Thursday, March 13, 2014

March Madness Check-In Day 13 #WIPMadness

We're almost halfway, folks! If you haven't yet started your goals, or even set your goals for the month IT'S NOT TOO LATE! Stop by our goal-setting post and then check in each day for the rest of the month. You'll love the camaraderie and support, I promise!

For the rest of you, the halfway point is a great time to reevaluate your goals, so sometime in the next couple of days, I encourage you to step back and look at the overall progress you've been making.

Are you as far along as you thought you'd be by the halfway point?

How much of your initial goals still remain undone? Do you need to redivide the work over the next half-month to ensure you'll finish it all before months' end?

When we get our heads down and focused on our goals, we can certainly make great progress, but I think it's helpful as well to take a step back once in a while and look at the big picture. Are you spending too much time on small details and not getting enough forward momentum with your manuscript? Or are you rushing ahead and forgetting to include all the nuances you're seeing in your head?

The same goes for the actual structure of the writing. When we're focused on fixing sentences and paragraphs and scenes, sometimes it can be difficult to remember the premise of our novel or the theme. It's good to step back once in a while (not too often) and assess where we're at in the big picture and how we're delivering that big picture to readers.

So I'd love to hear about where you're at with your daily tasks, as well as where you're at in the big picture of your projects. Do you find you tend to focus on the little details too much, like me, or do you tend to take too many steps back too often during a month-long writing goal?

I have another prize to give away, but I've noticed there have been a couple of people along the way who have not picked up their prizes. If you'd like to take home one of the awesome prizes being offered, make sure to keep an eye on ALL of the check-ins this month (and it's not too late - if your name has been announced, go back and find it and let me know and you can still happily get your prize).

As for today's prize winner...congratulations to...

Stacy!

Stop by the goal-setting post and choose from the remaining prizes. Then email me at d(at)denisejaden(dot)com with your choice and we'll get it out to you as soon as possible. Congratulations! Still lots of prizes to be won, so don't forget to check in with us daily...

35 comments:

  1. Big picture, I'm not even half way yet through my me. But I'm happy with the one chapter at the time progress. :)

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    1. I'm so glad to hear you're happy with your progress! Keep at it. If I could make one suggestion...for the rest of the month, try starting your next chapter each day as well. Just write a paragraph or two, but it'll give you forward momentum for the next time you sit down, rather than just starting at the blank page of the top of a chapter. Just a suggestion. If what you're doing is working, feel free to ignore me :)

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  2. I'm doing a lot of writing in my head, thinking of details or turns I need to consider. But I'm also re-polishing a ms and worked out another 3 chapters yesterday. YAY. If nothing else, I'm hoping to send this baby out by the end of the month. In the meantime, the WIP is still churning in different chambers of my brain all the time...

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    1. Awesome Mary Ann! I look forward to hearing of this book going out by month's end, and yes, that pre-writing thinking is an important part of the process too. Make some notes so you don't forget anything!

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  3. I am happy I set a goal for this month because it has motivated me to work on this MS. I know for a fact I wouldn't be revising 10 pages a day if I hadn't. I'm a smidge behind, but I know I'll catch up by the end of the month. Truly a crazy month for me, but moving forward. Hope the same is true for everyone else. ^+^

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    1. *I know I'll catch up by the end of the month* - atta girl, Angelina! Love your positivity and I also have no doubt you will make your goal. I love seeing you writing/revising regularly again. It's good for the soul (It's the publishing end of things that isn't...)

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  4. I mistakenly assumed my 2nd half revisions would go quickly. But I've had to add some new scenes and rearrange some old ones. So I'm not exactly where I thought I'd be halfway through the month, but I'm definitely happy about where I am. I still think I'll finish by the end of the month, which is what I originally planned.

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    1. Ah, yes, I hear you, Jennifer! I have been in that situation many times. It can feel disheartening, but at the same time, it's great that you are discovering these things now, rather than having to launch into another revision after this to fix them. I look forward to hearing of your success by the end of the month!

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  5. I'm coming back to a manuscript I set aside more than a year ago that just wasn't working, so I definitely have better perspective now on WHY it wasn't working. I was trying to get too complicated, as in 'too much gingerbread on the house will tip it over' complicated. I decided to just tell my story my way, and things are clicking into place now. Plus, I am really enjoying the writing. Be yourself in all things, is the lesson here! I am even a bit ahead of my goal for the month (must be because I am having such fun). Thanks for the encouragement, Denise!

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    1. Love your gingerbread analogy, Trudi! So glad to hear you're ahead of your goal, and more so that you are HAVING FUN! So awesome to have you along with us...

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  6. Well, I finished my goal of getting a proposal out to my agent. The next goal of writing 50 pages for my WIP draft is going to be a much bigger challenge since I'm such a slow writer. That's why I need March Madness.

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    1. Congrats on already meeting your first goal, Jeanne! That's wonderful, and I have no doubt you will meet the other one too.

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  7. I focus a lot on the little details.

    My goals have shifted, at least in that what I'm working on has also shifted. I dunno, maybe I shouldn't have taken time to read when my goals are writing related, but there's this great book called FAST FICTION that's given me some ideas and inspiration ... ;)

    At any rate, I've started plotting the novel that has sat with me for a few years because it finally feels like now is the right time to start writing it. So that's where I am, even if it means I don't quite make my original goals. I feel good about it.

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    1. I'm so glad to hear FAST FICTION is inspiring you, Laura, and that a project that has been brewing is finally coming to fruition! That must feel great, even if it isn't your original goal.

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  8. I've been pleased with my overall progress for the month so far. I did divert some in the past few days and started microfocusing on some scenes, but I feel like I need to. So my forward progress is sort of at a stand still, but I think I can still make my complete pass by the end of March (which was my original goal). Key words being, I think! Time will tell.

    So enjoying all the support and encouragement this month. The #Wipmadness challenge keeps me motivated. Thanks to all the hosts and most of all, Denise for organizing the whole thing.

    Write on, Wipsters. :-)

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    1. Aw, so glad you're here with us, Candilynn. I know this year has not been easy for you, but I'm glad to see you pushing through on some writing goals. As I said to Angelina, I think it's good for the soul.

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  9. So true on remembering the big picture. My biggest problem has to be going back and editing. I end up not really going anywhere. I did read through the whole story and it really helped to write a paragraph on what my story was about so I could see why I wasn't going anywhere. I'm discovering that this story is going more toward New Adult and not so much YA? I'm just going to go with my vision and not get hung up with whether or not it'll fit with other YAs out there.

    Thanks for the encouragement and checking in. That's really been motivating me to continue on!

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    1. I totally agree, Kim. On early drafts, I think it's important to just let the story be what it wants to be. Figure out where it will fit later. I know it can be tempting to try to work those things out ahead of time, but I just don't think we have the proper perspective before we have the full story arc down. Just my opinion, I know others work differently. Anyway, glad you are pushing through regardless, and so glad you are here with us!

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  10. I think I'm right where I should be. Each day I worry I won't make my goal, but each day I do. It's surprising, actually. And I'm just now getting started for the day, so I'd better get to it!

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    1. Yay for being on track, Stacy! And congratulations

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  11. A lot of moving and shaking on my end.

    Well, it's mostly just moving, and not of the literary kind.

    The major furniture is getting moved on Saturday, but this staggered move--once thought of as a good idea--has turned out to be a prolonged packing procrastination party. Yes, the four Ps of doom in moving parlance.

    To think that it'll be over by Saturday night is laughable. We still have all the UNpacking to do.

    All this while, you know, life still rolls on. I've got exams, assignments, deadlines. I refuse to cry! LOL

    I still have the rest of March to forge ahead. Though the progress has been slower than desired, it's still progress.

    I'm taking the nice weather as a sign of good things ahead.

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    1. Aw, so sorry the move has been so stressful, Tonette! But, yes, yay for good weather. That helps with all things, including attitude. Hope it all goes as seamlessly as possible on Saturday...

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  12. I'm making good progress, though I do have to tweak my goals given that I switched which novel I am working on...drafting goals instead of revising goals. The short story goal is on track...done actually and I am reading it at the Surrey City Central library tonight as part of the new Southbank Writers Reading series. :-)

    Katherine

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    1. Congrats on the short story, Katherine! All the best with your reading (I'm sure you'll do awesome!)

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  13. Sometimes I focus too much on little things while I'm writing, but I'm getting better at leaving them until their due time. As for my March goals, I'm much happier and headed in the right direction after taking time to step back and assess why I was stalled. :)

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    1. So glad to hear that, Shari! I look forward to hearing about your progress over the next 16 days!

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  14. I'm actually doing a lot better than I thought I would by this time in the month. The end of this WIP is so close I can smell it (it smells like freedom and celebratory wine), and then i just want to clean up a short story for the rest of the month, while I'm letting draft 1 stew.

    I have been really fixated on just getting to the end of this draft, sometimes to the detriment of the individual scene/chapter, even though i KNOW it will just make for more work during the second draft.I've been making notes as I go for things that are going to need to be seriously addressed in draft 2, but as I've gotten closer to the end my scenes have definitely gotten looser and info-dumpier. It's a trap I will try not to let myself fall into during these last couple chapters!

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    1. Well, the nice thing is, if you're ahead of schedule and you already know one of the main problems, perhaps you can fix that too by the end of March! Congrats on your progress!!

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  15. Great post, thanks Denise. Yes, I think I have become a small detail person these last couple of days. Time to step and look at big picture.

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    1. Hope that goes well for you, Deb. Look forward to hearing more.

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  16. I am working mainly on blog posts this month and I am fitting in some time for my novel. Your book, Fast Fiction is very helpful as it helps focus my plan for the book.

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    1. So glad to hear that, Linda! All the best with finding a little extra time than you expect for your novel.

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  17. Just coming up for a mid-hour breath of air as I do a last bit of writing tonight. Yay, Stacy!! Congratulations!

    Denise, those nuances in my head you mention often don't make it onto the page until at least the first revision (and sometimes not at all), so your reminder to stop and evaluate is a good suggestion for me.

    I'm into my third chapter, but it doesn't seem like I've made much progress over the past few days. Still plodding forward, anyway, so I guess that's a good thing. But I can't believe tomorrow is Friday again! :)

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  18. P.S. While my aunt and BFF haven't been checking in themselves, I'm pleased to see both Norma McGuire (http://nonigrace.wordpress.com/) and Elderfox (http://elderfox.wordpress.com/) have been meeting their MM blogging goals. They're putting me to shame! ;)

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    1. That's awesome to hear, Carol! And I'm so glad taking a step back was a good thing for you. Wishing you plenty of recharged internal batteries for the rest of the month!

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