Inspiring You Challange – The Final Day

If you’ve tried to reach me and landed at Go.Daddy.com, please forgive, I’m trying to make some changes here… I should know not to start any remodeling until after the guests leave…

Today is the last day of the challenge, so everyone who participated, please confirm were you are with your goal…

My challenge was to start a new book. Goal Accomplished. Never mind that Chapter One looks horrendous. A lot of revisions needed her.  My challenge also included to have the rough draft completed by October 31st.
Ouch! Goal Not Met.

I did learn that I did not have a good enough handle on my characters. I also had not done enough research on the issues I plan to address through these characters. It seems I wanted to write about people I didn’t know all that well. Back to the drawing board….

Here are some of your stated Challenges:

~Dianna – wanted to get through revisions on her completed book as much as possible.
~Lindi – wanted to write 1,000 words a day.
~Rebecca – wanted to have 50,000 words of new text written by today.
~Mindy – wanted to have 12, 000 words written for the month.
~Cindy – wanted to have 45,000 words written by the end of the month. (I think Cindy met her goal!!!)
~Eva – is currently working on revisions to a completed book.
~Sherrie – was working to mail out a proposal and looking to begin a new book.

Check In time ladies… How have you done?  If you accomplished your goal, a gift card will be awarded to you, for thanks in helping me remain accountable. For those of us who have not reached our goal, never fear, in Scarlett O’Hara’s words, “Tomorrow is another day…” 

I am going to continue to post progress on my blog as much as possible. I invite you to return and keep me updated on your own progress. Thanks to all who have participated!

Inspiring You: Days 20, 21, 22

Hi All!  We’ve already had one person meet their goal, so I know she will be getting a gift card from me for participating! How about the rest of you. Dianna and I haven’t done so great, but I think part of this challenge is remaining accountable no matter the progress. This is something I need help with because I am the queen of deciding not to follow through with a goal.

Maybe writing is such a passion, I’ll learn to change my ways through this avenue.


CHECK IN TIME:
Nothing more written since I checked in with you all on Sunday. Last night, Author Amy Wallace, spoke at our local chapter meeting (ACFW’s WORD). I was certainly inspired by her discussion on story structure, character voice, and character lies.

I had never thought about my character in this manner. Do you know what I mean? Is your character believing a lie about themselves? You may be wondering, what is a lie?

Your character may believe, “I’m helpless,” yet they find themselves in a situation where they must fight their way out, or fight to save someone else. Think about your character for a moment. If he/she were in this life threatening situation, but in their mind they believed “I’m helpless” how would that affect how they approach the situation? They can’t avoid the situation – They have to face this life-threatening event – Imagine how their inner “lie” about their self will up the stakes, up the conflict and trigger a tougher motivation for them. Imagine how sweet the resolution could be if they are able to face the “lie” and even overcome it.

Is this approach to thinking of your character’s situation new to you or is this something you are already doing? If my past characters had any lies about themselves, I don’t think I approached it in this manner. It has put a new spin on my characters and I’m rethinking my current story. I hope this was the spark I needed to dig in deep to this new story. Now, it’s your turn…

Inspiring You Days 17, 18, 19

Checking In late…

Writing Done on Friday – Day 17 of this challenge – ZIP, ZILCH, NADA… but I did clean the house… and usually I become creative while cleaning… Not so today.

Writing Done on Saturday – Day 18 of challenge – ZIP

… however, I did make a really tasty banana pudding. I’ve posted the resume on FAITH, where I blogged today.

… and this brings us to Writing Done on Sunday – Day 19 of challenge – ZIP… and I can’t count the words for the FAITH blog post, dog-gone it!

I’m so excited to read the comments of how far everyone has come! Keep it up, obviously I need a little inspiration…

Inspiring You Days 15 & 16

Yesterday I woke up and wrote. I tweaked what I’d started on my first chapters and had to cringe at how bad the writing was. Thank the Lord for revisions!

This morning I woke up and made a layered dip for the food day we’re having at work. It felt strange getting up and heading to the kitchen to make something edible, beyond coffee. Then, on to the story…

But I’m having issues with this WIP. I love the story, of course. It’s just I haven’t been able to get a good handle on it yet. I also reworked my GMC chart yesterday. I can feel a tug where the story is concerned. A tug to move forward but also a tug in the other direction. When I feel this way, I do tend to go back to the GMC Chart to see if my goals and motivations are strong enough and if they work with the conflict.

On a positive note, hop on over to the FAITH Blog, where Missy Tippens is talking about dreams. She’s also giving away a $10 Amazon gift card. Leave a comment to put your name in the hat AND tell her about what your dream is.

My current word count is 4,615. Not much improvement, but I am plugging forward. We have 10 days left in our challenge. Some of you are really close to achieving your stated goal. I can’t wait to relinquish prizes to those who have met the goal they stated when we started this challenge.

Okay, check in time, how are you doing?

Inspiring You – Day 14

What’s In A Name?

A lot, as far as I’m concerned. You see, I’d come to almost the end of plotting my story, but there were a couple of main characters that I had not named yet.  I really wanted to begin Chapter 1, but I could not let myself take that step without completing the final steps of the story. 

I love baby name books. I discovered these books long before I became a mom. These books give you the first name, the name’s origin and its meaning. For me, the meaning of a name matters. Sometimes, the meaning doesn’t make sense in relation  to my character.

For my current book, I have a villain. I tried to think of all the names that I wasn’t fond of, but when I’d think of a name, I’d think of someone in the world I’d heard of that had done something good. Well, that crossed out the use of that particular name. I searched the baby name book and found the first name Holt. Its meaning is “wood.”

When I think of “wood” I think of someone trying to drive an axe through it. I think: sturdy. Tough. There are many good things I associate with wood, but for this story, I needed this character to have been around for a long time, to have always been tough and for my hero to become very angry with the character of Holt. Who knows, I may have a scene where my hero is driving an axe through a log of wood. No one would understand that underlying meaning except me, and those of you reading this post. Hmmm… sounds like a possible scene.

What about you… Do you put a lot of thought into choosing a name for your character? What tools do you use?  Perhaps if you give me the name of one of your characters I can bring you their meaning in the comments section of this post.

p.s…. My current word count is 4,302!  I’m excited that I accomplished more during lunch yesterday and wrote more again this morning. Thank you to all of you for keeping me accountable!

Inspiring You, Days 11-13

It was a very busy weekend. Another six day work week for me pushed aside my desire for getting any writing done and housework. I am seeking better ways to accomplish my goals both for writing and for household/family issues.

My report for this weekend is an increase from 3,119 words to 3,657 words. I wrote some of those during church… just jotting down quick notes about the story while jotting down scriptures and listening to the sermon. I feel bad admitting that… and I promise, I did hear the message. I suppose when I am able to be still and sit quietly, that is when my thoughts can increase and become productive. Another plus of the church service was that we sang The Solid Rock. Within that hymn is the potential title of my book, Sinking Sand… Love that hymn although it is not the easiest to sing with all of its change in tempo.

Anyway, I’m so excited for all of you who wrote so much this weekend. Keep it up!

What’s your current report?

Inspiring You – Days 9 & 10

It’s been a busy week…

Hubby has been away on a fishing trip he claims is a lot of work. Yeah, right….

Hon, you are fishing, something you love to do. It may be a lot of work, but it isn’t work.

I’ve been doing a lot of work, at work, and managing to do some laundry here and there while somehow managing to get the kids bathed, homework done and gulping down coffee at certain intervals of the day to keep myself going…

Have I done any more writing?

NO!

And this has got to stop!!!

No proposals or contest entries have been mailed out.

I do not like all work and housework days with no writing involved.

This week, I plan to turn over a new leaf. I must rise early. I must stop emails/blogging/facebook/twittering at a certain time so that my time can be put to good use. No more wasted days. No more feeling sorry for myself that not only did I get a rejection from writing this week but also one at my place of business.

I refuse to put my head down.

The chin will remain up and I will continue onward.

Rejection is simply God’s redirection and His plan is a whole lot better than mine.

So here are my stated goals for this week:  1) Mail off the proposal to the Agent who requested it from this year’s conference.  2) Finish the synopsis/story draft for this book (I’m not writing chapters, I’m trying to outline the book from start to finish… should be doable).  3)Possibly mail off the Golden Heart Entry.
4) Possibly apply for PRO with RWA.

My possible goals may not be accomplished this week. Items 1 and 2 are most important.

What about you? Where are you and what are your goals for this upcoming week.  Let’s make Saturday our new week…

Inspiring You Day 8

Today I received a rejection letter in response to one of the manuscripts I submitted. I must say, receiving this agent’s kind, “No, thank you,” to the project was an easier pill to swallow than the ones I used to get when I was simply mailing out blind queries. On those query letters I would describe my book and offer it to the agent or editor I was targeting. The responses I received on quite a few were simply form rejection letters. However, I will never forget that one agent simply wrote his/her response on my letter and mailed it back saying the story was “too contrived, melodramatic. I’ll pass.”

A good way to view that rejection is that the agent was already trying to conserve paper and figured he/she wouldn’t waste a tree on something she could say in a few words on my recycled letter. That was about 10 years ago. That person was way ahead of his/her time.

With this current rejection and the one from the past, I know that God has a plan for my projects and that He will find the perfect person to represent my work when the time is right.

And, with that said, I will continue to pursue requests and continue to work on new stories.

I also wanted to add, that when I was mailing the queries, I never felt that path was a secure path to offer my work to an agent or editor. Only years later when I joined writer’s organizations did I find a more organized way to network in this field and learn more about the craft as well as marketing me and the book. I am still working on all of this, of course, and have no certain answers, but at least, I am making contacts, good contacts, that will certainly last through my career.

If you are still sending out queries by following a Literary guide or gathering names out of Writer’s Digest of the agents that are accepting new clients, I would say to continue doing this. Nicholas Sparks says his success started by a query of his getting pulled from the slush pile. If it happened to him, it can happen for you. But I would also recommend joining local writers organizations… finding a group that writes what you like to write… and begin to participate in their activities and volunteer. If you are serious about pursuing publication, this is the best advice I can give you that I have experienced first hand.

Earlier, I mentioned working on a new story. Well, today was another unproductive day. I think my new challenge is helping me be accountable and post my progress, one word at a time.

So, what’s new in your writing world?

Inspiring You – Day 6

Oh, Monday, Monday, Monday…

It was a good Monday, overall, but not a good Monday for writing on the manuscript. I managed to squeeze in less than an hour before work, but no work was done on it outside of my thoughts for the rest of the day.

My combined word count for this draft, including a GMC chart is 3,119 words. I’m impressed that I have that much and must have written more this weekend than I realized.

We have some who have started new stories and some who are revising existing stories. Some of you we have not heard from, but I know you are with us in spirit!  The key is to keep your head up and keep moving forward no matter where you are in the process of writing.

If you all will remember, just a few short months ago, I was pushing hard to finish a manuscript I’d worked on far too long. It was hard work and I had many road blocks, but each road block helped me reach my final destination.  My ultimate goal was to finally submit it to a publishing house that had requested it a year or so before.

Don’t despair if you have reached a huge wall and are unable to write. If you are blocked in a scene, try to go back from the beginning and read your story, for enjoyment. Mark places you are bored or that you feel you are trying to skip over. This will indicate the place where your pacing is off. Call your friends and talk out the story.

Sometimes, though, you need a break from it. Take that break and enjoy the life around you. The story will be there when you return. It will be published all in God’s time. He may have planned this break just for you.

Where are you in your writing journey today. If you’re frustrated or tired, bring those forth. We’re here to support you and move you through the valley.

Look, just ahead! Look at the promises waiting for you on the horizon!

Don’t give up!