2020 Goal Update

Mariajauthor/ March 16, 2020/ Author Journey/ 0 comments

Hi everyone! Hope all of you are well and none of you have come down with the dreaded coronavirus. I thought it would be a good time to update you with my writing goals so far this year, especially now one of those goals has been met.

Last Tuesday, I finally finished my first series of edits on my third historical fiction novel, following ‘The Boy from the Snow’ and ‘The Veiled Wolf’. I actually finished writing the first draft of this mid-March last year, but I didn’t start editing properly until May (I took April 2019 out to do Camp Nano).

I also did Camp Nano in July and NaNoWrimo in November last year, and time off in the summer and over Crhistmas, so all in all it’s taken me 8-9 months to finish this round of editing.

It certainly took more time to re-tweak things than I originally anticipated! I have a tendency to ‘overwrite’ and I know I can repeat myself, e.g. Daniel reflects on something on one page and he then might think about almost the same thing on the next page. I also changed the timescale of the book quite a bit. Somewhere around the middle of the book Daniel has to go on a journey and in my first draft Daniel is away for a couple of months, but during the editing I made the decision that the journey would actually only last a week.

As you can imagine, it then took quite a bit of work to make everything else consistent e.g. a character saying she hadn’t seen Daniel for a month – and there’s a scene I had to chop where Daniel was going to get his haircut because it had grown so long while he was away (pardon the pun).

It’s quite a relief to finally have it done, as back in January I wasn’t sure if I’d ever finished it. I had a bit of a stumbling block with a couple of chapters that were in between two very big turning points of the book, so they seemed quite stale in between. To be honest I’m probably not yet entirely happy with them, but I decided to leave them as they are for the time being. I’m going to set aside the third novel for at least a month, maybe more, so I can get back to it with fresh eyes.

You might well be wondering what I’m planning on doing in the meantime! April is just around the corner and I’m pretty sure I will do Camp NaNoWriMo again, a more flexible version of the main Nano event in November. Whereas in November everyone is encouraged to start a brand-new project and work towards the same goal of 50K words in a month, in Camp Nano people can set whatever goal they choose, whether it’s words or pages written, or even tracking the hours they spend writing. Participants can also choose to work on an existing project, rather than starting from scratch.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t massively love the project I was working on for Nano last November. I sort of fell out of love with it, but it was a good experience in trying to keep disciplined for a project I was no longer as passionate about.

However, I am looking forward to this project! It’s a mystery thriller I’ve mostly been writing in my notebook. I actually did write some of it during last November’s Nano that I did count towards the goal, as it was still new words I wrote on a new project during November.

My goal for Camp Nano then is to type up the pages I’ve written in my notebook, then see if I can carry on with it and even finish a first draft. I think I’ll set the word count goal at 20-30k, depending on how ambitious I’m feeling. For the next couple of weeks I’ll be plotting the rest of the story (one of the main reasons I struggled with last November’s Nano was I didn’t outline enough, so hoping I won’t make that mistake this time) so I’m ready for Camp Nano to begin.

My husband also suggested I could try to write a short story during this time, if I finish nano prep with lots of March left to go. He thought I should try horror as that’s a genre I haven’t really tried yet. Already my mind has been buzzing a bit with ideas for that, too, so who knows where that might take me!

Hope you all keep well,

Till next time,


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