Posted in General, blogging

Oops

While getting organized and setting things up for this week, I realized I’d somehow manage to completely skip last Friday’s post. I didn’t realize it at all on Friday, which I’ll account for as being busier than I’d thought I would be. I think there’s something to be said in there for biting off more than I can chew.

What exactly am I chewing on at the moment?

On the blog end of things, I’m working on some behind the scenes updates, starting with a minor revamp of my short stories page. That revamp will hopefully make it easier to navigate than one long list of stories. It also includes going back through and relinking all the parts of Seventh.

The other part of the updates for the blog is reworking my logo. Although I love my little fox, she’s starting to show her age a bit. This is also leading me into playing a little bit with my wordpress theme to see if there’s one I like better.

Getting off the blog and onto other platforms, I’m expanding! Sort of. I’m re-releasing Seventh onto Wattpad. You can find parts one and two there already and I’m looking to continue updating on Fridays.

I’m also still working out the best pattern for my Patreon. At the moment most of what I have for it includes short stories and notes, but I’m getting ready to release a special sneak-peak for my patreon supporters of what’s coming up later in the year.

On writing, I’m starting the second draft/partial rewrite of what’s rapidly turning into a novella series. I thought working on this would trim at least one or two things off my insane project list, but that’s not looking like the case.

To sum it all up: Sorry for missing Friday! I’m taking a couple of days to get myself reorganized and sorted out, so normal posting should resume as of today.

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.

Posted in blogging, recaps

September 2020 Recap

When September started, it felt like the days were dragging by. Now at the end of the month, I admit I’m not sure what happened this month. I’m not even sure where the month went.

Initially I wanted to get through the draft of at least one project this month. Although I’ve been able to take a look at my projects and determined which ones need the most attention, I haven’t quite managed to work on anything productively. Part of that is because I’ve had a lot more work and home projects to handle. It all added up to a lot of busy-ness without getting a lot of personal work done.

With October rapidly approaching, I’m looking at ways to get a better balance in. While I’m not declaring one project or the other, I do want to finally get all of my projects organized and in one place. The goal is to at least sort through all of the notes I have for various settings, and as a stretch goal, get all of said notes typed up.

How was your September?

 

 

Posted in blogging, writing

Personal Writing Process

I’m a firm believer that the writing process is different for every writer. While some of us dive headlong into the story with minimal planning, others take days, weeks and even months to plot, research and develop the story and characters before we ever put a word on the page. And many, many of us fall somewhere in the weird spectrum between plotting and discovering.

Thinking on that made me curious: what does the process look like for each writer? What are some of the ways we all differ from one another and what are the techniques that work best for each of us?

To answer that, I wanted to look at my personal process, from rough draft all the way up to a finished piece.

Normally any story for me ‘starts’ when I get an idea. If I’m in the middle of writing another piece, I tend to jot down a couple of notes on it—maybe a line or a word including with any known Characters, Antagonists, Reasonings, Obstacles, Themes or Titles and possibly the Setting. I’ve been using it for years and it works for me to hold onto a possible idea until I can come back to it.

Starting on the story itself is pretty easy. Recently I’ve moved away from rough drafts and into zero drafts—or, rather, what I typically end up titling as a Story Run. Rather than writing full chapters, I limit myself to ten or fifteen minutes to write a scene. Often because I’m racing to get the words down before the timer rings, I don’t have the option to stop and think, which prevents me from getting stuck. And if I do get stuck on a particular scene, I can simply move ahead to the next scene I know about and come back to it on editing later.

Once I have a complete run I typically move off to another story for a while, letting it sit and stew. Usually I like to give at least a month between each phase of any given story. That lets me work on something else and helps give me a better perspective on what the story needs when I come back to it.

From the zero draft I start expanding, working each chunk of writing up into individual chapters. Sometimes I’ve outlined the expansion, especially when I’m missing scenes. Other times I just add more to each scene, bridging it from one to the next to get a complete rough draft.

When I start on the editing itself, I always start with an outline, as well as a list of characters and their goals. This way I can tighten up any loose scenes or expand on flimsy ones as necessary. Usually my outlines include just a sentence or two about what happens in each chapter. Once I’ve finished the second draft it tends to look a little more like an actual story, but still needs a lot of polish. At this point I can send it to an alpha reader, or if I know there are still some problems I want to fix, I can head into the third draft.

I don’t always need another outline between the second and third draft, but occasionally do. At this point I’m usually working in a side-by-side view with both drafts. Because I tend to draft short, it also means I can keep an eye on my wordcount between the two versions and expand places that need a little more detail.

At this point it’s definitely time to get a beta reader if I don’t already have one lined up. Following beta feedback, I can address any remaining structural issues and start focusing on word choice and sentence flow. Once the next draft is finished, it’s time to rinse and repeat—get more feedback, make more updates. Draft six is usually the earliest I’ll start shopping a piece around, but dependent on what my early readers tell me, there may be more drafts. And if I get critiques while trying to find a home for a piece, I may also put it on hold to do another draft and address any valid feedback.

Writing is an ongoing and oftentimes lengthy process, but that’s only my take on it. I’m curious for my fellow writers: What does your process look like?

Posted in blogging

Checking In on Goals

With all the insanity that comes up when moving, I feel like my entire routine has been thrown out of the window. I haven’t managed to get much sorted out for June and realized when I made Monday’s post that I’d completely forgotten to prep any prompts for this month as well.

Since I need to get back into my routine I wanted to also take a moment to reassess my organization and where I am with my goals for the year. Admittedly, it’s not looking great, which is somewhat disappointing.

I started out the year with a self-set reading challenge of twenty-four new books. Unfortunately, I haven’t been doing so great on that score. Although I’ve read around ten or eleven books, all but three have been rereads. While I could still try and rush through and finish all twenty-four by the end of the year, I don’t think that would be wise, so I’m instead opting to cut back down to a mere twelve new books.

I also wanted to publish at least two stories published this year. Crimson and Gold came out in January, and I have another project I’m looking to possibly start discussing and showing in July. For my publication goals, I’m pretty pleased with where things stand.

Also! Crimson and Gold is available through Kindle Unlimited and will also be free on July 4th and 5th.

Although I’m not meeting all of the goals I set for myself, I’m still really pleased with where things stand for right now. There’s plenty of time to wrap things up. Although I’m missing the prompts for June it’s given me a good chance to reorganize and sort out some of my older posts and plan ahead.

How are you feeling about your goals?