What a week: Friday wrap-up and plans for the first half of 2011

After a new year that started off in a bit of a funk, I finally put on my running shoes this week (so to speak).

One of my goals for this year is to read one book a week. So far I’ve read: Green Witch by Alice Hoffman, Belle by Cameron Dokey, and Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen. The last has quickly shot up to my all-time faves list. It does everything a book is supposed to do: it captivates you, it haunts you, and it changes you. What more could you ask for out of a book?

My second and much loftier goal for the year is to finish my current WIP. I made a lot of progress last year but started spinning my wheels a little as I returned to it in 2011. On Monday, I met with my crit group (Amelia Ross and Kathleen Foucart) for a write-in session (take three writers, one local coffee shop, and several hours of intense writing). Focusing on a short story I’ve been working on proved to be just the thing I needed to find my groove with my longer WIP. Once I got going, it’s been easier to pick up speed.

So I’m dedicating the month of January to making extensive revision notes, going through all of the copy I currently have, and making a scene chart listing everything I’ve written and what I still need to write. I’ve never been a plot-outliner. I usually find that when I outline, I’ll follow it, even if it takes me in the wrong direction. But I’m so close to the end of this project that, at this point, creating a scene chart just makes sense. Don’t get me wrong; I’m sure the story still has plenty of surprises in store for me and my characters. But as a compulsive list-maker, I find there’s a point in the process where these kinds of overviews are necessary.

February and March will be dedicated to rewriting scenes in need of major revision and writing the remainder of the story. Soon after that, I aim to have a finished first draft (probably something like version 1.4). So sometime in the spring, when my thoughts are full of seeds and flowers and there’s dirt under my fingernails, when I’m dreaming about pretty sandals and scheming up picnic menus, I hope to be sending the story to my crit group and just let them have at it. (Heads up, ladies.)

So thanks for hanging in there with me through some slow-going for the first half of January. I hope to be able to keep up with the blog, checking in at least once a week. And even when I’m not blogging as frequently as I’d like, rest assured that I’ll still check in to see what everyone else is up to. One of my favorite things about LJ is that I’m not just writing in my own blog, but also finding out what’s on the minds of my fellow writers/readers/bloggers. It’s such a great extension of the writing community that helps us to blossom as writers/artists.

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One thought on “What a week: Friday wrap-up and plans for the first half of 2011

  1. I’m dedicating the month of January to … making a scene chart listing everything I’ve written and what I still need to write.
    Ditto. I’ve reached a point where I have no choice; not if I’m going to keep up with everything & everyone. I’m both an outliner & a ‘wing & a prayer’ writer. I trust my characters, but oh my, do they have some odd ideas!
    A ‘scene chart’ (great name BTW) seems to be the way to go.
    May your Muse be with you.

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