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Week at a Glance 11/28/16 - 12/03/16

#FirstDraft120 Week 9 Schedule | KayeDacus.com

#FirstDraft120 Day 46: Story Bible Review & Update Day #amwriting #nanowrimo

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

fd120-bannerIn order to be able to focus on writing as much as we can on a daily basis, keeping our Story Bibles updated is important. So on Wednesdays, be sure to schedule additional time to review your Story Bible and see what needs to be updated or revised.

Since Story Bibles can start to get kind of massive, here are the sections to focus on reviewing/updating today:

  • Secondary/Minor Characters
  • Props/Costumes
  • Research
  • Revisions section
  • Style Guide
  • Synopsis/Outline (in case your recent writing has made you think of any new scenes/plot points you want to add—or realize that some of the ones you thought of before you started writing no longer work).

And don’t forget to check in with your writing progress!

My 1k1hr Today
I’ll be doing my 1k1hr writing sprint today at 5:00 p.m. Central time. I’ve used the others this week to dig a little more into the assignments I didn’t really get to during October, so I haven’t added any actual word count to my total. Today, that changes!

#FirstDraft120 Day 45: Timer Tuesday! What Time is YOUR #1k1hr Today? #amwriting #nanowrimo

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

fd120-timer-tuesdayAs always on Tuesdays, today our challenge is to schedule and complete at least one 1k1hr writing sprint some time during the day.


IT’S TIMER TUESDAY!
I’m going to try to do my #1k1h sprints today at 8:30 PM US Central time*.

1k1h-timezoneconverter
*To determine the time of the 1k1hr sprint in your time zone, go to the Time Converter website by clicking the image above and inputting my time (as Nashville or Central Standard Time) on the left, and your city/location on the right. For example, 8:30 PM Tuesday 11/15 in Nashville is 1:30 p.m. Wednesday 11/16 in Sydney, Australia.

What time will you be doing your 1k1hr sprint today? Or if not a 1k1hr, how will you work the concept of the sprint into your day?

Remember, the more support (and accountability) there is, the more successful we’ll all be!

1k1h Tips for Success

  1. Let anyone within your household know that you need one uninterrupted hour to try to head off at the pass any interruptions.
  2. Set a timer. This is most important. Don’t do this by just watching the clock. You’ll find yourself only watching the clock and not getting anything written. Setting a timer allows you to forget about the time and concentrate fully on writing.
  3. Prepare yourself before starting your timer. Re-read the last few pages you wrote (without editing/revising!) to get your head back into the story and figure out where you need to pick up. Review your outline and/or character pages in your Story Bible. And then put all of that away so you don’t use those to procrastinate during the hour.
  4. If you listen to music while writing (I recommend instrumental so that you don’t get distracted by the lyrics), have it set up and playing before starting your timer. Use earphones, even if you’re working at home, to block out any sounds that might pull you out of your story.
  5. If you can’t listen to music while writing, I recommend wearing the earphones anyway. People are less likely to interrupt you (at home or working somewhere like a coffee shop) if you have them in/on—and they help block out those distracting sounds.
  6. Make sure your writing space (both physical and mental) is set up and ready to go before you start your timer.
  7. In other words, make sure that about five to ten minutes before you start the 1k1h sprint, you’re in the process of getting ready to write.
  8. Silence or turn off your cell phone (unless you’re using it as your timer—then don’t turn it off). Close your Internet browser. Close Facebook and Twitter (as soon as I give the “start” signal, of course). Close your email program if you use something like Outlook that isn’t web-based. Eliminate all distractions!


Don’t Know How to Start Writing?
If you aren’t sure how to start writing when the hour starts, even after re-reading what you’ve previously written, here are a few suggestions.

  • Which character had the viewpoint in the last scene you wrote? Start with a different character in this scene.
  • Still not sure what to write? Try this prompt:
    Character walked into the room. Character saw a piece of paper tacked to the wall on the other side of the room. Character walked across the room and took the piece of paper down. Character read the piece of paper. The piece of paper said . . .
  • If that prompt doesn’t work, try the exercise of making your character face a great fear or come face-to-face with someone they don’t like.
  • If you can’t think of what the “next” scene is that comes after the one you just left off with in your previous writing session, start writing something you know comes later in the story that you already have a good idea for. Though I recommend writing your story in linear fashion (from beginning to end) instead of jumping around, sometimes you need to write stuff that comes later if you already have a clear idea of the scene in your head, just to make sure you don’t lose it. And that can also help you figure out what comes between what you’ve written so far and that future scene and help you to fill in the gap next time.

Don’t forget to check in with your progress and how you do with your own 1k1hr sprint(s) today!

#FirstDraft120 Day 44: Monday Momentum – Goals as Motivation #amwriting #nanowrimo

Monday, November 14, 2016

fd120-monday-motivationIt’s our first week of FD120, as opposed to FD60. While giving ourselves more time to write gives us room to breathe, it also gives us more opportunities for procrastination and losing momentum.

So here are a couple of things I thought might rev up our engines and get us back on track with the motivation to revise our goals and start working on that new writing schedule.
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Dreams vs. Goals
Dreams vs. Goals: Do You Dream of Being a Writer?

    But will the dream of “being a writer” actually get you there? Is it something that’s as nebulous, as insubstantial, as the stories that run through our heads when we’re asleep? Or is the dream attainable? read more…

Dreams vs. Goals: Give Your Writing Dreams Marching Orders

    Dreams are hopes. Dreams are wishes. Dreams are visions of an outcome . . . without a visualization of the steps needed to reach that outcome.

    Goals are what we need in order to figure out how to reach the end we’re dreaming of. read more . . .

Dreams vs. Goals: Setting Goals to Achieve Our Writing Dreams

    While starting out with a vague goal (still something achievable, but without “legs” to walk through all the way to the end result) is a good starting place, setting specific goals with actionable items is going to be how you measure your success. read more . . .

Dreams vs. Goals: What if my Writing Goals Change? What if I Fail?

    One of the reasons why I believe most dreamers are hesitant to actually sit down and go through the process I’ve described over the last few days—setting goals, writing them down, and setting a timeline—is not only because doing that makes it more concrete, more real, but also because by defining exactly what it is that we want to accomplish, we are defining exactly the ways in which we can fail. read more . . .

.

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Assignment: What is motivating you today? How can you use your newly revised writing goals in order to build momentum for the next 79 days?

fd120-week-7

#FirstDraft120 Day 43: Sunday Reflections on Changing Goals & Deadlines #amwriting #nanowrimo

Sunday, November 13, 2016

firstdraft120In case you missed the announcement at the end of last week and are wondering what the revised logo means, check out that post before continuing on with today’s. Go ahead, we’ll wait.

Because Sundays are our day to take a moment to step back and think about our writing from a wider view, today is a great day to reflect on what we just did. Feel free to answer them here with as much or little detail as you’d like; or answer them on your own blog or on Facebook. Or just write the answers down in a private journal or notebook. The important thing is to actually think through and write down your answers.


Reflections for Day 43:

  • How was your writing going before the challenge’s end date was extended?
  • If you weren’t going to meet the original end-date goal and knew you needed more time, but had that date of November 30 hanging over your head, how did that make you feel?
  • Now that we’re taking more time for this challenge, how do you think that will affect your writing—both your writing time (work) and your writing craft (story)?
  • What are you looking forward to most about having more time to write? What do you think will be most challenging about the extended deadline?

I look forward to seeing your answers and will be posting mine soon. And don’t forget to check in with your word-count progress!

#FirstDraft60? I Think We Need MORE TIME. #amwriting #nanowrimo

Thursday, November 10, 2016

If you haven’t been able to tell, due to the lack of interactivity here (and the lack of a THORsday post), things have been . . . stressful this week. Between health issues (mine, family members’) and, well, all of the other stuff happening in the world this week, I’ve been completely unable to focus and haven’t written a word since Monday.

This afternoon, Carol and I got together for our weekly writing session—and neither of us could concentrate. (And then things got a little crazy—thanks for putting up with me, Carol. I really needed that laugh!) Both of us agreed that trying to get a first draft finished by the end of November isn’t going to happen. But neither of us wants to give up, either.

Therefore, I’m pleased to introduce you to . . .
firstdraft120

We’re extending our deadline for a complete first draft to January 31, 2017!

I know a lot of us fell behind with the prep work in October; and, although we were excited to start writing on November 1, we may not have actually been ready to do the kind of heavy-duty writing that completing a draft in 30 days requires.

At this point, looking at the days piling up on which I haven’t met my writing goal (and on which I haven’t written at all), it would be so easy to quit. To tell myself that I’ve written all the books I had in me and should just give up. Just stop writing.

But I’m not going to do that. I owe it to myself not to do that.

By extending the deadline to January 31, it not only gives us a chance to write at a more comfortable speed, but it also gives us a chance to build in days off, or to have time to make up for when we miss a day or two due to extenuating circumstances.

And it means we have time to go back and do some of that prep work we might not have finished by October 31. Especially now that we do have a little bit written and we may know more about our characters and/or plot than we did and can go back and restructure, do research, write backstories for new characters, etc.

I hope you’ll continue along—or, if you’re just now finding this, join in by going back and reviewing the prep-work posts from October and then jumping in with your goals and progress.

Assignment: If you’re in, check in with your progress to date and then a re-calculation of your daily/weekly/monthly/total word-count goals with January 31 as the final date for the challenge. (November 11–January 31 is 82 days.)

Let’s do this!

#FirstDraft60 Day 39: Wednesday Story-Bible Review #amwriting #nanowrimo

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

#FirstDraft60 | KayeDacus.comIn order to be able to focus on writing as much as we can on a daily basis, keeping our Story Bibles updated is going to be important. So on Wednesdays, be sure to schedule additional time to review your Story Bible and see what needs to be updated or revised.

Since Story Bibles can start to get kind of massive, here are the sections to focus on reviewing/updating today:

  • Backstory, GMC, and Description pages for the main character(s).
  • Settings section
  • Timeline section
  • Revisions section
  • Style Guide
  • Synopsis/Outline (in case your recent writing has made you think of any new scenes/plot points you want to add—or realize that some of the ones you thought of before you started writing no longer work).

And don’t forget to check in with your writing progress!

#FirstDraft60 Day 38: Timer Tuesday! #1k1hr at 8:30PM US Central #amwriting #nanowrimo

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

1k1hr-timer-tuesdayLast week, we did our first Timer Tuesday, which can be useful in helping us build our word count and our story’s momentum when doing a marathon writing challenge like this. Today, our challenge is to schedule and complete at least one 1k1hr writing sprint some time during the day.


IT’S TIMER TUESDAY!
I’ll be doing two #1k1h Sprints today at 3:30 PM and 8:30 PM US Central time*.

1k1h-timezoneconverter
*To determine the time of the 1k1hr sprint in your time zone, go to the Time Converter website by clicking the image above and inputting my time (as Nashville or Central Standard Time) on the left, and your city/location on the right. For example, 3:30 PM Tuesday 11/8 in Nashville is 8:30 a.m. Wednesday 11/9 in Sydney, Australia.

I’d love to make these writing sprints (or at least one a week) a “team” effort with as many of you participating as possible. The more support (and accountability) there is, the more successful we’ll all be! But if those times don’t work for you, go ahead and pick the times that work best for you.

1k1h Tips for Success

  1. Let anyone within your household know that you need one uninterrupted hour to try to head off at the pass any interruptions.
  2. Set a timer. This is most important. Don’t do this by just watching the clock. You’ll find yourself only watching the clock and not getting anything written. Setting a timer allows you to forget about the time and concentrate fully on writing.
  3. Prepare yourself before starting your timer. Re-read the last few pages you wrote (without editing/revising!) to get your head back into the story and figure out where you need to pick up. Review your outline and/or character pages in your Story Bible. And then put all of that away so you don’t use those to procrastinate during the hour.
  4. If you listen to music while writing (I recommend instrumental so that you don’t get distracted by the lyrics), have it set up and playing before starting your timer. Use earphones, even if you’re working at home, to block out any sounds that might pull you out of your story.
  5. If you can’t listen to music while writing, I recommend wearing the earphones anyway. People are less likely to interrupt you (at home or working somewhere like a coffee shop) if you have them in/on—and they help block out those distracting sounds.
  6. Make sure your writing space (both physical and mental) is set up and ready to go before you start your timer.
  7. In other words, make sure that about five to ten minutes before you start the 1k1h sprint, you’re in the process of getting ready to write.
  8. Silence or turn off your cell phone (unless you’re using it as your timer—then don’t turn it off). Close your Internet browser. Close Facebook and Twitter (as soon as I give the “start” signal, of course). Close your email program if you use something like Outlook that isn’t web-based. Eliminate all distractions!


Don’t Know How to Start Writing?
If you aren’t sure how to start writing when the hour starts, even after re-reading what you’ve previously written, here are a few suggestions.

  • Which character had the viewpoint in the last scene you wrote? Start with a different character in this scene.
  • Still not sure what to write? Try this prompt:
    Character walked into the room. Character saw a piece of paper tacked to the wall on the other side of the room. Character walked across the room and took the piece of paper down. Character read the piece of paper. The piece of paper said . . .
  • If that prompt doesn’t work, try the exercise of making your character face a great fear or come face-to-face with someone they don’t like.
  • If you can’t think of what the “next” scene is that comes after the one you just left off with in your previous writing session, start writing something you know comes later in the story that you already have a good idea for. Though I recommend writing your story in linear fashion (from beginning to end) instead of jumping around, sometimes you need to write stuff that comes later if you already have a clear idea of the scene in your head, just to make sure you don’t lose it. And that can also help you figure out what comes between what you’ve written so far and that future scene and help you to fill in the gap next time.

Hopefully, I’ll “see” you at 3:30 and 8:30 (Central) this afternoon/evening. If not, don’t forget to check in with your progress and how you do with your own 1k1hr sprint(s) today!

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