Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Spoilers Abound! But Not In This Post.

So, the new Star Wars movie is out. Have you seen it yet? I haven't. I have, however, seen enough previews to figure a couple of things out that have since been confirmed by other spoiler-type people. Don't worry.  I have no plans to share.

At this point, if you have not yet seen the movie and do not want to see any spoilers, might I suggest refraining from viewing any type of social media whatsoever? Like the title says, spoilers doth abound and there are really mean people who are getting off on spreading those spoilers everywhere they can. As for me, I don't mind knowing some things ahead of time. I like to figure things out, especially when I question certain motives. And if I keep on going, I'll give it away so I'd better quit right here.

What I really want to discuss is old versus new with relation to Star Wars and the previously in place extended universe.

I was one of those people who waited anxiously for the next Star Wars book to hit the shelves. Hundreds of thousands of words have been written within what was once known at the EU. There was much to love and much that I just couldn't get past. Still, when I'd first heard that Mr. Abrams has tossed the EU in its entirety to make his movie, I'll admit. I was pissed. 

Then it dawned on me that while the good went bye-bye, so did the bad. In fact, there is one book that I just can't read to the end because of what happens. There's also an element of Luke Skywalker's life that never did set too well with me. Now that The Force Awakens has arrived, all of that has been declared invalid. Am I glad? Yes and no, but mostly yes. It did take some time for me to come around but I am now looking forward to seeing The Force Awakens.

Still, I feel for all of the authors who wrote within the previous Star Wars Extended Universe. All that work now pretty much tossed in the trash. Still good for a read, but little more than fan fiction now. Yeah, I'd probably be a tad put off by that. Of course, those writers will still receive royalties for their work, which may or may not now be in the spotlight thanks to the new movie coming out. 

There were a lot of good stories written back then. I can remember becoming lost in those stories, even the ones I wasn't particularly thrilled with - except for the one that I still can't finish. Maybe now that things have changed, I can get through it. 

However, from what I'm told by a friend who saw it yesterday, if you haven't read the books, you won't miss anything. The new movie takes off in a new direction and despite knowing how things used to be, I'm happy to follow to see where Mr. Abrams is going with this new thing.

My own writing journey began with a Star Wars fan fiction piece. I got tired of waiting for someone else to write the story where Luke finds his own love so I decided I'd write it myself. Over the years, when I needed to just write and not worry about characterization, I always turned to my old friends, Han, Luke, and Leia. With them, I could just concentrate on the story and let the characters fend for themselves. Probably one reason why my stories are plot driven instead of character driven. 

It's also one reason why some of the revisions to my current manuscript include some character development. As one beta reader said, the character needs to be present. Maybe not speaking but at least reacting to what's being said. Minor issue, possibly, but still one that needs to be addressed.

So that's my plan for the next few weeks. Work on revisions to a completed manuscript so that my beta readers can look that one over for more detailed revisions and final polishing. Well, the final decision to let it go and move on.

To put my own spin on a famous quote, a project is never finished so much as it is abandoned. Hoping to abandon my own current project in a couple of months. Need to get that Amazon library started.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

There's Always Next Year

Nope. Not winning NANOWRIMO this year. Didn't even make it to 10,000 words. Kind of hard to feel motivated to write when you've got flu-like symptoms and feel like a wet dishrag for half the month. But there will be next year and I'll be ready.

I did get blog posts written for the beauty blog. If I counted those, I probably did get past 10,000 words but definitely didn't make 50,000. 

Being sick has also gotten my sleep schedule way off. The only way to live through it was to sleep through the morning. Lots of sleep helped but now I'm left with the habit of sleeping the morning away. Things are slowly working back toward normal but since my writing stride has been in the morning since I've been off work, I really  need my mornings back.

I do feel like I've been in limbo this month - more so than the entire last year. Limbo isn't a very nice place and it gets boring. Hopefully, I've had my major yuck for the rest of the year and can now enjoy the Christmas season.

It's raining as I write this. And yes, I am crazy but I would love to see some snow right now. We did have a bit of the white stuff a week or so ago but it wasn't enough. I need that full blanket at least once. 

But back to the subject - aside from illness, I think there's another reason I didn't make the 50,000 word goal. I didn't take the time to plan what I was going to write. Since I hadn't planned to do NANO this year, no surprise there. Last year, I planned for NANO. I developed the story idea and was ready to write the scenes as soon as November 1st arrived. That's what I plan to do for next year. In fact, I'm going to start planning right now.

I am currently working on the first book in a trilogy, which means I will need to plan books 2 and 3 right alongside writing book 1. At this point, I have kind of put aside plans to do copywriting so I can concentrate on getting the first book out. 

I have set goals again, the first one being that book 1 of the trilogy will be a completed draft by the end of the year. One of my writing buddies and I worked it out last Wednesday when we met. I timed myself for one hour to see how many words I can crank out in an hour. We came up with an hourly goal with the idea that I'll be writing 4 hours a day. 

Haven't made the 4 hour a day goal yet, what with Thanksgiving last week and Black Friday and well, just getting myself back into the habit of daily writing. But this is the first day of a new month and with 31 days, if I can stick with 1500 an hour for 4 hours per day, even if I take weekends off, I'll have a 144,000-word draft completed by New Years Eve. 

Now, I know that sound ambitious but my true word count goal for the month is only 75,000 to 100,000. After all, every writer knows that just because you can write 1500 words in a one-hour sprint, doesn't mean you can maintain that speed over several hours of writing time. I will be happy if I can average 3000 to 4000 words in a 4 hour writing period. 

What I'm looking for now is that passive income that can be achieved by having something out there on Amazon. In fact, I've set a goal to have two books up on Amazon by Memorial Day. I already have a first draft ready for revisions, which means for the first quarter of 2016, I'll be in revision hell with two books.

Once I have the end of year goals met, I'll take a look at both projects, decide how much work will actually be involved and then possibly adjust that publishing goal. 

Meantime, I will still need some kind of income. Savings only goes so far, you know. I have come across a copywriting job that I find I truly enjoy. Product description. After all, that's what I do on the beauty blog. Why not get paid for it? 

December is going to be a busy month writing-wise, especially if you count all of the blog posts I've got planned for the beauty blog. I'll update here as I can but if you don't hear from me for the rest of the month, you can assume I'm writing up a storm.

Either that or I've crawled back into bed to hibernate for the month. Nah. I'd get too hot and too bored. Better to do the writing thing instead.