It Gives a Lovely Light, Draft Three: Day Five

Day five is over. What can I say about day five?

ugly cry dawson


kill me 2It did not go well is what I’m saying.

I started my read through. I tried reading word by word. I tried reading out loud. I tried reading it like a reader. None of it worked well.

I am officially so sick of this book.

gahhWhat am I supposed to do with that? I’m still determined to finish the read through tonight. I’m only about four chapters from the end, so I should be able to do it. But at this moment I feel like this book is terrible and I’m a failure because of it. My writing buddy assures me this is not the case and I’m just going to have to get by on her faith in my project for now.

everything will be okayTo calm myself, I’ve decided I’m just going to send my manuscript off to her for beta reading first before I subject anyone else to it. I’ve convinced myself there will be many changes for draft four as there are a tonne of new things in draft three. I have lost confidence. But, hopefully, having someone read it and the distance it will give me while I wait will restore it, or the little I had to begin with.

Okay, I’m off to finish reading. This will be my last blog on this draft. Thanks to the folks that have read the whole week, or even just one day. The blogging has helped in my accountability. Overall, I had a really good week. I wish I could do this forever, but alas. I return to the life of an aviation analyst on Monday.



It Gives a Lovely Light, Draft Three: Day Four

Day four is over.


I feel like I shouldn’t be doing happy gifs. Though I’m happy the day is over and with what I have accomplished, I don’t want this week to end. I’m living the true writer’s life right now. I have no responsibilities except those to myself. I’m my own boss. I make my own hours. I work from home. It’s been a bit of a struggle getting used to doing work without so much structure, but I’m really pleased with my progress so far. I think I’m doing really well and that’s making me really happy.


I’ve increased my word count pretty significantly today. About 900 words! So, now I can say it’s a 66K word novel. That’s closer to 70K, right? I did a lot of BIG changes today. I moved some scenes around, extended some, wrote completely new ones and deleted any that didn’t seem right. The List, as far as plotting and characterization is concerned, is complete. I still have some editing stuff to do, change some names, strengthen my verbs, realign the chapters to flow better, but all significant plot and character changes to the book are done.


I’m pretty excited. So, tomorrow, that leaves the final read through. The final with-a-fine-tooth-comb read through. This is where I’ll look at every single word and sentence and paragraph and chapter within the context of the whole book and determine if it stays or goes. I can see a lot of making sure my characters don’t do so much “looking” (they’re constantly looking around, it’s a terrible habit) and that I’m not over doing my speech tags. Trying to get into active voice and not using weak verbs. That kind of stuff. It’s going to be a long day.


But after that, I expect to be done! Then it’s to the beta reads. I don’t want to think of the beta reads right now or that paper bag will not be enough.

Thanks for reading. I’m off for a swim and a hang with my writing buddy. ‘Till tomorrow!


It Gives a Lovely Light, Draft Three: Day Three

Day three is nearly over. I’m in a coffee shop downtown waiting for my bestie to get off work so we can go celebrate her birthday.


So, I’m writing this early. I’m going to continue writing for about another hour so, this isn’t final final.

Reading the whole book took longer than I would have liked and I’m not sure I got what I needed out of it. I fixed some things on the way such as superfluous speak tags, incorrect commas and dialogue/thoughts punctuation and things like that so the first half of the book matches the style I went with for the second half. Apparently, those little asterisks I used as scene breaks for a while counted as a word in my word count. As you might expect, taking those out decreased my word count quite a bit. Devastating.

new girl cry

I made up for it today, though, by increasing my overall word count by about 300 hundred words! I’m officially over 65K now. I’ll never get to 70K and I’ve accepted it. I made significant progress on The List. Most of it was little stuff. I’m saving the big stuff for tomorrow and Friday when I have time to really settle into it. One that I’m not looking forward to is completely changing how one character finds out about something. It’s a big, big change, but one that I think makes more sense. I forgot to use that technique that I always have to Google to spell. Most of my time, until about one o’clock, was spent reading. But I think I’ll continue with the technique tomorrow and Friday. So, I’m pretty pleased with the progress I’ve made since lunch time but disappointed it took so long for the read through, especially since I’ll definitely have to do it again.

baffledAnyway, that’s the update for today. Lots done, lots to do. But, good news, I’m pretty confident that it’ll be ready by Friday. Then I have to go through the excruciating process of letting people read it. Beta reading is rough. I’m so thankful to those who have stepped up to help me with it. If any of you are reading, you’re amazing.

Thanks for reading!


It Gives a Lovely Light, Draft Three: Day Two

All right. Day two is done.

excitement3I am equal parts distressed and bemused that my overall word count has decreased today. Decrease of 62 words. I have exactly three more words than I did when I started the week. Now, we’ve already established that word count is a poor judge of productivity but I had in my mind this was going to be a 70K novel. Why? Dunno. It just seemed like a good number, right in the middle of the expected 60-80K for YA. Instead, it’s hovering just under 65K. Nothing to sneeze at, I guess. The first draft I completed was about 61K and I was sure I had so much more to add. I still have a lot of work to do but nothing that will inflate the word count much more than it is. I guess I will have to settle for 65K.

I’ve started my first read of the full novel. I’ve decided to read the whole thing through once and make notes. I have a list of things I need to work on – which will be here on called The List, because it’s late and all my creative juices has gone into my novel – and I’m planning on adding and editing it as I go through the book. There’s several things I have added piecemeal over the last several months I haven’t had a chance to read through in the context of the rest of the novel. Between being a very fast reader and the fact I wrote the damn thing, I’m hoping the read through won’t take me long.

fingers crossed2Tomorrow, I’m going to be very dedicated to writing through pure necessity. I’ve scheduled a write-in with my writer’s group during the day. Starting at 10 o’clock (IN THE MORNING), I’ll be in a coffee shop working away until about 3. So far, only one person has committed to coming out to join me, but that’s enough.

I used the Pomodoro Technique today and it was quite successful once I got the hang of it. I kept forgetting to set my timer. I found I could pretty comfortably edit one chapter in one-ish Pomodoros. However, now I have completed all the chapters where I have critiques, so that measure is just about useless to me now. But I think I will continue to use it tomorrow.

So I think that’s it, my lovelies.

happinessI’m not quite done for tonight. I’m going to continue to read. But I will see you tomorrow, hopefully with some great, earth-shattering, life-altering news but something tells me you’re just going to hear me complain about word count some more.

Thanks for reading!


It Gives a Lovely Light, Draft Three: Day One

Well. Day one is on the books.

bored2I’m not sure how to gauge my success. I think I got a lot done. First chapter (that dreaded first chapter) is done and I’ve gotten through about half of my critique papers. I’ve made a list of everything that needs changing/fixing/adding/deleting. There’s a lot. There’s still four days, but there’s a lot.


I’ve also eaten a lot of chocolate raisins.

I kept track of my word count and have determined that to be, unsurprisingly, a poor indicator of progress. I have increased my word count by a whole 65 words! For those keeping track at home, that’s like, a third of this post. That means some additions, but also some subtractions. I got a late start this morning, totally my own fault, then spent more time than I should have on various social media sites (*cough TUMBLR cough*).

tumblerI think tomorrow requires more of a plan and more structure. The first thing I’m going to do is sit down and schedule out the day. I’m not going to go too nuts with it and schedule to the 15-minute chunk or something, but I think general goals will be helpful. If you have any suggestions for productivity apps, I’d be happy to hear them! One thing I might try that’s been floating around my job-type blogs is the Pomodoro Technique. I’ve heard good things. What techniques do you use to keep yourself on track and not distracted? Just turn the damn internet off, right?

All right, dudes and dudettes. I’m off to melt my brain with television until it’s time to go to bed. Then, all this all over again! Thanks for sticking around.


It Gives a Lovely Light, Draft Three: The Night Before

Today has been a productive day. My house is totally in order. This means there are no excuses (NONE) for me not to be writing as much as possible for the next five days.

fingers crossed

I’ve set up a writing area. I’m sure I’ll be bouncing around the house regardless, though. One of the perks to living alone: I do what I want. The fridge is stocked, though the first thing I did when I walked in the door was remember the several things I forgot. Typical, right? There’s also a package waiting for me halfway across town that is pretty ominously only held until Wednesday. And my best friend’s birthday. Ah. How the excuses find their way in.


Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving full of turkey and family. I’ll see you tomorrow.

later skaters

I’m Back!

So, hi.

It’s been two years since I’ve posted on this blog and what a two years it’s been.

I’m not going to try and update you all on everything. I don’t think I could if I wanted to. But I’ll chat a bit, because why not?

I got inspired to come back by a meeting I just had with my writer’s group. It was one of our bi-monthly social mixers and the topic of blogging came up. I’m starting into a kind of exciting era of my writing and I think I’d like to start this thing up again. I won’t even try and promise this will be a regular thing, but it should be fun.

The writer’s group has grown substantially in the last two years. We’re over seven hundred members now. Not all of them are active. I’d say we have a little under two hundred active members, if I were to guess. It’s amazing and so much fun.

And in a twist that I credit entirely to the group and my amazeballs writing partner, I’ve completed my first novel. It’s the Young Adult novel that I’m pretty sure I was talking about a few posts back. It’s a story I had conceived and started writing when I was in high school myself under the terrible name Jewel in the Sand. I rewrote it top to bottom and it turned into something completely different, but something I love. It now has the much better title It Gives a Lovely Light. Or IGALL, as my writing buddy calls it.

To that end, I’ve taken the next week off work to work on my third draft. I’ve had some beta readers for my second draft and have received some great criticism. It’s also still working its way through two critique circles who have been invaluable. I have a lot of notes on the changes I’d like to make. Some of them are pretty easy and some are not.

After this third draft, I have a few beta readers lined up to read it (again). I’m hoping (fingers crossed) there will not be too many changes to make to an upcoming fourth draft. Then, again hoping, I’ll be able to start querying with the fourth draft. Excitement!

That’s what I meant by entering an exciting era of my writing. I’m thinking this blog will be a fun way to keep me accountable this week. Then, when I enter the query process, a fun way to document my journey to publication! (Keeping my hopes high here, guys.)

Well, that’s all, folks! I hope you’ll stick around for the ride.

kiss anna kendrick