Writing Goals

Goals ConceptIt’s important to set goals for writing a book; otherwise, it can be an overwhelming process. I get overwhelmed easily so it’s beneficial for me to break my goals down into obtainable parts. This is why I write all my dialogue first and then go back to incorporate dialogue tags, narration, and if need be, more dialogue. I’m at this point right now. My scenes (chapters) are written, but they are getting fleshed out with these things during the next few months.

When people find out that I’m writing a book they want to know how many pages I have written so far. Well, I can’t really give a true account of this because I don’t write from beginning to end, not even when I’m writing all the dialogue first. I can only answer how many pages of dialogue I currently have written. With that being said, I roughly have 50 pages. It may not seem like a lot but considering that I’m aiming for my book to be between 180-200 pages, I believe that I’m right on track. My idea is to have 20 chapters that are 8-10 pages per chapter. I think that is reasonable. Breaking it down like this provide me mini-goals to keep me on target.

A book has a beginning and an end. How it gets written is up to the writer, as long as it gets written…and that starts with setting goals.

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Getting to…The End

The EndI’m excited to say that I have all my scenes written for my book, Reconciled. I’ll be spending the next few months transitioning them to one another and then editing. My story is developing into a book and soon I’ll be publishing!

This book will actually be the first one in a series. I’m not sure how many books in the series there will be, but I intend to start working on the next one in early 2018 after publication of Reconciled. It will be called, Unleashed.

The feeling of being close to finishing is phenomenal. It’s been a long journey and at times it seemed like I couldn’t see the end. However, little by little I have persevered and pressed on. I’m really going to be a published author! I won’t celebrate just yet…not until I’m truly at The End.

Who Am I Writing For?

Question marksI ultimately write for myself. That’s the reality of it. I also would like to think that others find what I write interesting. I’m writing my first book and my target audience are those who generally read urban fantasy books. However, the thought does cross my mind: Are people going to like what I publish? I think many writers get so caught up in whether they think their target audience will like what they write that they don’t get anything written, or they get stuck in the never ending cycle of revision. I’m trying not to fall into that, but it has got me thinking lately since I’m nearing the end of writing my book. As writers, we aspire to get something published to where we become authors. That is the goal. It doesn’t stop there, though. We want to get something published that others want to read. The only advice I can give (and take myself) is to write a story you want to read. No doubt there will be others out there who will want to read it, too.

Moving ~ Thinking ~ Writing

YogaDanceBeachMy writing involves movement. I think in a dance step, a yoga pose, or a tai chi move. These modes of movement help provide clarity of thought when I write. Some people can just sit and write, but I find it hard if I can’t get up and move around.

I have practiced lyrical dance most of my life, started yoga about ten years ago, and recently discovered tai chi within the last year. I incorporate all of these in my life so, it is quite natural for me to include them while I’m writing. The meditative nature of lyrical dance, yoga, and tai chi is what enables me to think and tap into my creativity from the flow of movement joined with holding a finished step, pose, or move.

Exercise while learning and studying has proven to be beneficial so, it only makes sense that it can be that way for writing, too. It’s amazing how more focused I get from exercising while I write!

 

 

 

Let the Music Play

MusicMusic moves us in a lot of ways. For me, music helps me write. Just as many have playlists for when they exercise, I have a playlist for when I’m writing. It changes over time and is largely influenced by the content I’m writing about. Certain songs trigger me into a writing mode, much like muscle memory in exercising.

I listen to Contemporary Christian music and lately, I’ve attributed most of the writing I’m getting done on my novel by Rend Collective, a Northern Irish Christian band. Their music is presently moving my pen, which I find both inspirational and enlightening.

Rend-Collective

I love all their songs, but these are the top ten that I listen to the most:

“Build Your Kingdom Here” – Campfire (2013)

“My Lighthouse” – Campfire II: Simplicity (2016)/The Art of Celebration (2014)

“Every Giant Will Fall” – Campfire II: Simplicity (2016)/As Family We Go (2015)

“More Than Conquerors” – The Art of Celebration (2014)

“Boldly I Approach” – Campfire II: Simplicity (2016)/The Art of Celebration (2014)

“Strength of My Heart” – Campfire II: Simplicity (2016)/The Art of Celebration (2014)

“All That I Am” – The Art of Celebration (2014)

“Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)” – Campfire II: Simplicity (2016)

“10,000 Reasons” – Campfire II: Simplicity (2016)/Campfire (2013)

“Joy of the Lord” – Campfire II: Simplicity (2016)/As Family We Go (2015)

Ultimately, music has a way of motivating and inspiring me. It helps to organize my thoughts and ideas into something that I am proud to put on paper. And, it will continue to be an important part in my writing process.

Discover Scrivener

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I recently discovered Scrivener, which is a software program by Literature and Latte that offers a complete writing studio at your fingertips. With Scrivener, outlining and structuring my book has been extremely helpful. I can organize and manage information pertaining to characters, setting, dialogue, chapters, etc.

The corkboard in Scrivener is one of my favorite features. Instead of having a wall full of post-it notes or a pile of notecards, I’m able to pin pictures or ideas on the corkboard for reference. It’s a handy visual resource.

This software program has everything to help you write and even self-publish! That is something that stood out to me since I plan to self-publish my book and submit it as an eBook.

Scrivener is a useful tool for any written endeavor. Learn more and purchase from Literature and Latte.

Literature and Latte – Scrivener

Rituals of Writing / Writing Process

Pen & PaperIn writing, there are certain things that get the creative juices flowing; rituals of writing that help the writing process. It is different for everyone and to find what works for you can take time. Some people can hang out in coffee shops and write to no end. That is not me. I need solitude; no people. I listen to music for inspiration, practicing lyrical dance or yoga to get my mind thinking. Having a glass of wine helps, too. Picking a day or time of day to write is essential. A writer must write and write often. I write weekly, usually in the evenings on most days. Establish your own rituals of writing and then begin the writing process.

Writing can be challenging. To avoid staring at a blank sheet of paper, I create an outline to help me organize my thoughts. I first make a skeleton outline that consist of a few words or phrases. Then, I go back to add more description. Next, I am ready to start writing. I don’t write at the beginning of a story and continue to the end. I don’t even write from the middle or start at the end and work my way back to the beginning. I write in parts; scenes. I also write all my dialogue first and then go from scene to scene adding narration. Finally, I piece it all together with transitional writing so my story flows. Somehow, this works for me and quite honestly, I get a lot more written this way.

An important thing to keep in mind while you are writing is to write without stopping. In the past, I found myself stopping and proofreading. That was the editor in me. However, editing should be reserved to the very end. Period. If you continually stop and proofread, you will never finish. Remember that all writers rewrite. It’s a given. So, get out there and write!