Progress Is Progress, No Matter How Small

Measuring progress as a writer is tricky. You can count words or time or pages. When revising a novel those measurements get trickier. Word counts are deceptive when you delete as many words as you add. So do you count pages? What about when you  have to go back 80 pages because of a plot hole you discovered? And it takes time to figure out how to fix the plot hole. Progress is progress, no matter how small. But it isn’t easy to quantify. Making Since I did not complete any of my April Intentions for Making, I could count this month as a failure. I count words added, words deleted, and time spent. I also keep track of what chapter I’m working on and the book’s total word count. Most importantly, I look at all of those over time. This month I found and solved a plot hole. That meant I had to revisit seven chapters I’d already revised. Staying focused was more difficult this month so the blogging suffered. But I was able to put up something every week. One of the new bits from If I Should Die:  “It’ll be daylight by then.” Miranda chewed her lower […]

A Writer’s Serendipity or How Research Saved My Book

As a blogger and science nerd, I try to keep up with science news from a variety of sources. Oddly, that curiosity rarely benefits my writing. My writing style follows a diagonal on the chart below: Lawful Plantser, True Plantser, and Chaotic Plotter. And that’s pretty much how my research goes, too. I start with a plan and end going off script. This is the story of a writer’s serendipity or how research saved my book. My Research Method Targeted research is when one narrows their topic and is very selective in choosing books and articles for said research. Targeted research is always my intent, it rarely is what gives me the most inspiration. I love Google Maps. They allow me to “travel to” areas I’ve never visited. But the maps don’t give me the smells, the texture, or the mood of the place. For those, I search out travel blogs, expat blogs, and personal blogs. Sometimes, I reach out to a blogger for more details. Usually, bloggers respond with more information than I need. And that’s a lovely thing. Sometimes, I need more hands-on research. That may mean a visit to a museum or a road trip to a […]

I’m Stronger than I Thought

In January, I had strong intentions for the quarter, but I anticipated very little of what happened and my plans went awry. My life and my writing feel like a jumble of puzzle pieces that don’t fit where they used to fit. It’s the end of the first quarter of 2021 and it’s time to evaluate what I’ve accomplished and where to go from here. And the biggest lesson learned over the past three months is that I’m stronger than I thought. Making Unsurprisingly, revisions of If I Should Die are off course. Only six chapters farther than I was at the end of January is disappointing. I made adjustments to the timeline, which meant shifting chapters around. When I revise a novel, it’s like doing a giant jigsaw puzzle that get’s redrawn in the middle of my efforts. (Does that make sense?) Creative thinking takes more energy than blogging. For both, I struggle with focus and energy, but focusing on writing a blog post is easier because of its length. Managing A friend helped me keep the website updated during February. Since then, I’ve maintained the website. Focusing on the rewrite and blogging, the managing area of my business […]