Ready. Set. Write! Update 6

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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 with our writing projects—planning, drafting, revising, or polishing.  This year, your RSW hosts are Alison MillerJaime MorrowErin FunkElodie Nowodazkij, and myself. All the details are HERE.

How I did on Last Week’s Goals:

Writing — I only got about 10 new pages, but I incorporated the feedback from my consultant, so I am pretty pleased.

Reading — Finished reading Blood and Salt by Kim Liggett. I stayed up way too late one night reading because I couldn’t put it down. This book is so good — sexy and scary and leaves you wanting more. Definitely recommend. Kim is doing a pre-order giveaway through McNally Jackson that everyone should check—out:

Pre-order Blood and Salt

Workout — I was a lot busier this week than I expected. I only got in three workouts this week, but I am glad I at least got that.

My Goals This Week:

Writing— I am feeling really ambitious this week. I would like to get 35 screenplay pages written, or get to the third act of my script by the end of the week. Basically, I am in game face mode to finish.

Reading — Reading screenplays. I just read Almost Famous, and plan to read a few more this week just to keep myself in screenplay world.

Workout — I plan to exercise every day. I may not get to the gym, but at least doing my own thing at home is usually feasible.

A favorite line from my story OR one word/phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised.

MEMBER OF THE CON HIERARCHY (CONT.)

I’m afraid the best we can do is set you up with a volunteer to help you search the convention.

PHILLIP

Search? A convention of 150,000 people in costume?

MEMBER OF THE CON HIERARCHY

To be fair, not everyone is in costume.

PHILLIP

So you won’t help me at all.

MEMBER OF THE CON HIERARCHY

We said you could use our copy machine to make flyers with his picture on it.

She blinks at him.

MEMBER OF THE CON HIERARCHY (cont.)

Do you need thumbtacks?

The biggest challenge I faced this week (ex. finding time to write).

My son was really needing extra mom time, and I decided that was the most important thing. It meant giving up some of my normal writing time. It effected how much I accomplished. And it was totally worth it.

Something I love about my WiP:

It’s the story I want to be working on. Sometimes our ideas don’t pan out, or they turn into something else along the way, and — good or bad — we have to adjust. Even with this stories evolution, I know I am working on the story I should be working on right now. And rightness trumps everything else.

Ready. Set. Write! Update 5

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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 with our writing projects—planning, drafting, revising, or polishing.  This year, your RSW hosts are Alison MillerJaime MorrowErin FunkElodie Nowodazkij, and myself. All the details are HERE.

*I missed last week because it was the day after San Diego Comic Con and I was on my way to LA.*

How I did on last week’s goals:

Well, last week I set no goals because I was still out of town. HOWEVER, I was meeting with my screenwriting consultant, so that was very Goal Oriented.

I wrote a blog about Comic-Con, which you can read here if you are interested.

I also began posting video recaps of the Comic-Con experience, and if you are interested, you can click here to watch my YouTube channel.

My Goals This Week:

Writing — Incorporate the feedback from my consultant into my outline and then crank out 20 screenplay pages. This script is REALLY coming together. And after everything I experienced at Comic-Con, I feel like I have a pretty strong grasp on that world.

Reading — Finish the ARC of Blood and Salt by Kim Liggett. You guys all need to put this book on your TBR.

Workout — Get back to my daily cardio, twice weekly strength building sessions.

A favorite line from my story OR one word/phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised.

Since I didn’t really write last week, and didn’t post an update from the previous week, here is something I wrote the week before I left for Comic-Con:

ABIGAIL (CONT.)

We keep our shit to ourselves. We stick to the list.

JACK

You know, Abbie —

ABIGAIL

Abigail.

JACK

Abigail. You know, you will have to trust me just a little if this is going to work.

The biggest challenge I faced this week (ex. finding time to write).

I didn’t write this week, but I didn’t plan to. The thing I struggled with this week was accepting the reality that Comic Con is over. 😉

Something I love about my WiP:

I feel like this is a story worth telling, and I think that is so vital when you are working on a passion project. Believing in your project’s merit, especially when it’s in the revision stage, keeps you pushing through the fear.

Ready. Set. Write! Update 4

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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 with our writing projects—planning, drafting, revising, or polishing.  This year, your RSW hosts are Alison MillerJaime MorrowErin FunkElodie Nowodazkij, and myself. All the details are HERE.

How I Did on Last Week’s Goals:

Writing — I was able to get 25 pages on my screenplay last week. So I wrote most days, at least 5 pages. This is me accomplishing my goal.

Reading— I didn’t have any time this week to read. But I did make a video about being an American woman and get to go on a date with my husband. So, I am okay with my choices.

Workout — I did two sessions with my brother the Personal Trainer, as well as the elliptical everyday. Yay exercise.

I also wanted to knock off some get ready for SDCC things off my list and not panic. I did both, with some concerted effort.

My Goals This Week:

Writing— I’m leaving for San Diego Comic Con on Friday morning before the buttcrack of dawn, so I this week is going to be kind of nuts already. I’d still like to add 10-15 pages to my screenplay, if possible. Dreamers gotta dream.

Reading —I plan to start A Court of Thorns and Roses at least once i get on the plan to San Diego. It will be too early to drink, so I will need something to distract me from my nerves. Plus, Sarah J. Maas will be at Comic Con

Workout — I will workout Monday through Thursday this week, at least two maybe three session with Personal Trainer and Asgrdian, brother Isaac.

I may not be able to post on Monday of next week, depending on how dog tired I am and if I remember there is a life outside Comic Con…oh, wait, that’s the title of my screenplay…

A favorite line from my story OR one word/phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised.

INT. THE EXHIBIT HALL – STILL MORNING

Abigail and Kate stand at the edge of the Exhibit Hall. Abigail has her nose in the MAP of the Exhibit Hall. Kate has her eyes on the massive crowd.

KATE

May the gods of Comic Con grant us patience and strong immune systems.

The biggest challenge I faced this week (ex. finding time to write).

I struggled to find time to write during my usual writing time with all the OTHER things going on. One of the things that really helped was scheduling some night time sessions with my CP Susan (she’s a participant in Ready. Set. Write! too) because it helped me make up pages. Plus, it was fun!

Something I love about my WiP.

This is where I talk about the necessity of plotting the hell out of a screenplay. Doing that work upfront, and not moving forward until I felt satisfied with the scenes I had planned, has made a massive difference in this revision.

So, how did you do this week on your goals?

Ready. Set. Write! Update 3

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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 with our writing projects—planning, drafting, revising, or polishing.  This year, your RSW hosts are Alison MillerJaime MorrowErin FunkElodie Nowodazkij, and myself. All the details are HERE.

How I Did on Last Week’s Goals:

Writing- I began work on my screenplay revision on Thursday and was able to get 9 pages that day. I also finished the BEAT SHEET for the other screenplay I’m working on. It’s still a rough draft, but I love the idea and where it’s going.

Reading – I finished Things We Know By Heart by Jessie Kirby, but haven’t had a chance to start any new reads yet. I plan to start A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas next.

Workout – I kept up my exercise routine, and added in two sessions with my brother the personal trainer. This week I would like to do the same!

My Goals This Week:

Wrting:

1. Get between 5-15 pages on my screenplay every day this week. I won’t have a full finished revision before I leave for Comic Con and Los Angeles, but I’ll be more than half way through.

Reading:

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas next.

Life/Workout:

1. Start knocking stuff off my “getting ready for Comic Con list” and don’t panic about the fact that it’s almost here.

2. Workout every day, do two sessions with my brother this week.

A favorite line from my story OR one word/phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised.

Line of Dialog from one of my characters, Simon.

But here, we can be anything. Here, maybe there’s way to save the damsel. Even if the damsel is you.

The biggest challenge I faced this week (ex. finding time to write).

Focus. I have a lot going on right now, like everyone, and focusing on the task at hand without getting distracted with future tasks, other tasks I should be dealing with, was a real hurdle this week.

Something I love about my WiP.

I love that by the end of this revision I will have a largely different story than I had at the end of the first draft, but will still feature all the same characters, just deeper versions of themselves. The power of revision in action!

What are your goals this week?

Ready. Set. Write! Update 2

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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 with our writing projects—planning, drafting, revising, or polishing.  This year, your RSW hosts are Alison MillerJaime MorrowErin FunkElodie Nowodazkij, and myself. All the details are HERE.

I missed updating last week, but I’m here this week. Even though I missed updating last week, I did not miss meeting goals. Here’s how I’m doing:

1.  How I did on last week’s goals:

Writing: I’ve been working steadily on the Beat Sheet for my screenplay revision. In the last two weeks I have executed a major overhaul on the plot and dug down deeper in the main character’s motives. I finished a new draft on Friday and I’m pretty sure it’s the One. I also began a new Beat Sheet for a new screenplay and I am really excited about it.

Reading: I read Just One Day by Gayle Foreman and LOVED it so much. I know I’m a bit late to that fan club, but man, what a wonderful book. I am heavily into reading The Things We Know By Heart by Jessi Kirby, and it’s already ripping out my heart.

Workout: I’ve kept up my workout routine, and even added in some sessions with my brother, Isaac, who is a personal trainer. I almost died on YouTube last week when my sister-in-law and I did a workout to prepare for Comic Con. If you enjoy laughing, you should check out our video!

2.  My goal(s) for this week.

Writing:

1. I need to finish this Beat Sheet for the new screenplay because it’s due to my screenwriting consultant before Thursday.

2. Start the revision of the Comic Con screenplay!

Reading: Finish The Things We Know By Heart!

Workout: Do at least two sessions with my brother!

3.  A favorite line from my story OR one word/phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised.

Satisfying Character Arcs — one of the things I have struggled with a lot on this Comic Con screenplay is making the three main characters (because it is more of an ensemble) all have satisfying arcs that happen at the right time in the story.

4.  The biggest challenge I faced this week (ex. finding time to write).

Juggling. Like most of y’all, I’m sure, summer is insanely busy. I have a lot going on with my son, my husband, my dogs, and my own stuff. Keeping all the things in the air is kind of distracting.

5.  Something I love about my WiP.

I love that, after working so much on the plot, I really feel like I know these characters inside out, and even with all their many flaws, I am confident that each of them is worth following on their journey.

Ready. Set. Write! and My Goals

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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 with our writing projects—planning, drafting, revising, or polishing.  This year, your RSW hosts are Alison MillerJaime MorrowErin FunkElodie Nowodazkij, and myself. All the details are HERE.

This is (I think!) my third year participating in RSW, and I can promise that it is worth the commitment. Accountability and community are key to the solitary life of a writer. We need each other more because so much of being a writer means being inside your own head, warring with fictional characters and sorting out plot and stakes and getting words out.

So, I am excited to join in. And here are my goals:

  1. Get my BEAT SHEET finalized for my screenplay There’s Life Outside Comic Con. Now that I am working with a consultant, I am not allowed to move forward until the Beat Sheet (from Save the Cat!) proves this script will hit all the high notes.
  2. Begin the Revision on that screenplay, with the hope of completing another draft by the middle of July. (When I will be at San Diego Comic Con!)
  3. Start a revision of my manuscript Of Blood and Promises. I had back burnered it for a while to focus on screenwriting. I am moving slow with this, and need to be right now since that’s not my #1 priority. So, just knowing how to start and starting is my goal for the summer.
  4. Do a Beat Sheet draft for at least one more feature.
  5. Read the books I want to read, as many or as few, and let myself be moved, take time, stay up all night.
  6. Continue to work out every weekday. I have been exercising for the last six weeks and am seeing happy-making results. I am doing nothing for diet, but don’t want to. My goal is strength and stamina and feeling good about my body. That’s it.

Next week (Monday, June 15th) we’ll be posting our first update using these headings…

1.  How I did on last week’s goals.

2.  My goal(s) for this week.

3.  A favorite line from my story OR one word/phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised.

4.  The biggest challenge I faced this week (ex. finding time to write).

5.  Something I love about my WiP.

I hope you join in! I’ll be cheering you on if you do. 

Ready. Set. Write! Final Update!

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Ready. Set. WRITE! is an online writing intensive to help stay accountable with your writing goals over the summer and provides an opportunity for us to cheer each other on whether planning, drafting, or revising! Your RSW hosts are Alison MillerJaime MorrowErin Funk, and Katy Upperman. Find the rest of the details HERE.

Here were my goals:

1. Finish a draft of my screenplay. I’d like to have it off to some readers for feedback by the middle of July.

2. Finish a draft for a TV pilot and send off to readers.

3. Begin work on the sequels to both YA manuscripts, as well as further polishing and revisions on the first books, as needed. I would like to have a few chapters written and the books plotted (although, my plotting is pretty loose when drafting) by the end of the summer.

5. Read at least one book a week. I’ve been so busy lately, and so tired at night, that reading has been shoved to the back burner. No more!

4. Have an epic summer with my son.

Here’s What I Actually Did:

1. Wrote half the draft for my screenplay. Wrote a story grid to help with plotting and arcs. Feel really good about the concept and characters. WIN!

2. Didn’t even touch the pilot. Did not have time. C’est la vie!

3. Got revision notes from an agent I’m working with (though not signed with) on my manuscript Of Blood and Promises. They rocked my world. I took a break from the MS while I sorted them out. Came out on the other side with a brilliant and exciting plan. 110 pages into the revision. WIN!

5. HA! Was in a reading slump for most of the summer. Also, because my son was with me A LOT more, I had way less time to devote to anything, and the time I had went to writing and trying to keep up with CP reading. I read a handful of amazing books though, including:

The Perilous Sea by Sherry Thomas

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

The Winners Curse by Marie Rutkoski

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

6. I had the MOST EPIC SUMMER with Sam. This, more than anything, is what I wanted to accomplish. He started Kindergarten today, and I wrote a post about it here. I have no regrets that so much of my summer was devoted to making sure his was filled with adventure.

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My Biggest Challenge this Summer was…

Changes. This was a summer filled with change and it required extra effort on my part. It meant letting go of my previous habits and routines.

Favorite Line from my WiP:

Screenplay —

Terrified. I knew my entire life was about to change. Brilliantly, but absolutely.

Of Blood and Promises

She was light in sinking darkness. She was friend and ally to my isolation. She was the face I saw when I closed my eyes.

She was never mine. I was never hers.

Something I love about my WiP:

They are what I want to be writing, and even when I couldn’t work on them, they kept telling why I had to come back.

Thank you fellow RSWers for the friendship and fortitude to get through this summer and still have something to show for it. I have no doubt that much of my writing success this summer is due to this group!

Ready. Set. Write! Update #9

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Ready. Set. WRITE! is an online writing intensive to help stay accountable with your writing goals over the summer and provides an opportunity for us to cheer each other on whether planning, drafting, or revising! Your RSW hosts are Alison MillerJaime MorrowErin Funk, and Katy Upperman. Find the rest of the details HERE.

Last Week’s Goals:

1. Revise three more chapters.

I ended up revising 60 pages, so this is a major win. 

2. Write three more scenes on the screenplay and fill in the scenes I have skipped over.

I worked on a story grid for the screenplay, and then sent it to one of screenwriting friends for feedback, and then my week got CRAZY so I haven’t gotten back to it. But I think it is going to make a huge difference in shaping the Screenplay. 

3. Read

I read Isla and the Happily Ever After. Oh the feelings. 

A favorite line from my story or one word or phrase that sums up what I wrote or revised:

I stare at the back of her head, my vision blurring from tears trapped in my eyes. I shake my head, and a few of those tears break free to sneak down my cheeks.

“Did you even love my father?”

She reaches up to run a hand through her hair. When she speaks, her voice is almost a whisper.

“Beyond reason,” she pauses to swallow hard. “I loved him beyond reason.”

Biggest Challenge:

This week I took Sam to the water park, Legoland, and Cosmic Jump as part of our EPIC SUMMER. I was exhausted from all the fun, and then I had to finish prep for his Power Rangers B-day party on Sunday. It was all worth it.

Something I love about my WiP:

The revision is stretching me. It’s the slow kind, where you feel the burn across all the writing muscles, must push through the pain and doubt that you can stretch that far, but you gain new flexibility.

This Week’s Goals:

1. Enjoy the last week before school starts with my son.

2. Revise the next chapter, which is a killer chapter.

3. Finish the Story Grid Revision on the Screenplay and send back to screenwriter friend.

Ready. Set. Write! #8

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Ready. Set. WRITE! is an online writing intensive to help stay accountable with your writing goals over the summer and provides an opportunity for us to cheer each other on whether planning, drafting, or revising! Your RSW hosts are Alison MillerJaime MorrowErin Funk, and Katy Upperman. Find the rest of the details HERE.

Last Weeks Goals:

1. Revise three chapters

Done, plus I had two write NEW chapters. 

2. Rewrite the scenes in my screenplay and add three more.

Done! and I added probably six more with plans for more and inspiration for more. I have 60 pages on the Screenplay, and I loved it so hard. 

3. Read 100 pages on a manuscript I’m beta reading.

*hides* 50 pages, so halfway. 

A favorite line from my story or one word or phrase that sums up what I wrote or revised:

“I have been patient with you, Aiken,” his voice comes from the darkness. I see the sweep of his pa’u in a thin streak of light. “With your ambitions to join the guard, your lack of interest in what I am about…,”I cannot see his face, only the outline of his shoulder and arm, but he pauses and his whole body stills.

“I have done whatever you asked of me,” I say. We both know that is a lie.

His fist flies out, a moving shadow I cannot dodge. With a crack, his knuckles dig into my ribs and smack the air from my lungs.

Biggest Challenge:

As summer draws to an end, and I prepare to send Sam to school, I also seem to be falling back into the habit of thinking about writing all the time. This is a challenge because for the next couple weeks, I really won’t have much extra time. So, being inspired is actually a bad thing right now.

Something I love about my WiP:

Screenplay: The characters feel like real people, and I feel like I am doing them justice.

This Weeks Goals:

1. Revise three more chapters.

2. Write three more scenes on the screenplay and fill in the scenes I have skipped over.

3. Read

 

Ready. Set. Write! Update #7

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Ready. Set. WRITE! is an online writing intensive to help stay accountable with your writing goals over the summer and provides an opportunity for us to cheer each other on whether planning, drafting, or revising! Your RSW hosts are Alison MillerJaime MorrowErin Funk, and Katy Upperman. Find the rest of the details HERE.

Last Weeks Goals:

1. Finish the book I am reading right now and start another one.

Done!

2. Revise three chapters.

Done! 

3. Write 8 screenplay pages.

Fail. I didn’t have time this week, and I was focused on my revision. This week I hope to make time for the screenplay. I did think about scenes I need to write, and figure out a big change I want to make in the pages I’ve already got. 

4. Do something fun on Friday with my son, just us.

We went on a date to Panera (Sam LOVES the mac’n’cheese and cookies!) and the movies. 

A favorite line from my story or one word or phrase that sums up what I wrote or revised:

(This is from a flashback)

It was a full moon night. It was a mischief night.

I woke to a hand over my mouth.

“Come on,” his voice was a whisper. He moved his hand and tucked a lock of curly hair behind his ear. He refused to braid his hair like the other boys did when they turned thirteen cycles, instead it grew long and curly, and he trimmed it with a knife.

Uncle Talin hated it. I loved it.

“I’m sleeping. And I don’t know if I want to go wherever you’re going.” I whispered, pinching my eyes closed.

“The waterfall,” he paused, waiting for me to look at him. I opened my eyes, but didn’t turn over yet. “The Kumu’s say if you jump from the top on a full moon you see the face of the one you’re meant to marry.”

Biggest Challenge:

Time and the desire to soak up the summer with my son. He starts Kindergarten in three weeks, which is insane and as excited as I am for this new phase, I am also sad.

Something I love about my WiP:

This revision is coming slowly, but much more cohesive. I am beginning to really see how to write a trilogy, to learn what to give the reader, what to hold onto, what to hint at. This WiP really is the first in a trilogy.

This Weeks Goals:

1. Revise three chapters

2. Rewrite the scenes in my screenplay and add three more.

3. Read 100 pages on a manuscript I’m beta reading.