Late Start Today!

This post deleted itself for some reason. :/

I don’t remember exactly what I wrote, but I wrote for about 1.5 hrs, and wrote 539 words (editing).


Editing is Hardddddd :(

I only managed to edit the prologue and the first half of the first chapter today. It was a lot more work than I thought it’d be, but the prologue and the first half of the first chapter is definitely publish-ready now? haha. Maybe not that good, but I like it a lot more.

I also wrote 2,074 words today while editing, which brings my total up to 20,718. I’m getting there, slowly, but surely! 😀

Something that had been really annoying with both Google and Scrivener is the spell check. They kept telling me that “Conservatoire” and “Shostakovich” is spelled wrong (The wanted ‘Conservatory” and “Shostakovitch” – But Conservatoire is definitely a word, and there’s only one t in Shostakovich). Editing was also a bit harder than I expected it to be, and I found myself not only correcting my tense issues (I never catch my tense shifts the first time, unfortunately), but also shifting paragraphs and scenes around.

I’ve decided to group my novel into parts. Each part would be a different season.

I let my two little sisters read the parts I’ve edited, and I’ve gotten pretty positive comments so far. I’ve also come up with a list of questions for my beta readers.

Since I have one more day until I was supposed to be done with all of 1941 (I’ve actually made my way into 1942), I will be spending tomorrow editing, as well. I think there are a lot of “holes” in between scenes, and I really would like to patch them up before I start moving on. Otherwise, the novel is shaping up nicely (better than I thought, actually!).

New plans for the next few days. I want to sprint-write for three days, and then edit the fourth. I have twelve more days until July 11th, which is my “deadline” for my first draft. That will give me three cycles of the sprinting and editing. I’m also raising my daily word count goal to 3k. If I’m editing, the word count goal is 2k (but I’ll be a little bit more flexible with the editing word count, now that I know how hard it actually is). That will bring my final word count to 53k, which is a full length novel of about 200 pages. I decided to up my goals because I’ve proven to myself during the last few days that it is very, very possible. I decided to stick editing in there because I realized that there is no way the book will make any sense if I just kept going and didn’t look back.

I’m off for the night (for the first time in forever, it’s not after midnight…). I’m definitely crossing my fingers for a super productive day and week!!

Today’s Time Log:
Editing: ALL DAY, pretty much. But mainly from about 4:00PM – 6:30 PM and from 10:40 PM – 11:15 PM, on and off.
Total Time: 3 Hrs.


Goal reached!

I did it! 6,000 words for today. I’ll admit – the last six hundred or so was tough. However, that means I’m ahead, with 18,644 words.

PLUS, I’ve made it to 1942.

Today was a rather depressing day because… my story is rather depressing and I finally got to the harder, sadder parts. I think I’m almost done with all the sadness – it only goes up from here for my characters, I think!

Short blog post this time, because I really don’t have much to say. 😦 except the last 600 words took me insanely long to write (kind of got caught up in the research again…).

Time Log:
9:40 PM – 12:20 AM – writing (on and off, again)
Total Time: 1.5 hrs

Word Count:
Today: 6038
Total: 18,644


I’ve gotten down a routine for today. Write 15 mins, rest 5 (rest = get more caffeine, stretch break so my shoulders don’t cramp), for three times, and then rest for 10 mins. It’s been really effective so far. I’d rather do that then do 1 hr writing sessions and then slack the rest of the day. I’m at about 15k right now, and I still have 3k to go before I reach my goal of 6k for today. I’m taking a break for now to write a blog post, but writing will resume after dinner. 😀

As promised, I took a screenshot of my work space:


click for full size

This is Scrivener! On the left hand side bar, there are all my chapters in folders, and the folders, once expanded, have scenes in them. I didn’t expand the folders because I don’t want to give out information about my scenes just yet! Moving down, you see several different categories. The top most one is the manuscript, and then there are the “random scenes” (scenes that I wrote but haven’t found a place for yet), and a “what ultimately happens to characters” file (hehehe). Then there are the characters folder (which I’ve barely used so far) for character sheets. Places for place descriptions. “Front matter” is filled with templates I’d need to get the book ready for publishing (nothing besides the default is in there at this point in time). Finally, there’s the “research” folder, which, yes, contains all of my research!

In the middle, there is a pop up for my project goals. I set my manuscript target at 35k, and I’ve reached almost 15k of that (though final target might be a tad higher!). Session target is what I plan to accomplish for today, which, as you can see, is 6k. Of course, if I click on any of the index cards, it will bring me to the chapter. The middle pane is just the word processor.

The panel on the right hand side has many features, but in the screencap above, I’ve opened up a list of web links that I’ve used in researching. Instead of bookmarking them all in Chrome, I’ve added them all in there and divided them into categories. A simple click will bring me to the page, if I need to fact check something.

I’m absolutely in love with this program. Probably the best thing I’ve discovered since I started writing! It has a lot more features, of course, but this is just a basic overview of what I’ve been working on (and how).

Here are also some goals for tomorrow:

  • EDIT! Find out where specific scenes are supposed to be, make sure everything is in chronological order. Make sure there are no inconsistencies (names spelled wrong, facts that change from chapter to chapter… for example, a character knows how to play violin in one chapter and then doesn’t in the next). Fact check, and tense check (because I am the queen of tense shifts…)
  • Gather my army of beta readers: I’m going to have to start contacting some of them, or they won’t be able to make the turnaround time.

I won’t be writing too much tomorrow (unless it’s to patch up scenes that need to be patched up), which is why I’m trying to write 6k today. I’m off for a little bit now, but I am writing more later, and so there will be another time update.


Time Log:
4:40 – 6:45 – Writing, on and off

Total time spent writing: 1.5 hrs

Word Wars!

Word Wars (or sprints) is something that goes on on Twitter or Write-Ins (virtual or in real life) that have really motivated me in the past to get the words I need to get done. There’s a lot of “word vomiting”, because the point of a word war is to write as much you can in X amount of time. I think it’s cool to write fast (I think my fastest was about 3k words in an hour. Which is crazy fast and I can’t really maintain it for over an hour), but that also means a lot of editing at the later stages (time I don’t have). However, it’s really refreshing to stop my “inner editor” (aka going back to the last sentence and changing things around so it sounds absolutely perfect) and just write. I’ll be honest, the last few days were really ‘meh’ for me. I wrote quality words, but I felt kind of lost within the plot and the book. Anyways, I was doing word sprints with a few other friends who are also working on novels (it’s Camp NaNoWriMo season!!), and so it was a routine of 10-20 min sprint, 5 min break, for about an hour. It was really productive, and I loved it!

I’m spending Sunday to edit the chapters I have so far, and to piece together the scenes (it’s a bit of a mess at this moment. But a good mess!!). Tomorrow will be spent writing Sunday’s words and catching up (so, 6k, more if I can). And until Sunday, I’m not doing any research, because fact checking will only hold me back. 

I’m currently at August of 1941, and with some luck, I think I might get to late 1941 or the end of 1941 by tomorrow. I think I might decide to group my novel by season and year (Summer, 1940, for example) instead of month (June, 1941), like I’m doing now. It’d just be a lot simpler, and I guess readers don’t have to wonder why there were more events in certain months? I don’t know! I’m thinking on it. Thankfully, Scrivener allows me to easily change ALL of that with just a few clicks. 😀

I will be uploading some pictures of me and my project soon (and screenshots of my editor, and pictures of my work space). They’re a requirement for this project, but I just don’t see myself doing anything more than typing at a computer.

Also, I have a really weird shoulder cramp from writing for so long. Ugh.

Time Log (continued from earlier today!)
10:45 PM – 12:30 PM: Writing
Total: 1.75 Hrs

Today’s Word Count: 5,052
Total WC: 12,606 (just 1400 shy of my 14k wordcount! So much better than 6.5k short like this morning…)

Taking a Break!

That’s right, today I’m taking a break from research!

I woke up this morning realizing that I’ve been too much of a stickler for the facts, and that I’m telling a fictional story. Someone had warned me about this earlier in the process, and I’m just starting to fall into the trap. So, today, NO research (and I need to close out the 50 tabs I have…), just story telling and free writing.

Today is also the 7th day of writing, which means that I should be (according to my goals) at 14,000 words right now. I’m sitting at 10, 198 (YES, I wrote like crazy today!), but I’m not too worried. Today’s writing process went a lot faster because I stopped stressing about the research. That means I’ll have to fact check and revise and put together things like crazy this weekend, but I’m actually quite happy with the progress. (Although a bitttt unsure, because I’m not sure if the words I’ve written count as “quality words”). I found out I’m a very fast writer when it comes to competition (I did a few sessions of word wars with a fellow writer!), and in ten minutes I can churn out almost 500 words.

I plan on writing a little more tonight, but for now I’m off to grab dinner!

Time Log:
2PM – 3 PM – Writing
7 PM – 8:15 – Writing
Total: 2.25 Hrs


Scrivener! (and Researching in Russian)

Note: Once again, it is after midnight, but I will say that today is still 6-25.

Today I finally tried out Scrivener and transferred the manuscript from yWriter5 to the new program. 😀 I started reading the tutorial, but an hour later, decided to just go ahead and try the program, because it took me 60 minutes to get through half of the tutorial. Turns out, I was just fine without the tutorial.

Scrivener is a text editing program that is like yWriter5 and Word, but it’s designed for writers! Everything is at my fingertips, from notecards to virtual corkboard, to a research library (where I can import web pages, documents, PDFs, even videos!). It is amazing, and I have no idea why I haven’t tried out the program until now!!

One aspect of the book that I’m finding (still!) to be challenging is the fact-checking, historical aspect. I read about the River Luga and a line of defense that Leningraders put up the other day, and decided that the event is going to be part of my book. Thank goodness for Google Maps – because the river is about two hours away from the Conservatory and the character’s residence. I’m so glad I decided to fact check that. A problem I encountered while doing this was that everything was in Russian. Great. Except I have no idea how to read it. Everything looked like “Gosudarstvennaya Konservatoriya” or “Государственная Консерватория”. Google Translate would’ve been nice, but it only read things in Cyrillic. How I’d type that on this ABC keyboard is a complete mystery to me. In the end, I managed to find out where everything is by simply typing in English on Google Maps (like St. Petersburg Conservatory), but I really wish I’d be able to know what surrounds each of the land marks as well.

I’m finally at the middle of 1941! (I’d planned on getting there yesterday – I’m glad I’m not too far behind!) I plan to complete the end of 1941 by the 30th, which will be a great challenge because a lot happens in 1941.

As far as word count goes, I’m also supposed to be at 10k today, but I’m sitting at 7,554. (added about 2.2k today) Not too bad, but I need to make some more progress.

Not much to update tonight, which is probably a good thing, because I’m sure if I compile all these blog posts at the end of the project, I’ll have another novel. (:


Today’s Time Log:
Importing Files, Figuring out Scrivener, Organizing Research: 1:20 PM – 3:20 PM, 6:15 PM – 7:00 PM
Research: 9:00 PM – 10:30 PM
Writing: 10:40 PM – 1:20 AM
Total: 6 hrs 55 mins (roughly 7 hrs)

(I guess time passes by fast when you’re wondering why maps are all in Russian?)