Writing Challenge, Challenging Writing

first-stepThe next round of ROW80 started with my second semester–yesterday. Since it seems there is something to the adage that accountability leads to (enforces?) productivity, I’m participating again. I learned in the last round that while it’s the rare week that I manage both 5,000 words and school obligations, I do need to keep reminding myself of my goals and continuing to build my writing habits.

So this round, I plan to:

  1. Complete drafting for book 2 of Red Slaves;
  2. Complete editing for book 2 of Red Slaves;
  3. Complete production for book 2 of Red Slaves;
  4. Post 2-3 times per week on my blog;
  5. Begin drafting short stories solicited for two anthology projects;
  6. Complete all school assignments.

I’m starting this with about 15,000 words to go on completing my manuscript. My editor has indicated a slot free for me the first week of February, so I have to finish the manuscript in time to fit into her schedule. That means I have to manage at least those 5,000 words each of the next three weeks, to give myself a week of clean-up and revision before I ship it off for her red-ink treatment.

I’m hopeful that our decision to cut back on our TV package reduces the distractions offered in that entertainment channel; on the other hand, it looks like I’m picking up new freelance clients, so any gains in the one time suck are likely going to be offset by the other.

And since I’m in learning mode about marketing and writing, I’ll be reading and sharing useful links. In particular, this week I was taken by the Plot Fixer series Karen Leabo posted over at Writers in the Storm as containing helpful tips for anyone working on a fictional manuscript. As I keep bumping into the sense of being mired in the dreaded Valley of the Middle of my book and series, it’s increasingly useful for me to define thematic elements and character arcs to keep my story moving forward–to the extent that I have one window open with my draft filling that screen, and another window with story notes filling it (handily obscuring potential social media distractions/excuses, too). May these tips also help you.


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