My latest short story "The Night the Lights Came On"

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Haunted House Flipper | Manuscript Update

I'm currently about halfway through chapter 43 of my novel at 49,520 words. When I'm finished I'll have 50 chapters. That means I'm about 87% of the way done with the first draft! It's almost up to the NaNoWriMo standard of 50,000 words. That was actually my goal for the finished manuscript, but many of my chapters are running longer than 1,000 words. I'm okay with it.

I'm a huge believer in outlines, but I also think that you should feel free to change your outline as you write. I'm guessing the book will end up around 60K words. Some of my chapters end in the middle of a scene. I've been using the chapters to get the right length and pace to fit my story structure and plot. After I'm finished with the book and I know that things like my breaking into Act II story beat happens around the 25% mark and my midpoint happens around the halfway point, I'll probably combine some chapters. Okay, back to it. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Writing Every Day in April Week 2

I am so confused. I swear I wrote a post last week about writing every day in April and covered how week one went. As I look back though, the post is nowhere. It's not in a saved draft, it's not on this blog. I don't know what the heck happened to it. I even remember making the graphic for it. What the heck?! Well anyway, since that blog post is nowhere to be found, I'll let you know how this month of writing every day has gone including weeks one and two. Unlike in March this time around I've tracked my word count for every day. Here are my results. They might surprise you. People seem to think I get a ton of writing done. I certainly get more done then before I started writing every day, but I have some very sparse days with very few words. Here's the rundown below. My lowest day is highlighted in blue, my highest day is in green, and my average is highlighted in yellow:

DateDaily Word CountTotal Word CountAverage Word Count

And here's a handy graph of my word count:
Click on this image to see it at a larger size!
See nothing special! But I am writing every day and that has been amazing. The story is always fresh in my mind and even if I have 5 minutes to write on a given day the words just flow! Also the fact that for now my goal is to simply write something every day I have an easily attainable goal. Some of my best days are ones where I started out not thinking I could write but I knew I could at least get one sentence down. Here's the secret: once you start you just keep going! It's the getting started part that is sometimes so hard! Someday I hope to be like the other cool kids and have a daily word count but for now just establishing a daily writing habit is enough and it's helped me make a lot of progress on my current novel.

I found the image I made for week 1 so there's proof I worked on something for a post for week 1!:

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Sparks and Flame Cover Reveal

I've been toying with the idea of publishing all of my short stories in one collection for a long time. I just could never come up with a great name or cover. I named it "Danthology" at one point calling it an anthology of short stories by me, but that's not really an anthology. It's a short story collection. An anthology has a theme to all of the stories.

Most of my stories are either Science Fiction or Fantasy and so I like what I've come up with. Sparks and Flame will be the eBook and paperback edition of all my short stories packed into one book. I'm really excited to get it out there because I'm really proud of a lot of my short stories but there's no good way to publish them in a book unless I make a short story collection. This will be fun! As always thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Day 31 of Writing Every Day In March

I did it! I wrote every day in the month of March!!! My manuscript is at 40,108 words. I'm in chapter 35 of 50! My first draft is 70% done!

I'm not sure how much I wrote this month, but I think it was around 16,000 to 17,000 words. It looks like I started around chapter 21 and from there the word count in my manuscript is almost 17,000. What I can tell you is it was the best writing experience I've had so far. Not as exciting as a 6,000+ word day I had during one NaNoWriMo, but a really great method I want to continue for the rest of my life. It's simple: write every day. That's it. It doesn't matter how many words, or for how long, but you write every day. It kept my mind in the story so every time I sat down to write, even if it was for five minutes, I could crank out the words and add more to my story.

I still didn't write a ton this month considering I wrote every day, but it was a whole lot more than I would have written using my normal technique. Wait until I have a decent chuck of free time and write for a large chunk. The problem is that those times usually come only a few times a month. So I never wrote consistently. Now that I've experienced writing every day, I never want to go back. So this month of April I will write every day again, AND track my word count. I should have a spiffy graph at the end of the month. Then you will see I'm not doing anything special. My biggest days were only 1,000 - 2,000 words, but a lot of days I only wrote a couple hundred words. 

In conclusion, I'm really glad I decided to make this challenge for myself. Part of the inspiration was a story about someone who decided to just do 5 pushups every time they brushed their teeth. 5 pushups was an easily attainable goal that they knew they could do every time. They almost always ended up doing way more than 5 pushups, but with that as the goal they always did them. I had many days where I did not feel like writing. In fact, some of my best writing sessions happened when I felt like I wouldn't be able to write anything good and thought "all I have to do is write one sentence." Knowing I could do that I would get started writing. The great thing I discovered this month? Once you start you always just keep going! My days with really small word counts were just days where I only had a small amount of time to jot down several paragraphs.

The other inspiration was from Jerry Seinfeld of all people. He's a super productive dude. He takes a calendar and every time he has a day where he wrote jokes he puts a red X on it. Then he marks a red X on the next day and it looks like a chain. Then he says "Don't break the chain." You can read about it in this Lifehacker article.

I think having daily word counts to hit deadlines is a smart awesome thing. For me right now, however, with my family of 6 and full time day job - I will keep writing everyday. No matter how many words I get down, I will write every day. And the words will keep piling up! Thanks for going on this journey with me!