WIP Wednesdays: Word Count and Goals (1)

Hey everyone! This is the first "Work-in-Progress Wednesday's" post, a spot where I can focus on my projects, and any updates I may have.

At the moment, I have four WIPs. Some are focused on more than others, and there are two specifically that I'm really focusing on.

Dancing Through Life- My first novel ever, the only one I have a completed draft of, and I'm still sticking with it. Now, with some tips from my HarperCollins review, and using my own intuition, I'm totally redefining book. I'm making major plot changes, cutting out overdramatized scenes, adding substance to the characters.

I began the edit March 5th, and am currently 10,688 words into the draft. The ideal word count I have in mind, based on my other drafts, is around 70k. Depending on how the writing goes, my goal is to have this draft day by my last day of school, June 20th. (Yes, we are paying for all those snow days...)

Besides DTL, I'm really making progress with Expiration Date, my dystopian/action. The basic premise is about living in a world where everybody knows the day the day i.e. their expiration date. The idea for that came to me in that in-between state when you're in bed, but you aren't asleep yet. Since then, I've had quite a few dreams that have inspired scenes for it. I really have high hopes for it.

I began the rough draft February 22nd, and am currently at 10,577 words.

Then there's my other general fiction piece, Perfection is my Enemy, which I began last August as I was anxiously awaiting my HC review. That was going really smoothly for a while, particularly during my February vacation. But it's kind of come to a standstill, and I decided a short break was needed. I'm hoping to pick it back up during my spring break in April.

I'm 45,548 words into the first draft. This is more than halfway through my ideal word count. I hope to have a completed draft by the end of the summer.

Then there's another dystopia on the back burner, Blissnorant. That's only at 7.5k and really only a side project at this point, unless I'm inspired in anyway to write more.

That's the breakdown of where I'm at writing-wise.
The Focus- Dancing Through Life re-write and Expiration Date rough draft
Number One Goal- Have a completed revised MS of DTL by June 20th.

It's funny, because in the beginning, I never imagined myself working more than one project at a time. Now I have four, well really three main one's. It's kind of nice to go that way, because when I get stuck on one, I can just jump to something else. It's important with multiple projects though, to know what your main focus is... or else nothing will ever get done!

With the next couple WIP Wednesdays, I'll keep updated with word count totals, as well as focus on a specific project. :)

What are you like when it comes to multiple projects at once? Totally cool with it? Or are you only a one thing at a time kind of person?

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So Retro

On Saturday, my dad decided to take his old record player out of the basement and set it up.
That's right, arecord player.Until now, I was unaware that we owned one that actually works.
But low and behold, one appears.

I'm determined that it's the coolest thing ever.
I literally stared at the thing in awe for five minutes.

The best part is that I love the music from the "album era."
Hell, I actually think music was way better back then.
Which is why 75% of my iPod is classic rock and showtunes.

My dad had also had four cases of albums for my sister and I to scour through. He has everything. Aerosmith, Journey, Queen, ACDC, Kiss, Elton John, Michael Jackson's Thrilleralbum. It's so great.

What got to me the most were the Beatles records. He has eight of them. All the way back to their very first "Introducing the Beatles" album. My favorite album cover ever is Abbey Road. I love that picture so much.


Since the set up of the record player, I've basically lived in my basement. It's weird, because I have virtually all the music on my iPod, but it just doesn't compare to listening to it this way, in my mind. I don't know, I guess it makes me feel closer to the times.

I asked my dad how I'm supposed to get to the song I want to here. He goes, "Now, Marisa, this isn't a CD player. You can't just press '3' and the schazam." He proceeded to say that normally people would just listen to an album from beginning to end. Although I did figure out that there are little grooves in the record that mark the start of a song.

I still can't get over how cool this is. It's amazing how far music has come so quickly. Today, we can virtually get any song in the world with the click of a button, and think nothing of it. There's something unexplainably awesome about an album though, in my opinion.





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The Blog is Getting a Schedule

Here's what I've come up with as a rough schedule of sorts for my blog, so I can have some posting consistency.

Every Wednesday will alternate between a "Waiting on Wednesday" when I post about a book I'm looking forward to (There are SO many lately!) and "Work-in-Progress Wednesday" where I will talk about progression with my current WIPs.

I will mention anything noteworthy that happened in my week during "Sum it up Saturdays"

"Fiction Fridays" will be when I talk about what I'm currently reading.

For now, I'm going to leave the other days open to anything. Like if I want to talk about anything writing related or if there's a book I particularly love or hate that I want to do a review on. Or for any other randomness that I feel like talking about.

This will at least guarantee a few posts a week, which is more than what I've been doing lately.

Do you guys have any ideas? Anything you think I should talk about on the blog? Any suggestions would rock. :D


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Why Be Normal? Comparing YA High School to the Real Thing

High school is rough. Not gonna lie. It's a place where everyone just wants to fit in, and acceptance can be hard to get. So many people float through school, all in the hopes of just fitting in and being "normal." But what is normal?

I don't really feel like my school has set "cliques." I mean, of course people gravitate to/hang out with people with similar interests as them, but who doesn't? I think YA books overdo and dramatize the high school environment. I remember reading some of these books in my early years of middle school, and wondering "whoa, is high school really like that?"

Of course, there are the things that are and are not socially acceptable. Like reading. And writing. Not too many people know I write, only my group of friends. I keep it a secret to avoid the weird looks, and having to explain why. How does one explain why they love what they love?

On the reading front, I'm so beyond caring about the weird looks that come my way when I pull out a book. I read on the bus, (I can't imagine being one of those people who can't read in a moving vehicle! That's where I get my of my reading done!) I read in class, after a test or when there's time at the end. In which I'm sporting my EPIC new bookmark that I got at Mary Poppins. It naturally says "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious." It's even a hologram one! Look!


How awesome is that? Be honest! :)

I think that where books go wrong is that they tend to stick their characters (especially the minor characters) into one category. The brain. The jock. The cheerleader. The geek. And have you noticed how the people who are "smart" always seem to hate/be awful at gym class? People aren't that clear cut. Why can't you pull straight As, be a dancer, and love books?

People try to hide their quirks. Why? Our quirks are the best part of who we are! They define us and ultimately make us who we are.

Some of mine? I have a thing about good pens. And it always makes me think of Sara and Tobey's "I enjoy a good pen" conversation in When it Happens. I have this pen that smells like a watermelon. It's seriously the greatest thing ever.

Also, I actually like and get math. I like how it's a subject with no in-betweens, there's one clear cut answer and you're either right or wrong.

I find that I'm more productive if I snack while I write. More often or not there's a mug of hot chocolate by my side as I'm writing. Also I do my best writing at night. It's not the most convenient during the school year, but in the summer I can easily write from 11:00-3:00 every night.

One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone says "I'm bored." I'm never bored... and I don't need to be constantly doing something to feel that way. I can keep myself occupied for hours.

I tend to get obsessive over things for brief periods of time. When I was thirteen I had the biggest obsession with RENT once I discovered it. I watched it CONSTANTLY. It's still one of my favorite musicals. Over the winter break I became obsessed with Vampire Academy. Right now, it's Les Miserables.

I keep my locker neat. I look at some peoples lockers and am horrified! How does it possibly get so messy? Gah!

Point of this: Embrace your quirks! :)

Side note: I'm working on establishing a posting schedule... that way there's some order and I'm not thinking "hmm... I should probably blog now" like I was thinking write before I wrote this.

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Mmm... Where the Coffee?

I'm so exhausted. I feel like I've been running on empty for days. My life has been a vicious cycle of school to extracurricular to homework to dance to more homework... and I'm burning out. I stay up too late, wake up exhausted... get a second wind throughout the day, only to want to crash later. But I can't.

It never ends.

And I know that every other teenager probably feels the same way. Hey, I feel like there is way to much expected out of us. Does anyone else agree?

First, they tell us to spend 6-7 hours a day at school. Then they want us to go home and spend another 2-3 hours a night on homework. But that's not all. We want to go to college, right? Well, in order to go to college, we need extracurriculars. I dance four days a week and am VP of my class on student council. I'm in my school's chorus and like to attend the creative writing club when there's time. On top of that I'm in four honors classes.

Oh, and don't forget that we're supposed to get eight to ten hours of sleep a night

<----This is what I feel like. LOL

The stress of day to day life is enormous. I feel like I barely have time for ME and doing things I like to do. I try to fit in a few hours of writing a week, usually on the weekend, but on occasion I get some downtime during the week.


Maybe I'm just feeling extra stressed out because my weekend is crazy. First, tomorrow I have to miss school for a rehearsal for the Jr. District festival that I got into for chorus. It's at a school an hour away from where I live, so I get on a bus and go up there as soon as school starts. I get to sing my little heart out all day and don't get home until about 5:30. Then I have dance after from 6:45-7:30.

Not bad. And usually Friday nights are the nights I crash for a solid 10-12 hours. But Saturday is the festival. Meaning my dad has to drop me off at my school at 7:30 in the morning to take the bus back up for the festival. SEVEN THIRTY. ON A SATURDAY. Gross. The concert is at one, and then after that I'm up to Boston for the rest of the day.


Why, you ask? Well, because I'm seeing Mary Poppins! I'm so excited! This is one of my favorite Disney movies, and I can't wait to see it live. It got fantastic reviews, and I heard they've put a darker spin on it, so I can't wait to see what they do.

Yeah, talk about a long day! It'll be fun though!

My plan is to get all my homework done between tonight and tomorrow... and that way on Sunday I can spend a day relaxing, and hopefully doing a lot of writing!

Wow, this post did a lot of complaining. I swear, I'm usually fine. We all need to vent though :)

Talk to you guys later!

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Getting Back to Reality

Last week I had break off from school.
Man, did I need that break.
I would've that having last week off I would've blogged more...
but the writing bug got me and it got me good. :D

Inspiration finally hit for my Dancing Through Life rewrite... and I ended up writing 10K IN A WEEK. I'm changing it around A LOT. Cutting scenes, adding characters, thickening the plot... the whole bit. Haha. I decided to cut the multiple POV and make it just from Chloe's perspective. It's tough, and I'm going to miss being in Jake's head... but I feel like it'll be best for the story from the new angle I'm coming from. Plus, it can make Jake more of a mystery ;) . Anyways, I know Jake so well, he'll still be in my head. :D

So I'm cruising right along with that. The first 10k was the toughest, because it was all written from scratch. But now as I'm getting back into the familiar plot, I'll move pretty fast (giving that I have the time to work on it!) I have another break off from school for a week in April, so I'm hoping I'll finish it then.

Another thing I began writing is my new dystopia idea. It's called EXPIRATION DATE, and the inspiration to write it came to me out of nowhere... so much so that I ended up writing 8k of that last week! I'll talk more about EXPIRATION DATE at a later time. ;D

I wrote 18k. In a week. Jeez! I can hardly believe that number. It's crazy.

But now, it's back to school. Back to the real world where I can't stay up all night and write. Back to hours of homework a night and dance four days a week. Darn. And I was on such a roll too.

On another note, for some reason I've really been feeling present tense lately. I don't know what it is. I've read a lot of amazing books in present--and all of a sudden everything I'M writing is in present. Hm....

PS I just reread Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles, and I love that book too much for words. The character development is incredible, and it's multiple POV done right. It's raw and real and edgy. God, I love it! :D
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