 2011
  • Third round of editing Kenna’s Choice done by 30th of June 2011
  • Start querying Kenna’s Choice the 15th of July 2011 (enough time to make sure my query and my manuscript are perfect)
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The Wolfman 2010: Meh. I started watching it a week or two ago and couldn’t get into it. I thought it was because I was tired. Now that I finally finished watching it, I know it wasn’t. So why couldn’t I get into it? It’s not a good movie. The make-up/special effects are really well done, but overall it’s nothing special. I don’t recommend it.

Wrong Turn: I’d already seen it years ago, but I had forgotten a lot about it, the major thing being it’s actually a good horror movie. The characters aren’t too stupid and eventually they realize what they have to do to survive. I recommend it.

Wrong Turn 2: Dead End: Because it’s a sequel, it’s obviously worse than the first and way gorier. But it’s still not too bad.

Writing

Playing with Darts

Wednesday I wrote a measly 245 words, but that’s because I was drained from the previous day’s writing. But yesterday I caught up and wrote…



1426 words!

Deadline: 15th of October

In other news, I have found the perfect title for “Playing with Darts”. Ready?

The Way Wars Are Won

It’s from a line in season 7 of Buffy. Good thing I did that marathon, huh?

Kenna’s Choice

I’ve given myself until June to get Kenna’s Choice in shape to start querying. Yes, that means I’m going to try and get it published. It’s weird—I had no intention of getting it published. I thought that my first novel-length story wouldn’t be good enough, but my critique partner said some very good things about it, and I have a list of things to delete (subplot of Kenna’s aunt) and things to expand (Kenna’s sister’s storyline).

Word count for Draft 2:

Goals

  • Have edited chapters 1–9 by the end of August.
  • Have 55 035 words for TWWAW

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Buffy Marathon: Oh yeah! My sister and I want to see in how little time we can watch the entire season 7. The only breaks will be: toilet and food. There are 22 episodes and each episode is about 42 minutes: 22*42=924. 924/60=15.4

That’s 15.4 hours of Buffy. Broken up by lunch, dinner and toilet breaks, we should be able to finish our marathon Saturday, at 4 a.m. The latest. Wish us luck!

“How I write” series: Angela’s guest post about how she writes will be posted at 11 p.m. French time.

“Jeepers Creepers”: It was not what I expected at ALL. And the ending is not what you usually see in horror movies. I kinda recommend it–but don’t bother buying it. At least not the full price–get it second hand if you really want the DVD.

Writing: My goal for today was to reach 45 000. I still need 458 words to make that happen and it’s 1.30 a.m. *bites lip* Maybe I can still do it? Oh, and the chapter I’m working on is chapter 21. I’ve been waiting a week or two to write it and it is so sad. I’m even considering saving the characters, and if I did, it would be credible. It wouldn’t be a “deus ex machina.”

I’ll see how it goes. Total word count: 44 542.

“The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.”

—Walter Bagehot

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And once again, I’m awake and blogging after 4 in the morning. My excuse? I wrote 846 words but am still 3926 words behind. I think that’s reason enough to stay up late.

But my main reason for this post is that my time line issues are over! It took me a week, lots of comfort food, music, tables and spreadsheets and multiple windows open side by side, but today I did it. With a bowl of my favorite biscuits (ginger nut), the door closed, a Textedit document and a NeoOffice document open, I finished untangling that knot.

This, in turn, helped me to keep writing chapter 21. Had I not persevered, I would not be writing chapter 21 today.

Conclusion? Persevere and ye shall be rewarded with a higher word count. And happiness.

Total word count: 43734

Percentage: 58.31

Chapter 21 stands at: 640 w0rds

-Kayleigh

PS: It would appear I’m not the only one who, in the month of August, has given herself a certain amount of words to write per day. Nikki-Lee and Angela have both giving themselves goals. Go to their blogs and congratulate and encourage them. Why? Ye shall be rewarded with a teaser on Nikki’s blog and interesting facts about Japan on Angela’s.

“Why?” you ask again.

Oh just go do it.

Because I say so!

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The post title is a quote from “My Soul To Save” by Rachel Vincent.

I’m back! And I’ve got lots of things to blog about: movies, books, writing, spending 6+ hours in a car stuck between my siblings.

First, though, an explanation for the lack of blogging and tweeting: internet stopped working on my laptop. My dad and I fiddled with the settings to fix one problem and ended up causing another without even solving the other problem. Typical. My dad fixed internet problem last night, or rather this morning, because it was 2 a.m.

Moving on.

Movies

Do NOT judge me for watching Disney movies. When you’re lazy like I am and you sit down on the couch, you end up watching whatever’s on. Anyway, the ones I watched weren’t too bad.

  • Dadnapped: Melissa’s father is a writer, he gets kidnapped and she decides to save him. It was okay. Cliche: police ignores a kid’s call because a kid can’t possibly be telling the truth. Oh, your dad’s been kidnapped? You saw it on a camera, you have proof? Call in a missing person’s report in 48 hours. Ridiculous.
  • Princess Protection Program: Demi Lovato plays a princess who moves in with a normal American family to protect her country and mother from some evil dictator guy. Meh.
  • Wizards of Waverly Place: The movie: It was missing that something the TV show has, but overall I liked it.
  • The Nanny Diaries: IMDB summary: A college graduate (Annie) goes to work as a nanny for a rich New York family. Ensconced in their home, she has to juggle their dysfunction, a new romance, and the spoiled brat in her charge.
    I loved it! Brilliant and I loved what Annie did at the end.
  • The Bounty Hunter: Funny, but if wasn’t for Gerard Butler, I don’t think I would have wanted to see it. Unexpected ending.
  • Friday the 13th: Part 8: Jason Takes Manhattan: When a series of movies go on and on, the movies tend to get worse, but I actually liked this one. Of course, it’s ridiculous that people running for their lives trip and stumble so much, but that happens in all horror movies. In real life, it’s not like that. My dad would know: he once had an ostrich running after him. Once he was safe, my mom told him she’d never seen him run that fast when he played rugby. And did my dad trip/stumble/fall? No. When a person runs for their life, the adrenaline rush and fear means they don’t trip. And the “Jason Takes Manhattan” part took ages to appear.

Books (there will be spoilers)

My Soul To Save: I finally finished reading it, but I’m still working my way through 4 books. Damn it! I shall start no more books, except the 3 books I have to read for school.

Anyway, what did I think of this book? I loved it as I love all of Rachel Vincent’s books. Kaylee Cavanaugh is a banshee (written bean sidhe in the book) and in this book, the second in the Soul Screamer series, she wants to save a singer’s soul: Addison Page sold her soul to become famous and rish, thus saving her family from poverty.

BIG SPOILER: Addison’s sister ends up also selling her soul, making it even more difficult for Kaylee to save their souls before Addison dies. They know in advance that Addison will die on a Thursday, only days away. I was really hoping Addison wouldn’t die, but she does. And Kaylee can’t save Addison’s soul. Sure, she saves Regan’s, the little sister, but Addison’s soul will be tortured for all eternity.

I wonder how Kaylee will deal with the guilt she feels. Also: for a YA series, it’s pretty dark. Which I LOVE, because I’m weird that way.

Writing

My goal for August is to write 610 words every day. This will bring me to almost 60 000 words by the 31st. (Exactly: 59 995 words.) See how bad it’s going? I’m 3552 words behind.

My goal for September is 500 words a day.

Other problems: I’ve got another time line problem. Here’s what I emailed my critique partner:

It is so hard writing when you go from one POV to another, and have 8 POVs in total, and character X dies in chapter 14, on a Thursday but because chapter 20 takes place on a Wednesday, X is still alive. Not to mention character Y does/says stuff in chapter 14 that doesn’t make sense anymore because of a secret revealed in chapter 20. All while making sure I alternate POVs often enough and keeping track of my huge cast of characters that keeps growing.

Let’s say that the time line is a long piece of rope. That piece of rope is one giant knot that I’ve been trying to undo for the past few days. I have made very little progress.

Word count: 42 888.

Ghost Stories

So the first of August, I went to see Ghost Stories. Maybe you saw my two tweets?

Ghost stories starts in 20 minutes. Apparently it’s really scary.

and then

Lights are dim. Cold air. Loud, scary noises. Wondering if this will scare me.

Having seen a LOT of horror movies, and only two of them scaring me to the point where I didn’t finish them, I wasn’t sure this could scare me. Did it?

Answer: Yes. It freaked me out, I jumped, I gasped, my heart raced and I was on edge for the next time something would make me jump.

The advantage a theater has over horror movies shown in cinemas or at home is they can involve more of our senses. We not only see and hear things: we can also smell and feel things. Such as the cold and the smell of [deleted].

At the end, they ask the audience not to reveal the twist, so I won’t tell you anything. But if you like horror movies and you’re looking for a good scare, and you live near London, then I urge you to go see it.

“Ghost Stories”, I think, has reinstilled a fear of horror movies in me. Example? Please, I beg you, don’t laugh, but in an episode of Wizards of Waverly Place, a ghost does this scary face where his head becomes huge and it made my heart race. But I think it’s more that I was still jumpy from “Ghost Stories.” But I was terrified of the dark for the following two nights.

Now I’m fine.

Mostly.

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Quote from Charmed episode “Chick Flick.”

Yesterday, I wrote 761 words. Today I haven’t written anything. Yet. But I intend to, don’t worry.

Dreaming

I’m the kind of person who remembers her dreams quite often. Some people haven’t remembered a dream in years. (Maybe you don’t know this, but we always dream. We just don’t always remember our dreams.) As I near the end of a holiday, I dream of school in a “I do NOT want to go back” way and I hate it. Basically, they’re nightmares. I wanted to say more about dreaming, but I started writing this an hour ago, so now I’m going to talk about something else.

Creating Characters

Some writers create their characters in great detail before writing a single word of their 1st draft. Some have a vague sketch, name, age, hobbies, a few characteristics. Me? The way I start writing a story is that I get an idea or the beginning or a sentence and I write. Then I write more and more and more. Eventually, maybe only five hundred words later, maybe a thousand, I stop. No idea what to write next. That’s when I develop my characters. I decide what they look like, how old they are, but I don’t fill in a questionnaire or write a biography or interview them. I then keep writing and between 5000 and 10 000 words in I think of what could have happened in the main character’s past.

Mainly though, I don’t “create” the characters. I just write. The characters don’t come fully formed, but their dialogue is different enough from one another right from the start.

Half an hour later: I have done my 250 words. Man, it just gets easier and easier to write. I highly recommend the ___words a day Challenge if you’ve had trouble writing consistently. Start out small, like I did. 250 words is very doable. Also, I started during a holiday, so I had time to get used to it and enough time to write:

  • Thursday 15th: 1st day. Goal achieved (GA) 250 words
  • Friday 16th: GA 255 words
  • Saturday 17th: GA 255 words
  • Sunday 18th: GA 255 words
  • Monday 19th: GA 300 words
  • Tuesday 20th: GA 761 words
  • Wednesday 21st: GA 333 words

I’m actually not certain how many words I wrote from the 15th to the 18th, but notice how the days I had school I wrote more? That’s because it got easier. I was worried going to school would slow me down or I wouldn’t write ANYTHING. Ha! I underestimated myself big time. Maybe next week I’ll be doing the 500 words a day Challenge. (See the right side of this page by the way for the Challenge.)

I recommend starting small though, if you’re young like me or very busy, that way you won’t disappoint yourself, but if you go over the goal you feel good.

Word count: 16 528/75000 = 22%

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Complete quote courtesy of Wikiquote:

[Spike is in the process of moving out of Xander’s basement.]
Xander: You own nothing. This shouldn’t be taking so long.
Spike: Hang on. Let a fella get organized. [picks up radio.]
Xander: That’s my radio!
Spike: And you’re what? Shocked and disappointed? I’m evil!

Writing

I made yesterday’s goal and with what I’ve written today I’ve got 14 483 words. Once I’ve reached today’s goal, I’ll have 14 691.

Now I’m trying to find a new title for my novel instead of writing my novel. Just 208 words left to write. Ugh. You know what, I’m gonna try writing this scene in 1st person, which is what I’m best at, and then rewrite it in 3rd person. I did this once when I was stuck in Kenna’s Choice, which I wrote in the 1st person POV. Anyway, I didn’t know what a character would do, so I started writing in 1st person from that character’s point of view and immediately I knew what he was going to do.

[Some time later] I made today’s goal and I’ve got 14 705 words. I’m so happy for giving myself a goal and sticking to it. I usually give up.

Other

Earlier on my brother and sister were violently throwing balloons filled with sugar at each other. Surprise, surprise, my sister got hurt and ended up storming off.

Movies, Books and TV shows

Movies: I haven’t watched any lately, but I really want to see “Repo! The Genetic Opera” and “Terminator Salvation” and “Push” and “Clash of the Titans” and– Well you get the point: The list of movies I want to see is reaaaally long.

Books: Well I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t read anything these past two weeks, when I actually had the TIME to read. I want to kill myself. I could have finished reading the four books I’ve been reading for the past couple of MONTHS!

TV shows: Well I’m finally caught up on Desperate Housewives. TV shows I’m not caught up on: Heroes, Supernatural, Lost, True Blood, Scrubs, How I Met Your Mother and The Big Bang Theory.

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