February Goals: The End!

Earlier this month I set several goals in regards to a book I was revising. Without further ado, here is how it turned out:

  1. Wrote 4381/6000 new words. I originally set a goal of 6,000 new words thinking that would be needed for my story. Well after deleting, character development, and world building I came in under 6K words – and I’m fine with that. I never wanted to push the words and I feel comfortable with where my story is.
  2. Researched agents for query. I followed #MSWL on Twitter and that was super helpful. I am eager to begin the process sometime in March.
  3. Send novel to Betas/CP. It is going out today!!! Can you envision me doing my happy dance:)

I hope you all were able to reach your goals in February. I am looking forward to drafting a new project in March, so don’t forget to check in on me!

Learning from retelling (and February Goal Update)

First off, I made it to 800 Twitter followers!!!! Now on to our regularly scheduled post:

As has been documented, my novel has been going through a lot of revisions. I think I’m on like my fourth set at the moment and it has definitely been full of learning moments. Recently, I found myself glaring at my novel and decided to ask my husband what he remembered about it – because basically he read it before ALL of my changes. This was a good tool to pick up on things that I had fixed and to catch other holes. Well, his recap sounded a little like this Kristen Wiig and Will Ferrell, Golden Globes summary:

After pulling myself off of the floor from laughing, I actually did catch something. There were a set of characters that I definitely needed to flesh out a little to make more memorable. His hilarious recap of my novel helped me pick up on that.

So, my writerly advice today is to ask one of your early beta readers to explain your novel to you. I am willing to bet, you will pick up on something!
In February goal news, big goal was to write 6K fresh words and clean up my novel for send out by Feb. 28th. Here are my stats:
1. 3899 new words written since February 1st.
2. I found my last set of characters to re-tweak! Thus all my characters should be well-rounded:)
My goals for this week are to write 2101 words, and to spell-check and review before beta send outs. Please feel free to share your goals in the comments section.

Paper Bag Revisions (Part 2)



In June of last year, I posted about paper bag revisions (check out the post here: https://pmkester.wordpress.com/2013/06/10/paper-bag-revisions/).

Since I am revising again, I have revisited my technique and decided to share a few things I learned from this method.
1. Breakdown
Each square contains the following information: Cycle Day (this is important to my story); action; place; and new character introduced.
2. Characters
As mentioned in the earlier post, I have a little family tree on one of the flaps. Of course, not everyone is a family but characters are groups via affiliation. For example my main character is her own heading and there are a group of characters that are introduced that are central to her. Also my villain has her own heading and has a few characters that are central to her.
3. Action
I found this part of my box key to helping me zero in on possible pacing issues. For example, looking back and finding a boring chapter of a conversation in a bedroom (snooze!).
4. New Character Introduced
This was great is helping me keep track of who was doing what and also analyze if this person was necessary. I found one character that I honestly had forgotten about at the end of the book!

Of course this is just my method. I would love to hear about what you do to break down your novel:)

February Goals: Mid-Month Check In

To recap, my big goal was to get my novel ready for Betas by Feb. 21 (though realistically I knew it would probably be Feb. 28). Last week, I also was pushing myself to do 2K words. Here are my stats for last week:
1. 1412 new words
2. I did a chapter by chapter breakdown. I basically charted what day of the week, the action, and the location. This also helped me note key character and pacing things about my novel. I will further breakdown my process in a post on Wednesday.
My goals for this week include:
1. Write all the words! I would love to knock out 2-3K words this week.
2. Fill in character gaps. When I did my breakdown chart, I uncovered a couple of characters that I left hanging. I think there is a little more to be said about these folks so I want to fill in the blanks!

Please feel free to share how your writing is coming:

February Goals: Monday Check In!

As stated Feb. 3rd, my big goal is to get my novel ready for Betas by Feb. 21. I also wanted to write 6K fresh words. So here is my update:

1. I wrote 1,000 words last week.
2. I did a villain and love interest intensive where I basically charted out the character arcs and searched for ways to make these guys better.

So, in an AWESOME world, I would have knocked out all of my new words last week – but that didn’t happen! However, snow is expected this week so I am pushing myself to at least reach 2K this week. I will also be examining some of my lesser characters. I would love to hear how your writing goals are shaping up thus far.


It is with sadness that I announce that this is the last “I Hate Mondays” link up. The awesome diva over it is shutting the link up down because she has several awesome things happening in her life. Please click on the link and give her some well wishes. Also check out some of the other participants.



February Goals

It’s crunch time!

I have big plans for February and I invite you to track my progress. My goals for February are below. I will provide an update halfway through the month and invite you to post your own goals as well:

1. Finish edits and craft 6,000 more words for Cycles. Hey, if you think about it’s like 1K a day for 6 days. Surely I can do this!
2. Provide intense punctuation edits to Cycles.
3. Send out Cycles to Betas and CPs by Feb. 21st.
4. Do final review of Cycles (contingent upon CP and Beta edits) and research agents for querying in March.