Writing 365,000 Words in a Year Update #24

If you’re caught up on my blog then you know that I spent this past weekend at a writing retreat. I had all sorts of dreams about pounding out 30,000 words in one weekend. But what actually happened was that I finished about 10% of that goal, and spent a lot of time workshopping, rewriting, and reading Jane Eyre instead. But the retreat location was perfect: quiet, remote, and with no real distractions (though they did still have wifi). Below are a couple of pictures from the location, including a gorgeous sunset (which was one of the few distractions, good thing it was short lived!)

Where I’ve been struggling with my writing goals is TIME. I haven’t been setting aside the approximate 30 minutes a day to get my 1,000 words done. I keep telling myself that I’ll have “a big weekend” and get back on target, and then it doesn’t happen. The thing about writing on the weekend is that there is always something better to do be doing, whether that’s hanging out with friends or family, going to the farmer’s market, jogging, or checking out a new movie or season on Netflix. Since September, I’ve noticed that I write more on the weekdays, the same days that I do my day job, and it’s because there is less distraction. While I spent 8 hours in my office, once that’s done I often come home, which leaves me with a lot of time to get my word count in. On the weekends I often go out, leaving me with too much distraction and too little focus. I guess I’ll have to spend the next few months improving this habit. Below is a look at my word counts since May 1st.

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I have to admit that this week I’ve also been distracted by my KindleScout campaign for Under Jupiter. If you haven’t had the time to nominate the book, that’s alright. But please head over and click the big blue button sometime before May 29th. You will get my eternal thanks, a shot at getting a free copy, and let’s be honest, each book I eventually sell goes a long way toward keeping this blog running!

Under Jupiter by J.E. Hunter INSTAGRAM TEASER

Now that I’ve finished Under Jupiter, my 365,000 word writing goal has turned to focus on two of the other projects that were on my initial list of five: Half-Moon Blood, which is something I’m writing for WattPad, and MF (which still goes by a code name), a stand-alone epic fantasy.

How’s your word count going?

JEH

Preparing for NaNoWriMo Step #2

So I was supposed to post about how to prepare for NaNoWriMo a couple days ago, which leads me to step #2: DO NOT GET SICK! Okay, you can’t help this. I couldn’t help this. But I’ve spent the past couple days curled up in bed feeling close to death (why does being sick always feel like that?), and getting pretty much nothing done in regards to the approach of November 1st EXCEPT, that I’ve actually been able to do a lot of thinking. So really, maybe step #2 should be THINK. Play around with your story in your mind. Whatever you write prior to November 1st doesn’t count towards the end goal of 50,000 words, but it does help sort out where you what your stories to go, and where you want your characters to go.

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Personally, I believe that whatever story you tell, character is the most important part. No one will care about flying dragons, dark cafes, or restaurants with blue tables unless you have a character your readers can relate to and want to hang out with with. More importantly, that YOU want to hang out with. I mean, you’re going to be spending the next 30 days with this person/animal/thing. Whatever your character, make sure it’s a good one. Get to know him/her/it. Ask your character questions. What do they eat? Where do they sleep? HOW do they sleep?

More importantly:

  1. What songs do they sing in the shower (or do they want to shoot all people who sing in the shower)?
  2. How do they feel about Christmas?
  3. What is their best memory of Halloween ever?
  4. How does your character react when they smell vomit?
  5. If your character suddenly inherited a private island or a small kingdom, what kind of ruler would they be?
  6. Who does your character call when sick?
  7. How does your character feel about Trump?
  8. How does character feel history?
  9. If you were sit down and have lunch with your character, what would be the first thing they want to talk to you about?
  10. What kind of blankets does your character sleep with? Hard mattress or soft?

Take the time to get to know the one you’ll be spending time with for the next month. You won’t regret it. The more questions you ask your character prior to writing your story means the more enriching details you will have to carry the plot.

JEH