Sunday, 24 January 2016

WRITERS WEEKENDS: 2015 RECAP AND 2016 GOALS

Hi everyone,

Long time no see! I've been really busy with school recently, which is why this post is going up near the end of January instead of at the very start of the year when it was supposed to. Luckily my mock exams are over now, and I finally have time to get this post written. Yay!

2015:
2015 was a huge year for me, writing-wise. It was the first time that I really took my writing seriously and actually committed to a project with my whole heart, and I am SO happy with what came out of it. This time last year, my only writing goal for the year was to write the first draft of my first novel, and I thought even that was far too ambitious. After all, I'd never written more than 15,000 words of a single story before. Here's what I managed to write in 2015...
  • BURNERS, draft 1 - 106,000 words, 1st Jan- 3rd April   Burners was my first ever full novel (woo!), and I spent the first few months of the year writing the first draft of it. It is ridiculously bad and messy and I would probably die of embarrassment if anybody read it, but I honestly don't care about that. I did it! I wrote a whole novel! Over 100,000 words! I felt like a champion, and I wasn't planning on stopping writing any time soon...
  • A BUNCH OF SHORT STORIES, April and May   After four months of pretty intense writing, I decided to take a break from my novel and focus on writing some short stories and poems for a while. I didn't write anything notable, but it was great to have some time where I wasn't concentrating on a particular project and I could just let my imagination flow.
  • BURNERS, draft 2  - 98,000 words, May-September   At the end of May I decided it was time to return to the world of Burners, and I embarked on my first ever attempt at editing a novel. This turned out to be a lot harder than I thought it would be, but my novel (whilst still terrible and unreadable) is so much better for it. I spent a few weeks reading through the manuscript and making notes on what I wanted to change, and then I set to work typing up the whole thing all over again with my improvements in. I cut out almost 10,000 words, replaced an old character with a new one, and basically changed half of the plot. It was an adventure, to say the least!
  • NANOWRIMO OUTLINE - September-October    Apparently I didn't think I had pushed myself enough yet last year, because I decided to set myself another huge challenge- taking part in and completing my first NaNoWriMo. I spent almost two full months creating my characters, developing my world and planning out what was going to happen in my new story (yes, I'm definitely a plotter and not a pantser!), so by the time November came I was ready to WRITE!
  • NANOWRIMO (DRAFT ONE OF CURRENT NOVEL) - 57,000 words, November   November 2015 was undoubtedly the craziest and most productive month of my writing life, and I loved (almost) every minute of it. I got to almost 60,000 words on my second novel in just 30 days, and I managed to pass the 50,000 word target on day 22! I call that a success! Sure, the 57,000 words I wrote definitely aren't my best, but first drafts always suck anyway.
Unfortunately, that's where my productivity stopped. I only wrote about 5 thousand words on my current novel (which doesn't have a title yet, but is a young adult fantasy that's really fun but challenging to write!) in December, and I have yet to write a single word in 2016. Screw school/real life/responsibilities! I'm hoping to get my act back together soon and resume writing like I was a couple of months ago, which leads me right on to my 2016 goals...

2016:
2016 is going to be a very, very busy year for me. I'm doing my GCSE's in the Summer and starting Sixth Form in September, so a lot of my time is going to be taken up by school and other things I really don't want to do. Even so, I'm trying to remain optimistic, and I have a lot of goals that I'm hoping to reach before the year ends...
  • FINISH FIRST DRAFT OF CURRENT NOVEL   I may be 60,000 words into this draft, but that in no way means that I'm nearly finished. It's high fantasy with a bunch of characters, and I'm expecting to go well over 100 thousand words in this first draft. I want to have it done by the end of February, so I'd better get to work!
  • WRITE THIRD (AND PROBABLY FINAL!) DRAFT OF BURNERS     I miss this story, honestly, and I can't wait to write a third draft that will hopefully be a lot better than the first two. Since I'm not planning to do anything with this novel at all (it's honestly just no where near good enough to publish, no matter how much I edit it), this third draft will probably be the last.
  • OUTLINE NEXT NOVEL   This is the exciting bit! I have a few ideas for what my next big project might be, and I'm really looking forward to developing one of them into something I can actually write a novel about. This process takes at least a month for me, and I think it might be the best part of the novel writing process!
  • PARTICIPATE IN NANOWRIMO   Since I had such a great and productive time doing NaNoWriMo last year, I just have to take part in it again this year! I'm going to be writing the first part of my next novel, whatever that may be, and hopefully I'll be just as successful as I was last November!
Thanks for reading, and have a brilliant 2016!
-MIA




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