Accountability Monday (Long Time Coming…): NaNo Update- Realizing it Takes Two

To keep ourselves on task with all the things (outside of academia and our day jobs) we’ve decided to join in with Alicia and her accountability posts each Monday. Usually, we’ll share our successes and failures from the previous week and upcoming goals. If you too need something to keep yourself honest, feel free to join in.

So…we were supposed to do LOTS of things these past few weeks to prep for NaNoWriMo. We even set up this handy dandy NaNo schedule to keep up on track…yeah, that was cute.

Wait, we DO have something to report before you think this post will be all about our failures–we HAVE brainstormed a NaNo idea! Due to the help of one our brilliant writerly friends, Jess Stork, we have decided to collaborate once again. This time we’re going to try our hands at co-writing a YA.

For the sake of being mysterious (at least for now) we’ll just say our YA will have dual POVs and everything will not be what it seems. Mwa ha ha ha…Man, that was perfect for October.

Anyway, we’ve worked out some major plot points, we know who our main characters will be, and we know which POV that we will write. Finally, we also know a little bit about our MCs. However, we need to flesh out a bit more about the story,supporting characters, and overall plot before we follow up on that “simple” NaNo schedule we laid out before.

So, that’s our overdue accountability check in. What’s going on with you all out there. Don’t forget to check out Alicia’s post!

*Also…speaking of overdue, how AWESOME is Adele’s “Hello”? If we had posted a “What We’re Into” post on Friday, it would’ve definitely been a link to that song!*

Accountability Monday: NaNo Prep Schedule

To keep ourselves on task with all the things (outside of academia and our day jobs) we’ve decided to join in with Alicia and her accountability posts each Monday. Usually, we’ll share our successes and failures from the previous week and upcoming goals. If you too need something to keep yourself honest, feel free to join in.

To stay with our theme of NaNoWriMo preparation, we have decided to set a timeline that will keep us on track and ready to just sit down and write during the month of November. We have set some goals that will (hopefully) hold us accountable during the month of October. We intend to check back in each Monday (of the following week) and let you all know how we did with our goal! So…wanna know our NaNo prep goals? Here they go!

Week of October 5th: Create logline

Week of October 12th: Write Synopsis

Week of October 19th: Plotting

Week of October 26th: Character Sketches

*Some of these may overlap/change/extend depending on how we feel, yo*

Feel free to use our timeline and let us know how you’re doing when we check in each week!

What are you doing to prepare for NaNo during October (if anything)? Remember, check in with Alicia to see how she’s been doing lately 🙂

Accountability Monday: NaNo Prep in September

To keep ourselves on task with all the things (outside of academia and our day jobs) we’ve decided to join in with Alicia and her accountability posts each Monday. Usually, we’ll share our successes and failures from the previous week and upcoming goals. If you too need something to keep yourself honest, feel free to join in.

This week we haven’t had much of a chance to work on writing or reading; however, we have been thinking a lot about NaNoWriMo. After trolling the internet, we came across this awesome post on YAtopia about how to successfully prepare for NaNo. Not only does this post give excellent pointers about preparing for NaNo ahead of time, but it also provides some insight on writing during the month of November if you don’t have a lot of time (something we have a little bit of experience with).

So, if you have time, check out Alicia’s accountability post as well as this NaNo prep post and let us know: are you planning for NaNo ahead of time?

R.S.W! FINAL Check In

It’s not like we have enough to do, right? Right. So we’ve decided to join the Ready. Set. Write! crew this summer and set some realistic goals for ourselves. If you wanna play along click on the link above to venture to Katie Upperman’s blog (one of the hosts along with Alison Miller, Jamie Morrow, Erin Funk, and Elodie Nowodazkij) and find all the deets about the summer writing intensive that encourages goal-setting, accountability, and camaraderie.

Although our summer officially ended last week, RSW has now marked the “end” of our writer-ly summer. Thus, it’s time for us to do our final RSW check-in. We figured we’d tell you all how we did on the goals we set at the VERY beginning of this journey back in June. And if we can comment freely, we’d like to say we handled these goals

Tee hee. So, seriously without further ado…

Pam’s Goals (and results) for Summer 2015:

  1. Finish revisions on my YA thriller, THROUGH OUR TEETH–> Completed and Awesome Agent-approved. CHECK! 🙂
  2. Write at least 15k words of a new WIP–> Who would’ve thought that revisions, traveling, working, and preparing to start a dissertation would leave such little time to write a first draft? Nonetheless, though I may not have written 15K, I’m at a good starting place to knock out this draft in time for NaNoWriMo!
  3. Read at least 5 books–> Sheesh, see response to goal number 2. BUT…I only fell one book short. This summer reminded me how essential reading is to my writing (as well as how much I love it), so I’ll certainly make reading a priority even during my fall semester.
  4. Exercise 3-4 times a week (including running!)–> I’d call this goal a win considering I even managed to exercise while on vacay. I need to go on with my bad self.
  5. Do something FUN or FOR MYSELF at least once each weekend–> This summer has been filled with wine and movies and concerts and museums, oh my. I think I balanced work and play well this summer–and I’d like to continue that during the school year.

Quita’s Goals (and results) for Summer 2015:

  1. Work on revisions of YA contemp novel, YOU WILL LOSE HIM–> After a very tumultuous on and off again love affair this summer, this was completed. I am now beginning to query this novel again 🙂
  2. Plot/ begin writing at least 10k of new WIP–> Some plotting occurred and I pretty much know my characters & what they want; however, I didn’t quite reach 10k. Alas, this can be my NaNo novel, riiiight?
  3. Read 4-5 books–> Read 3 and started the 4th this week…close, very close. I fear with the start of the school year my reading will suffer. I’m gonna work hard to find time to squeeze in reading. Promise.
  4. Less work, more play on the weekends (especially on Sunday) translation: force myself to relax–> I think I got in a lot of “play” this summer. Visiting another country, going to SCBWI, a winery, Busch Garden’s food & wine festival…there have been some fun times!
  5. Exercise at least three times a week (or as often as Pam makes me :/) –> I don’t think Pam and I have ever gone a week without exercising at least three times. This might be something that (again) will suffer due to school & all the things, but maybe we can keep it up. *wishful thinking*

All in all, we think we did pretty well this summer. Of course we didn’t reach some of our goals but if it weren’t for RSW, we’re pretty sure we wouldn’t have finished MOST of these! So, thank you all for holding us accountable, reading our posts, commenting, and being your general awesome selves! ‘Til next time 🙂

R.S.W! Week 10 Check In (That Rhymes…)

Ready. Set. Write! Summer 2015

Taken from Jaime Morrow: RSW

It’s not like we have enough to do, right? Right. So we’ve decided to join the Ready. Set. Write! crew this summer and set some realistic goals for ourselves. If you wanna play along click on the link above to venture to Katie Upperman’s blog (one of the hosts along with Alison Miller, Jamie Morrow, Erin Funk, and Elodie Nowodazkij) and find all the deets about the summer writing intensive that encourages goal-setting, accountability, and camaraderie.

We’re back from our SCBWI extravaganza and we’ve got thangz to report. Ready or not, here it goes:

Pam’s Check In:

  1. Write at least 2000 words for my new WIP–> KINDA done. I became super-inspired during my time at LA SCBWI, so I was able to complete character sketches and a general idea of the synopsis. So while my 2000 words weren’t exactly part of my draft–at least I put in some work for it!
  2. Read half of a new novel during travels to and from LA–>  I actually read MORE than half. I’m a few pages away from the end of Galgorithm by Aaron Karo (which I picked up at the conference bookstore), and it’s that perfect combo of heart and humor. Can’t wait to finish!
  3. Attend a session outside of my comfort zone while at SCBWI –> DONE, yo! I attended a session on writing nonfiction for young adults and teens, and not only did it get the creative juices flowing–I also nabbed a free book (Alice & Freda Forever by Alexis Coe–looks like a creepy, yet awesome, read).
  4. Work out at least once while in LA–> YEP! Quita and I ran…and did not get lost. Possibly because we made sure to just keep circling the hotel this time.

Quita’s Check In:

  1. Settle on a new plan for YOU WILL LOSE HIM & stick with it–>  CHECK! I have created & completed (one more ‘gin) a SHINY NEW plan for this revision. I wholeheartedly intend to stick with it.
  2. Complete character sketches & plotting for WIP–> Character sketch for one MC is complete and I have started plotting the first few chapters; however, Pam heard some G.R.E.A.T advice from Meg Wolitzer at SCBWI that I think I’m going to try for this novel. Thus, plotting has been halted.
  3. Begin reading a new novel–>  I am reading (and enjoying) Stacey Lee’s Under a Painted Sky. While I’m reading for pleasure, since my WIP is historical YA, I’m also taking a few pointers.
  4. Enjoy time @ SCBWI –> If I report on this one too much, I’d end up writing much more than a sentence or two. I LOVED the breakout sessions I attended, keynotes were ON FLEEK (oh, and very inspiring) and getting to spend an entire weekend with Racquel was truly amazing. This goal was definitely achieved.

Our Goals for the Week

Pam:

1. Work on Awesome Agent’s notes for my YA thriller revision.

2. Write at least 1500 words to the actual narrative of my WIP.

3. Work out at least 3 times this week (the heatwave and traveling has given me a case of the blahgitty-blahs).

Quita:

  1. Okay…this is a BIG one. I want…to FINISH my revisions on YWLH by the time I check in next week. GAH!

2. Exercise at least three times

3. Write at least 1k on new historical WIP

One Word/Phrase that Encompasses What We Wrote/Revised:

Pam:

Curiosity. My WIP will be my first time creating new characters in a loooooong time, so I’m wondering where they may take me…

Quita:

Getting there. I was able to actually write some of the novel after coming up with my new plan. This book is my Everest.

Biggest Challenge We Faced This Week:

Pam:

TV. The DVR was filled with guilty pleasures during my trip to LA, so of course I had to empty it, right? Right?!

Quita:

Well, I somehow got bronchitis on the way back from LA so that was fun.

Something We Love About our WIPs/Novels We’re Revising:

Pam:

The NEWNESS of everything. Drafting is usually my least favorite part of the writing process, but I haven’t started a story from scratch in almost two years. Let’s see if I remember how to do this!

Quita:

The various avenues that I can travel with this story/ these characters. I kinda have a one track mind so talking things out with my awesome critique partner/life coach  (i.e. Pam) has helped me remember that I’m the master of this book. *cue wiggly eyebrows*

Wow, another week down! We can’t believe it’s August already! How are you guys coming along with your goals?

RSW! Week 3: Still Going Strong

Taken from Jaime Morrow: RSW

Taken from Jaime Morrow: RSW

It’s not like we have enough to do, right? Right. So we’ve decided to join the Ready. Set. Write! crew this summer and set some realistic goals for ourselves. If you wanna play along click on the link above to venture to Katie Upperman’s blog (one of the hosts along with Alison Miller, Jamie Morrow, Erin Funk, and Elodie Nowodazkij) and find all the deets about the summer writing intensive that encourages goal-setting, accountability, and camaraderie.

We’ve been participating in Ready. Set. Write! for three weeks now and we’re STILL on the path of success. We know…we’re pretty shocked, too ;P Wondering how we’re doing? Wanna know what’s in store for us this week? Then keep reading, yo!

Pam’s Check In 

  1. How I did on the previous week’s goals:
    1. Begin reading the previous draft of my YA thriller–>I DID begin reading this…and I’m about a third of the way through.
    2. Create character sketches for my WIP–>I began using Jody Hedlund’s awesome character worksheet (which can be found here) to flesh out my main character. I’m learning so much about her!
    3. Complete strength training this week–>Hmm…Do you count Bollywood dancing? My arms certainly got a good workout from that!!

Quita’s Check In

  1. How I did on the previous week’s goals:
    1. Have a clear revision plan for YA contemp novel–>I’m getting there, peeps! I know the major plot points for the novel and I kinda know what I want to do with my MC to make her motivations more clear.
    2. Revise at least one scene of YOU WILL LOSE HIM–>I started the beginning of one scene. That counts. I’m not asking…I’m telling you it counts.
    3. Plot new WIP–> I realize that I didn’t put a measure on this goal, so having a general idea of what I want to write about is good enough for achieving this goal and I DO know what I’m writing about. I also have two scenes plotted. BOO YEAH!
    4. Work on my endurance–> I did this weird superhero quick workout and during it, the lady said one of the exercises “builds endurance.” Also, Bollywood dancing…any kind of dancing builds endurance, right?

2. Our Goals for the Week

Pam:

I’d like to finish reading my YA thriller, create a dent in reading Paper Towns (which shouldn’t be hard since I’ll be sitting on a LOT of airplanes next week), and leave the hotel room during my conference in Trinidad next week. Because, you know, I’ll be in TRINIDAD!!

Quita:

I want to read a good chunk of Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson, finish revising that scene I started this week, use that awesome character worksheet Pam found for my WIP, and do some site seeing with Pam in Trinidad.

3. One Word/Phrase that Encompasses What We Wrote/Revised:

Pam:

Impressed. I started reading my YA thriller with one eye closed, but was slightly surprised that it’s really not a bad draft at all. Distance definitely makes the heart grow fonder.

Quita:

Excited. At first, I did NOT want to do anything else to YOU WILL LOSE HIM because I was at a loss about what to do. Now that I have some constructive feedback, I’m genuinely excited to revise.

4. Biggest Challenge We Faced This Week:

Pam & Quita:

Once again, that dreaded monster TIME. Dealing with work and a family health scare ate away at our writing/reading/revising time.

5. Something We Love About our WIPs/Novels We’re Revising:

Pam:

My characters. I’m so used to writing from the male POV that it’s refreshing to know that I can write about strong females.

Quita:

Strong females, FTW! I love that my female MC is a star wrestler and that is the one thing that I’m not changing during revisions.

Okay, your go: how y’all doin’?

Ready. Set. Write! Week 2– Progress & Success??

Ready. Set. Write! Summer 2015

It’s not like we have enough to do, right? Right. So we’ve decided to join the Ready. Set. Write! crew this summer and set some realistic goals for ourselves. If you wanna play along click on the link above to venture to Katie Upperman’s blog (one of the hosts along with Alison Miller, Jamie Morrow, Erin Funk, and Elodie Nowodazkij) and find all the deets about the summer writing intensive that encourages goal-setting, accountability, and camaraderie.

Last week was the start of Ready. Set. Write! and we set a few goals to get us on a path toward all things writing, reading, and self-care-ing (???). So, how did we do? And what are our NEW goals? Well, ch-ch-check it out!

Pam’s Check In 

  1. How I did on the previous week’s goals:
    1. Finish revisions on my YA thriller–>I have not even begun my revisions yet. HOWEVER, I did manage to finish another writing project this past week.
    2. Write at least 15k words of a new WIP–>See response to goal numero uno. So even though I did not get started on THIS particular project, I still got my creative writing fix.
    3. Read at least 5 books–>Alas, I have not had time to pick up a book this week. I know–the horror! However, I finished All the Rage by Courtney Summers two weeks ago (which was, of course, brilliant), and have my eye on Paper Towns by John Green next. It’s been sitting on my bookshelf FOREVER, so with the movie coming out, I figured now was the perfect time to crack it open.
    4. Exercise 3-4 times a week (including running)–>This week, I tackled ab work, leg work, and dancing. Alas, no running since we’ve been having a heat index of 100 in VA. Blah.
    5. Do something fun for myself at least ONCE each weekend–>If by “fun” you mean begin binge watching Orange is the New Black then BOOM, nailed it.

Quita’s Check In

  1. How I did on the previous week’s goals:
    1. Work on revisions of YA contemp novel–>I was able to begin a smidgeon of revisions (one page counts, right?). I won’t keep it, but it was something.
    2. Plot/ begin writing at least 10k of new WIP–>Yeah, nothing happened there, either. But I swear, I thought about it!
    3. Read 4-5 books–> I finished Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver about two weeks ago and that was amazing. If you haven’t read it, ya need to. Oh, and I’m beta reading…does that count?
    4. Less work, more play on the weekends–> As Pam mentioned, OINTB, BABY!!!
    5. Exercise at least 3xs a week–> Again, same as Pam’s. Exercise was on fleek this week!

2. Our Goals for the Week

Pam:

I’d love to begin reading the former draft of my YA thriller, create character sketches for my WIP, and do some strength training this week.

Quita:

I want to have a clear revision plan for YOU WILL LOSE HIM by the end of the week and also revise at least one scene. I’d also like to plot for my WIP and work on my endurance.

3. One Word/Phrase that Encompasses What We Wrote/Revised:

Pam:

Again, though I didn’t write anything related to my goals, for what I DID write I’d say: Fun. 🙂

Quita:

For the little bit that I did revise (and my thoughts so far about the novel) I’d have to go with: Fragmented.

4. Biggest Challenge We Faced This Week:

Pam:

TIME. I had a lot of work commitments this past week, so that’s why it was so difficult to read for pleasure, as well as get started on my actual writing goals.

Quita:

Of course, I have to agree: Time. There’s never enough. I was in two classes (one just ended–WOO HOO!) and I had to finish up several assignments which made it hard to focus on reading & writing.

5. Something We Love About our WIPs/Novels We’re Revising:

Pam:

Since I haven’t been able to get started on revisions or a new draft, I’d say everything (mainly because I haven’t had time to start hating anything yet) ;p

Quita:

I would say that I still can’t shake the characters and I want to tell their story…even after three or years of drafting & revisions.

What about you all: how y’all doin’?