Saturday, 28 February 2015

#WIPMarathon: February Update

It's time for another #WIPMarathon update, hosted by the lovely Ifeoma Dennis!

Last report wordcount: I was at 16K of Alliance 6.

Current report wordcount:  I finished my draft at 79K words!!!!! O_O

WIP issues this month: Tying a series together is HARD. Really hard. And oh, the continuity issues...

Four things I learned this month in writing:
  • Novels are my thing. Other writing forms, I struggle with. I've been writing a short story for three months. It's 1000 words. In that time, I've written almost three novels. I think I know which I find easier. :P And I never did finish that second novella I started in June last year...
  • Draft first, make an edit list for later. I've got better at not being distracted by shiny new ideas, but sometimes I get the random impulse to edit a previous draft. I know editing can stop my writing process in its tracks, so I have working "edit lists" for each draft to tackle later. In fact, for this series, I now have a multiple-column editing spreadsheet, because I'm that hardcore. ;)
  • I definitely made the right choice fast-drafting the series back-to-back before publishing the first. Not only is the whole series now done, in draft form at least, it meant I could go back and sneak some more foreshadowing into the first book before it's published. I already know that I tend to have trouble concentrating on writing when I have a book release (especially the first in a series), and the crushing self-doubt strikes with a vengeance after publication... so this ought to take some of the pressure off!
  • Writing is a learning process. After I finished the Darkworld series (September 2013), I was at a loose end. I wrote several drafts over the next year, most of which... didn't turn out as planned (except The Clockmaker's Key, my MG fantasy). But I learned a lot in that year. I learned that I'm a slow planner but a fast drafter, that I work best when submerged in a WIP, writing madly like there's an angry grim reaper hovering over my shoulder. And I learned how to push through a draft even if the whole universe is conspiring against me (broken laptops, plagues, missing files, Scrivener crashing, Microsoft Word autosave fails...). I used all these things when I wrote the Alliance series, and that's how I wrote a six-book series in six months!
What distracted me this month when writing:  Nerves about Adamant coming out in 11 days!!!!! Exciterrifying! Also, paperback formatting, ordering proof copies, updating ebook files, flailing, falling over, walking into doors...

Goal for next month: Sleep? :P Nah, I'll be editing. A lot. I need to do second-round beta revisions on Nemesis (Alliance, #2) and book freelance edits. And I need to fix some of the big-picture issues across the series. Book 3 is still a jigsaw because I decided to rearrange half the scenes...

Last 200 words:

Spoilers. ;)


  1. So only one book this month. You slacker :P Congrats on finishing the draft and wishing you all the best with the release of Adamant!! Still don't know how you manage to write so quickly. I think your 'keeping edits for later' tactic might be a wise and something I should try.

    1. Haha, I'd better step up my game next month. :P Thank you! :D

  2. Congrats on finishing the fast draft of the whole series. I am SO excited for March 11th and I still can't believe how much you got done this month (or the previous months haha). Drafting back to back is something I need to try. It might help me figure out this whole Gyre series thing where it could be 3 books but should be 5... maybe... possibly... I think it'd help with that. And editing list sounds like a really helpful tool, too. I'm also in the same short story boat. Why are they so hard to write?

    Good luck on editing book 3 next month, and you know I'll be rooting for you on March 11th (and spamming social media with buy links ;) )

    1. Yay, thank you! :D Short stories look easy, but I think they're harder than novels!

  3. Congrats again on the release and on finishing a draft! 6 drafts in 6 months?! The mind boggles! You are amazing! :)

  4. Whoo hoo! Another book down! God, you're a machine! But you know what, I understand the short story thing. I can't half get myself to finish any of my shorter works, to the point I don't even want to start them anymore.

    Running editing lists are my favorite! It definitely speeds things up for me, though not quite that fast. ^_^ Congratulations on all the crazy amazingness! Best wishes with all the editing!

    1. I have that problem with short stories/novellas. They look easier than they are! Thanks! :D

  5. Wow wow! I mean, I shouldn't be surprised at this stage, but you never cease to awe me! There must be a Guinness Book of Records award for the most words written in a month and you'd win it consistently!
    Congrats on finishing your draft!!

    I'm right with you on the novels vs short stories issue. Short stories are so hard for some reason!

    Good luck this month and can't wait for Adamant's release! Gotta read it sometime this year! <3

    1. Haha, thanks! :D I have no idea why I struggle so much with short stories!

      I'm so excited! EEK!

  6. I am so inspired by the fact that you finished pretty much a whole book this month. That is so awesome. Here I am with a measly 2,000 words, lol. Seriously, that's amazing progress. You are quite possibly my hero right now.

    Good luck with your upcoming book release! I don't know if I said this last month, but the cover for that book is just so everything. It's gorgeous, seriously!

  7. Do you ever sleep? :-D

    Seriously, how on earth you get so much writing done each month is beyond me. I would love to know your secrets...

    I've written as much as 60k in a month, but it's always ever a whirlwind of a hot mess-first draft. Do you plan everything out meticulously with spreadsheets and outlines before writing anything? As much as I try that method, I've come to accept I'm a hybrid plotter-pantser. Some outlines/sketches/spreadsheets but I struggle to stick to them. A lot seems to surface as I go along. I think if I could be a full-on plotter, I'd get more words out quicker, but nowhere near as much as yours! And they wouldn't be quality, either ;)