Posted in General

The Project List

In my ongoing quest to manage my ever-growing mountain of unfinished projects, I made a project list a couple years back. It’s a simple spreadsheet and I initially designed it just to keep track of what status various projects were in.

After going through it this morning, it’s also been a large reminder that I have far too many projects going on at one time. The total of in-progress items comes up to thirty-five.

Thirty-five projects in various stages of edits. It feels a little insane, especially since some of these have been in that mountain for quite literally years.

A look at some of the titles on my list and their current status

Although I’ve had my project spreadsheet for a while, I’ve added monthly and daily word counts to it. This is largely to keep it front and center of my attention whenever I do finish one project and am ready to move onto the next.

How do you manage your project list? What are some of the things you want to work on?

Posted in character

Exercise: Make it Musical

When it comes to musicals, most people tend to either love them or hate them. Regardless of your thoughts on musicals, you’ve probably heard at least one or two songs from them that get stuck in your head. (I’ll note here that I’ve been bopping along to Rewrite the Stars from The Greatest Showman for a couple of days now.)

The entire point of a musical is to intertwine both storytelling and songwriting. While it might seem like the two are worlds apart, the fact is that they share a lot in common. Songs often tell a story.

As an exercise: Create a playlist of songs for your story. Focus specifically on the songs that match your plot points. Whether it’s a cheating spouse, a determined young leader or even learning a new skill to defeat the antagonist, there are thousands of songs out there. Find ones that match your plot points and character arcs.  Once you’ve gotten your playlist made, look at what kind of songs you chose. How does that help you identify your tone for each relevant scene? Are these songs reflective of what you want the scene to be?

I’d love to know what sort of songs you chose. Let me know in the comments below!

Posted in blogging

Happy Anniversary

As of yesterday, the Written Vixen is officially three years old. Seeing that notification gave me a moment to take a look back at where things started. In a lot of ways, it’s surprised me to see how much my blog has grown in just three years.

In honor of that, I went all the way back to the start of the blog, with my introductory post.

Most of the time I write sci-fi and fantasy, but I’ve dabbled a little bit in just about every form of fiction. This blog is dedicated to book reviews, thoughts on writing, some short stories, and the trials and triumphs of publishing.

An Introduction

Book reviews aside, I think I’ve done a fairly good job of keeping up on what I set out to do. In the three years I’ve written sixty-four stories. I’ve also written and posted one hundred and sixty-eight writing exercises and prompts.

At almost a year, I posted about what I’d learned in that short time. Everything I said then still holds true today. Consistency matters, but so does interacting with other bloggers and reaching out into your community. It helps to keep a few ideas on the go, for those inevitable moments when I need a post and don’t have any new ideas handy.

And, above all else, be patient. When I first started blogging I had one follower—myself. Today, I have over two hundred people to thank—including you, reading this post. You’ve given me your time and attention. Many of my readers come from different walks of life, but you’ve all let me know that my words are being read and appreciated. For that, you have my thanks and my admiration.

If you’re just starting out: keep at it, and be patient. It takes time to grow things.

I had one goal when I started blogging, and that was to hopefully inspire someone else. Today I know I have inspired others. My prompts and exercises remain consistently among my top-performing posts.  For that, I again have everyone reading today’s post to thank.

Three years in and I’m happy with how things stand. Where I’ll go next, I don’t know, but I do know that I’m excited. There’s new goals to set and reach and new things to discover. Who knows what comes next? Maybe I’ll finally start getting some reviews written.

Thank you. I’m looking forward to sharing the next year with all of you.