Monday, July 7, 2014

Ready, Set, Write: Stars and Stripes


Ready. Set. WRITE! is a summer writing intensive that encourages goal-setting and accountability, and provides an opportunity for us to cheer each other on wherever we’re at in our writing—planning, drafting, revising, or polishing. This year, your RSW hosts are Alison MillerJaime MorrowErin Funk, and Katy Upperman. Find the rest of the details HERE.

* How I did on last week's goals: 
1. This is my second week, my goal last week was to finish working in some ideas for richer characterization to the book I'm currently querying (YA SF: Star Tripped) and write two chapters on my WIP (MG fantasy: Refuge).  I progressed well with goal #1 but failed with goal #2, because I got really consumed with edits to Startripped.  I started reading  Writing 21st Cenury Fiction by Donald  Maass and it was just what I needed to strengthen and deepen not just my characters but many other things too.

2. Reading goals:  well, I got off track with 21st Century Fiction and didn't get The Fire Wish finished, but at least I stuck to my goal of ONLY one book a week instead of splurging on more when I should be writing!

* My goals this week: 

I'm going to set an hourly goal this week, because I've never done that before. (It's usually word count goals or specific edits).  Shooting for 7 hours this week.  Hoping to finish adding the final touches of symbolism and micro tension to Startripped.  
* A favorite line from my project (this is from Star Tripped)

I might the only person on the planet that doesn't love the stars.  Looking up into a starry night sky just makes me dizzy, and the thought of being up there, in all that dark space in between, frightens me. Go ahead, psychoanalyze me, tell me it's just because of the way I was born and what I had to go through after. Whatever the reason, I like to have my feet on the ground and my eyes on my own world. 
* The biggest challenge I faced this week.
4th of July festivities! So much fun but leaves so little time to sit down and write.  My daughters had a horse show over the weekend - all four of them got to compete, even the two littlest ones. I'm still exhausted from it, but loved their creative addition: painting stars and stripes on their horses' haunches for the show (wish I'd remembered to get a picture). 
* Something I love about my WiP. 
Discovering that there's some good, even heroic qualities about my antagonist.  A quote from Writing 21st Century Fiction:

What will make your antagonists memorable isn’t the evil that they do, but the good. 

Here's what I imagine Meer looks like:
lysander_by_negshin on DeviantArt.com
I'll be back posting for Throwback Thursday: this week is.... DRAGONS.

Whats your biggest challenge or inspiration this week?

29 comments:

  1. I really liked your excerpt, esp. since stargazing is such a standard thing for characters to do in a book (I have at least 2 books where it happens) and you turn that on its head. Nice!

    Also to pick your brain on horses, do you know some good websites or books to learn about competitive show riding? I have a "horse friend" who is fielding a lot of my questions but I'm looking for a variety. I'm drafting a story about a girl who is injured in competition and I need to get the backstory right. If you have any tips I would be grateful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! I originally had her stargazing and then I read the advice in 21st century Fiction to flip it, and now I like it better!

      As for horse showing, I tend to google specifically what I need and there's never just one website that I seem to go to a lot. What type of horse showing do you need help with? There are so many different kinds of events and shows! I am very familiar with English shows and am starting to get familiar with performance horse shows. But there dozens of others.

      Delete
  2. Your 4th of July weekend sounds like it was full but FUN! Hope your girls had a great time/did well at their horse show :). Great excerpt you shared, and I love the pic of your antagonist!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks - I love it when other people post art related to their stories, so I thought I'd give it a try!

      Delete
  3. Even though you didn't make all goals the post shows those goals are you focus and that's half the battle.

    What a great 4th! See, those are the necessary things that refresh your spirit and energize you to work on this week's goals. Not to mention all precious memories you captured and those are beyond price.

    I'm working on my writing this summer as well. Working on adding more depth to them and the plot.

    Cheering you on for this week!

    Sia McKye Over Coffee

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes the focus is definitely half the battle - or more than half, for me. Thanks for the cheers!

      Delete
  4. Beautiful excerpt! And I'll have to check out that book by Donald Maas! Thanks for the suggestion. =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I highly recommend the book. It's even better than his last one, which is saying A LOT!!

      Delete
  5. Sounds like you had a great 4th (I'm trying not to be jealous ;) ). The idea of putting writing goals into hours instead of word count makes sense. Those words don't always flow as well as they should, although we put in the effort. And I loved your excerpt. Sounds like a down to life character.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I'm excited to try the hourly goal thing instead for EXACTLY those reasons.

      Delete
  6. I like the idea of setting hours to read. Word count doesn't work for me when I'm writing so it wouldn't work for me when I'm reading.

    Great villain. Handsome, yet there's something in those cold eyes that makes you think he could damage or good at any time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes isn't he an intriguing personality? :)

      Delete
  7. I really like the snippet you shared! And I also like that you set an hourly goal instead of a word count goal this week. That's a really smart idea. Making sure that you're setting aside a specified chunk of time each day is so much more important than writing x amount of words. Good plan! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I'm curious to see how it works for me this week.

      Delete
  8. I've never seen anyone set an hourly goal before, but that's a great approach! Even though goal #2 didn't go the way you wanted it to, at least it's because you were consumed with working on your other story. It'll all even out eventually, right? Have a super writing week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always have a hard time working on two projects. I thought I was done with the one (I'm querying it after all!) BUT I keep thinking of cool things to add or tighten up.

      Delete
  9. That quote is SO TRUE! I love digging deeper into my antagonists' motivations and actually just sitting here reading your post and writing this comment just sparked the "good" thing I've been looking for for one of my current ones. So, thank you!

    Good luck with your hourly goals! You can do it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love it when someone's blog sparks an idea! Happens nearly every week, so glad I could return the favor to someone this week.

      Delete
  10. I love your excerpt! It gives me a great sense of your character and the voice is just so vivid.

    I also love that quote. I'll have to keep it in mind as I'm writing the villain(s) in my story.

    Good luck with this week! I hope it's a productive one. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You too - thinking good productivity thoughts to us all!

      Delete
  11. Yay, dragons! =) And that was a lovely excerpt. Best wishes for next week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hoped someone would catch the dragon note! Best wishes to you too!

      Delete
  12. Ready, Set, Write is a brilliant idea. I wish I'd seen it before it started.

    Loved your excerpt! My mum doesn't like looking at the stars. She says they frighten her - the vastness of space.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I joined two weeks late... you can join anytime!

      Delete
  13. Hooray for goals! I also love your excerpt--it wonderfully plays against the dreamy protagonist trope. We need grounded heroes, too.

    I'm made huge strides with a nonfiction project over the long weekend, and now I'm trying to make similar strides with my fiction. I've never juggled two projects before, but the NF should theoretically help with fiction, since it's about methods for generating content while away from the keyboard.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love that idea for a writing book - I think I remember a post you did about that.

      Delete
  14. I love your excerpt!

    I like the idea of setting hourly goals. I've done it before and it's a nice way to track your progress without getting bogged down by word count. Good luck this week!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Glad to hear a little more about your WIP! I know what you mean about too little time and too much to do. :)

    ReplyDelete