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Decisions, Decisions

I don’t think this could possibly be a secret, but I love to participate in NaNoWriMo. I just really like the challenge of setting myself a big, bold goal and seeing if I can achieve it.

There are three sessions each year (April, July, and November). Normally, I only do one, maybe two, as life allows. Back in January, however, I set a goal to participate in all three sessions and even developed a game plan for each.

April’s session was supposed to be devoted to finishing the first draft of Full Circle. July was supposed to be dedicated to finishing the first draft of the Terrible Romance Sequel. November was supposed to be an opportunity to experiment with a shiny new idea.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, then you may already know how April’s session turned out. I set my goal for 25,000 words because I thought that would be enough to get me to the end of Full Circle.

It was not.

In fact, I wrote 27,000 words, and it still wasn’t enough.

Which has thrown a wrench into my careful planning.

(Something for which I really should have planned, but whatever. It’s all good. I’m not irritated at all. Really. And if you believe that, I have a nice bridge in Brooklyn I can sell you…)

Now the July session of NaNoWriMo is right around the corner, and I am trying to decide (see…the title did have a point!) what I should do. As I see it, I have three options:

  1. Make yet ANOTHER attempt to finish Full Circle

2. Stick to the original plan and attempt to finish Terrible Romance Sequel

3. Run away to join the circus

What’s a writer to do? Let’s look at the pros and cons of each, shall we?

—Make yet ANOTHER attempt to finish Full Circle

Again, if you are a regular reader of this blog, you may already know that I’ve been trying and failing to do this for…well, for a while now. At least a year. Probably more. I thought 2021 might be the year I break through because I thought I was tantalizingly close to reaching the end.

Which I may be. I don’t know. I could be sitting right on top of the damn ending and be just too obtuse or whatever to see it. I don’t know. I can’t stress enough how much I don’t know.

But I desperately want to finish this story. There are three people in my life who want to read this book, and I feel worse and worse every day I can’t make that happen. So, though normally, I would stick this WIP in a drawer and leave it there for a while to give my brain a break, I just can’t bring myself to do that this time.

I want to type THE END on that first draft, if for no other reason than when the manuscript ends up being ignored in a metaphorical drawer, there’s a reason for it besides my failure (If you didn’t know, I let manuscripts rest for at least a month in between drafts).

So once again making Full Circle my project of choice is tempting. It is an undeniable truth that my desire to win NaNoWriMo often helps me power through a story and reach that word count goal. Maybe this session will be the session that allows me to drag myself across the finish line.

But…it is also an undeniable truth that I still don’t seem to know how this damn book is supposed to end. Or how I get the characters from where they are now to whatever that ending ends up being. How would I even decide on my word count goal? This book could need 15,000 more words. or 25,000. Or 50,000. Or more. I don’t know. What if the book is, in fact, unfinishable? (At least in my hands…) What do I do then?

Bottom line: If I make Full Circle my project, am I dooming myself to spend 31 days just staring at a blinking cursor?

—Stick to the original plan and attempt to finish Terrible Romance Sequel

I started this story last November (during NaNoWriMo, of course) and finished with 51,309 words. It didn’t have a beginning or an ending and contained only the smallest amount of plot that could possibly be considered plot.

(You may now be asking yourself, “If there’s no beginning or ending or any real plot, how the hell did you end up with 51,309 words?” And I’ll tell you…I don’t know.)

It’s been sitting in a drawer ever since December 1st. I haven’t looked at it—mostly because of the aforementioned push to finish Full Circle—but also because it doesn’t have a beginning or an ending and only the smallest amount of plot that could possibly be considered plot.

But for all the things I don’t know about this book, the Terrible Romance Sequel does have one thing going for it: It’s not Full Circle. I haven’t been trying and failing to finish it for…well, for a long time now. Maybe a fresh(er) project will produce better results because it will seem far shinier and newer to my dumb brain than its ancient counterpart.

But…the truth remains that I don’t know how to finish this story, either. I honestly don’t know if I can. My dumb brain came up with this concept—which I really do like (or did like, when I looked at it last)—but I am quite fearful that it’s not only unfinishable but also unwritable. (At least in my hands…)

Bottom line: If I make Terrible Romance Sequel my project, am I dooming myself to spend 31 days just staring at a blinking cursor?

—Run away to join the circus

Pro: Doesn’t involve me coming up with endings for any story or possibly ever writing anything ever again.

Con: I don’t actually have any skills that might be useful in a circus setting. Also—and I can’t stress this enough—clowns are f&*k!ng terrifying.

So that’s where I am. I have a decision to make with a deadline of 11:59:59pm on June 30th. I really hope to have it made before then, but as a wise man once said, “What you plan and what takes place ain’t ever exactly been similar.”

We’ll see what happens this time around.

Which option do you think should I take? What do you do when you can’t decide? What do you do when you can’t seem to figure out a story’s ending? Or beginning. Or middle? And, most importantly, what do you think of clowns?

June Goals

As you may have gleaned from the title of today’s post, I’m talking about goals.

First up is a recap of last month’s goals…

—Finish the first draft of Full Circle

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Yeah. I totally did this. Except…no, I didn’t.

Because of course I didn’t.

I wrote some words, deleted a hell of a lot more, but ultimately added just over 2,000 words to the manuscript.

But it still isn’t done.

Because of course it isn’t.

—Figure out May’s marketing attempt and, you know, do it

If you stretch the definition of both ‘marketing’ and ‘attempt’, then I totally did this.

Otherwise…not so much.

—Walk at least three miles a day

This, I did. I logged a total of 111 miles in the month of May, for an average of 3.6 miles per day.

Thanks, puppies!

Now let’s talk about June’s goals.

—Finish the first draft of Full Circle

—Attempt to do some sort of marketing something

—Make a plan for July’s Camp NaNoWriMo session

—Walk at least three miles every day

What are your plans/goals for June?

Short Fiction Challenge

Hello, everyone!

Today, author Patricia Josephine is here to talk about the challenges of writing short fiction. It’s all part of the celebration for her latest release, a collection of—you’ve guessed it—short fiction.

The Challenge of Writing Short Fiction

You may think writing a 200-word story isn’t that challenging, but it couldn’t be farther from the truth. Some writers may actually say it’s harder than writing a full-length novel, and I know a few who don’t write shorter fiction because they can’t wrap their brains around it. Their muse only works in long form.

Writing short fiction is different from a novel. With novels, you have an unlimited number of words you can use to paint a picture for the reader. Short fiction you have restrictions on word count. You may only have 1000 words. You can even have as little as 50. When you have that limit, you are forced to choose more carefully. Your strokes have to be broader instead of going into minute details as you can with a novel.

The way I approach short fiction is similar to my novels. I just start writing. I figure out the story as I go and when I get to the end, I edit. I edit until the story is at the word limit I’ve imposed. That’s done by cutting descriptive words. The sentence doesn’t need the color of someone’s shirt for example. Thoughts the character has might get axed as well. If it doesn’t serve the basic story I want to tell, it can go.

Sometimes that doesn’t always work. Sometimes the story I’m trying to tell needs to be longer. When that happens, I stop worrying about word count and let it end as a novella or novel. I have a zombie apocalypse story I hope to release in the future that I initially intended to be 100 words. It ended at over 10,000!

Writing short fiction is a great exercise. It makes you think about word choices and their importance to the story. I encourage anyone who enjoys writing to give it a shot.

Magic.
Myths.
Fantasy.

We are bewitched by what we can’t see.

Conjure delight with a fantastical collection of tales. Each story is told in exactly 200 words and designed to delight your imagination no matter how busy your day is.

Will you believe?

NOW AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

Patricia Josephine is a writer of Urban Fantasy and Sci-Fi Romance books. She actually never set out to become a writer, and in fact, she was more interested in art and band in high school and college. Her dreams were of becoming an artist like Picasso. On a whim, she wrote down a story bouncing in her head for fun. That was the start of her writing journey, and she hasn’t regretted a moment. When she’s not writing, she’s watching Doctor Who or reading about serial killers. She’s an avid knitter. One can never have too much yarn. She writes Young Adult Paranormal, Science Fiction, and Fantasy under the name Patricia Lynne.

Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo, and has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow.

WEBSITE | PATREON | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | NEWSLETTER GOODREADS | AMAZON | SMASHWORDS | DRAFT 2 DIGITAL

Fun & Funnies (An IWSG Post)

It’s the first Wednesday of the month, which means it’s time for another action-packed installment of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group!

(For more information and/or a complete list of participants, please click on the above link)

This month’s awesome co-hosts are Erika Beebe, PJ Colando, Tonja Drecker, Sadria Stone, and Cathrina Constantine!

This month’s (optional) question asks, “Have any of your readers ever responded to your writing in a way you didn’t expect? If so, did it surprise you?”

Frankly, any time any reader responds in any way to anything I wrote, I’m surprised. Because I am nothing more than a collection of anxiety, neuroses, and a severe lack of self-confidence & esteem stuffed into a trench coat pretending to be an actual person. You think that might be hyperbole, but yeah…it isn’t.

But I don’t want to dwell on that today. I mean, I dwell on that every damn day, but I don’t want to do it in this post. I’m in a mood (not the good kind, either, in case that was unclear) so instead I’m going to share some writing-related funny things that I’ve come across on the inter-webs when I was definitely not procrastinating on other things.

Some may contain naughty words. Consider yourselves warned.

And thanks for stopping by. I’ll try to be in less of a mood next time…

May The Goals Be Completed

Hello, all! It’s the day you have long waited for…Goal Post Day.

But before we get to the main event, we’re going to take a look back at April’s goals.

—Participate in and (if possible) win Camp NaNoWriMo

Well, I did this. I both participated in and won April’s Camp session. My goal was set at 25,000 words because I foolishly believed that might be enough words to get me to the end of my WIP, Full Circle (Book 3 of my fantasy series).

Yeah. It wasn’t.

So I’m not feeling particularly like I actually accomplished anything here, but I did technically complete the goal.

—Figure out April’s monthly marketing attempt and, you know, do it

I think I did this. I don’t know if it exactly counts as marketing, but I asked my social media followers to choose a number corresponding to pages in my current WIP (Full Circle), then shared snippets of the scenes on the chosen pages.

Thank you to everyone who helped me out with this experiment, by the way. It’s much appreciated.

—Read a book

I’m not sure, but I think I may have read two. Look at me go!

Walk at least three miles every day

I slacked off a couple of days, especially toward the end of the month, but my daily average is still decent. I logged nearly 122 miles in April, for an average of just over 4 miles per day.

Now for something completely different…May’s goals!

Sure, they may look pretty much identical to April’s goals, but that’s only because I am really not great at actually completing projects.

—Finish the first draft of Full Circle

Because it STILL isn’t done. And I’m super happy about that. (Narrator: She was, in fact, NOT happy about that.)

—Figure out May’s marketing attempt and, you know, do it

Anyone want to do this one for me? I’m just so tired. And also, I really hate marketing in any form.

—Walk at least three miles a day

Because everything else about my lifestyle is incredibly unhealthy.

How about you? Do you have any goals for the merry month of May?

Thanks for stopping by, all! Stay safe and well!