NaNoWriMo 2020 – Final Week Check in and Review

I wrote 14,005 words in Week 4, or rather between 22 – 30 November, bringing my total for the month up to 50,053. This week’s numbers were divided amongst the following projects because, as I stated here, I am a NaNo Rebel (again) this year:

  • My Historical Romance Novel 6489 words.  If you follow my page on Facebook, you will already know I completed the first draft of this novel on Friday 27th November.  Woohoo!  As that was my main goal for the month, I feel pretty chuffed that I managed to hit one of the goals I set. As I started writing the novel back in June, I think enough time has passed since I wrote those early chapters for me to go back and start rewriting / revising / editing.
  • The Dreamer: An Andromache Jones Mystery Novella 0 words.   I got no new words added to this story last week.  However, over the course of the month, I added a total of 7241 words, and uploaded 6 new chapters to Wattpad.  Part of me wishes I had got another chapter or two complete, but another part of me is just pleased to see progress has been made…
  • Oath Broken – 0 new words written  No words and no planning this week…If I’m being honest, I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t add anything new to this project over the month, accept for a little planning. 😦
  • The Goddess Retreat – 0 new words – Still nothing on this project…Yeah, it’s definitely on hold…
  • Free Write Sessions – 7516 words. I’m very pleased with the random poetry and pieces of flash fiction I’ve scribbled away at over the past few weeks. I now have 14500 words in various styles and stages of completion to work through and see what’s what.

So that’s a quick review of my final week.  Over all, I’m pleased with the numbers and progress made across the two projects I worked on, and it has helped set my focus for the coming month’s writing.

My December goals:

  • Start rewriting / revising / editing of my Historical Romance Novel
  • Complete The Dreamer: An Andromache Jones Mystery Novella

If you joined in, how did you get on?  What are your writing goals for December? Let me know in the comments below, or feel free to message me over on the NaNoWriMo site if you’d prefer!  You can find me by searching for my username: Sammi Cox.

Happy writing!

Sammi x

NaNoWriMo 2020 – End of Week 3 Check In

Week 3 of my NaNoWriMo efforts saw me write fewer words than last week, but a quick glance over them showed the quality was fairly impressive (for a first draft), so in terms of long term writing goals, I’ll lose fewer of them to editing.  Sounds like a win to me! 🙂

I wrote 11,472 words in Week 3, bringing my total for the month up to 36,048. This week’s numbers were divided amongst the following projects because, as I stated here, I am a NaNo Rebel (again) this year:

  • My Historical Romance Novel9145 words.  As my primary goal is to complete my first draft of this story, I spent most of week 3 working on it and now the end is in sight.  Woohoo!  As I said last week, this first draft should, barring any major difficulties, be complete by the end of November…Yay!
  • The Dreamer: An Andromache Jones Mystery Novella1602 words.   Only one chapter was written and uploaded for this story last week. I hope to get another one complete and posted to Wattpad by the end of the month, but it won’t happen unless I complete my primary project.
  • Oath Broken – 0 new words written 😦  No words and no planning this week…
  • The Goddess Retreat – 0 new words – Still nothing on this project…It’s safe to say, I think this story has been put on hold…
  • Free Write Sessions725  words. Mainly snippets of microfiction this week, and a few stray lines of the poetic variety.  Some I might leave as they are, whilst others might feel more complete if they had more company 🙂

So that’s a quick review of my third week.  If you joined in, how are you getting on?  Let me know in the comments below, or feel free to message me over on the NaNoWriMo site if you’d prefer!  You can find me by searching for my username: Sammi Cox.

Wishing everyone who’s participating lots of good luck and best wishes for Week 4!

Sammi x

NaNoWriMo 2020 – End of Week 2 Check In

Week 2 of my NaNoWriMo efforts surpassed my expectations, which is always nice 😉

I wrote 12,794 words in Week 2, bringing my total for the month up to 24,576. This week’s numbers were divided amongst the following projects because, as I stated here, I am a NaNo Rebel (again) this year:

  • My Historical Romance Novel6479 words.  Completing my first draft is my main writing goal at the moment, so the majority of my words and concentration have gone into this project. And I’m almost there…this first draft should, barring any major difficulties, be complete by the end of November…Yay!
  • The Dreamer: An Andromache Jones Mystery Novella2058 words.   I uploaded another two chapters of this project to Wattpad during Week 2. I’m making good progress, and even if I don’t get it completed by the end of the month, I should get it finished by the end of the year.
  • Oath Broken – 0 new words written 😦  But, again, there’s been some behind the scenes prep going on, which is progress in itself, and I’m surprisingly happy with that.
  • The Goddess Retreat – 0 new words – Still nothing on this project…not even a stray thought as I’m too busy with the other projects.  That’s just the way things go…
  • Free Write Sessions4257 words. A few more short stories and pieces of flash fiction have been written, some complete, some not, but that’s the wonderful thing about a free write session, there are no rules and no expectations. And I can go back and complete / edit them another time! 🙂

So that’s a quick review of my second week.  If you joined in, how are you getting on?  Let me know in the comments below, or feel free to message me over on the NaNoWriMo site if you’d prefer!

Wishing everyone who’s participating lots of good luck and best wishes for Week 3!

Sammi x

NaNoWriMo 2020 – End of Week 1 Check In

Week 1 of my NaNoWriMo efforts were not too shabby, and I thought I would check-in with others who might have joined in the writing challenge.

I wrote 11,782 words in Week 1, which were divided amongst the following projects because, as I stated here, I am a NaNo Rebel (again) this year:

  • My Historical Romance Novel6199 words.  Completing my first draft is my main writing goal at the moment, so the majority of my words and concentration have gone into this project.
  • The Dreamer: An Andromache Jones Mystery Novella3581 words.   I uploaded another three chapters of this project to Wattpad during Week 1, and again hope that I might get this story completed by the end of the month.
  • Oath Broken0 new words written 😦  But I have been doing a little prep for writing on this one.
  • The Goddess Retreat0 new words – With hindsight, I don’t expect to have the time to get any writing done on this project at all…Sigh 😦
  • Free Write Sessions2002 words.  I enjoy the freedom of a Free Write Session, where I can write whatever story I like. I do try and fit one in every day, but time doesn’t always allow for it.  However, I have managed to get a handful in, and subsequently I now have a few new pieces of flash fiction and scenes from a couple of short stories complete.  Happy Days!

So that’s a quick review of my first week.  If you joined in, how are you getting on?  Let me know in the comments below, or feel free to message me over on the NaNoWriMo site if you’d prefer!

Wishing everyone who’s participating lots of good luck and best wishes for Week 2!

Sammi x

NaNoWriMo 2020 – my plans for this year

With less than two weeks to go before the start of November, I decided this afternoon that it was time to announce my project for this year’s NaNoWriMo.  (For those of you who do not know what NaNoWriMo is, it stands for National Novel Writing Month, and the goal is to write a 50,000 word novel throughout November.  You can find more about this writing challenge over on the website.)

As I’m currently two-thirds of the way through the first draft of an historical romance, and because I have far too many WIPs which need attention, I’m going to be a rebel again this year and not focus on a single novel.  My project is called:

In Search of Completion

The plan: to complete the first draft of my historical romance, and then start tackling some of these WIPs that are calling my name, and I have a fair few to choose from.  I’m pretty sure which “other projects” I’ll be working on, with a fantasy novel, a cosy-mystery novella and a sort-of chick-lit novella on my to do list for 2020, all of which are in differing stages of completion.  If you’re interested in the latter projects, you can find them via my Wattpad profile because the two novella’s were my entries to this year’s ONC which I did not complete because this year has just been meh, and the novel is Oath Broken…

Are you joining in with NaNoWriMo this year?  What are you working on, and are you ready for November? I would love to hear about your plans and prep.

Don’t forget, if you want to be writing buddies, you can find me on the NaNoWriMo website by searching for my username: Sammi Cox

Hope to see you over there!

NaNoWriMo and Beta Reading…a writing update…

It’s been a while since I posted a writing update, and with NaNoWriMo starting at the end of the week, I thought now would be a great time to post one…along with some random photos from my media library…

NaNoWriMo

I decided early on (for once!) that I was participating in NaNo this year.  It will be my eighth year joining in.  I’ve been looking forward to it for weeks, though I’m still unsure what I will focus on – yes, I leave it late every year (it’s becoming a tradition, I think) no matter how long in advanced I’ve been preparing for it. Never mind.

At the beginning of October, I had thought to allow myself to start a New Writing Project, even though I have so many unfinished WIPs awaiting my attention.  Sigh.  Yet, I have been making very good progress with one of my Wattpad novels, Oath Broken (very brief summary: the story of Oathbreaker told from Celyn’s perspective, which starts four months prior to the events of Eleri’s tale.  You can find the first 17 chapters that I’ve uploaded so far, and the original story, amongst other works, by checking out my Wattpad profile here.)

So, now I’m wondering if I might be better to just carry on with this. But…Not sure.  I’ve already drafted all the November chapter uploads for Wattpad and today I started on December’s so I could, in theory, set it aside without affecting my upload schedule…hmm…tough decision… I have a feeling I won’t have made up my mind until Friday morning…

If anyone wants to add me as a writing buddy over on the NaNo site, my profile name is… Sammi Cox.  Original, I know. 😉  You can never have too many writing buddies…well, that’s what I think.  Which is funny, because all mine seem to have been deleted when NaNoWriMo changed over to their new website this year.  Again, sigh. So, if I was buddies with you before, please add me as a buddy or send me your profile name (in a comment or email, etc) so I can add you again.  On the upside, I really do like the look of the new site.

The Winter Ghost Beta Reading

At the end of August I put out a call for beta readers for my fantasy novella, The Winter Ghost. The feedback I’ve had so far has been better than I could ever have hoped for, and I’m so grateful to those who have offered their time and effort to help me out.  When someone tells you not only that they enjoyed your story but want to read more – or hope for spin-offs with their favourite characters – well…it’s just the best feeling in the world!

I have sent out a few emails that haven’t got a response, so if you volunteered back in August but didn’t hear from me, I think something got lost out there in the interweb somewhere.  If you would still like to beta read The Winter Ghost, please let me know…

My plan (imagine me laughing maniacally as I typed that) is to dedicate December to the editing of the manuscript.  This means there is still plenty of time for more beta readers to have a read of The Winter Ghost.  If you think this is something that you would be interested in, here’s the link to my original post, The Winter Ghost – Beta Readers Wanted, where you will find all the information you might (I hope!) need, including what The Winter Ghost is about, what I am asking of you as a beta reader, and how to get in touch if you think this is something you would like to do.  As I mention in this post, I don’t expect you to do this for nothing – I’m offering to beta read in return for anyone beta reading for me.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year?  What are you working on this November?  I would love to hear your plans…

Thanks for reading!

Looking Back at NaNoWriMo 2018

A week has passed since the end of November, giving me a few days to think and reflect on this year’s NaNoWriMo challenge.  I didn’t win, but I got a lot more done than I thought possible, which is no doubt due to me being a NaNo Rebel this time around, meaning I could focus on anything I wanted…the theme this year was a multitude of little projects…

Let’s Look At The Numbers

  • 39376 words in total
  • 4 short stories completed
  • 382 notes left on phone
  • 6 book reviews written
  • 5207 words written on One Christmas novella
  • 2572 words written / edited for Oath Broken
  • Creative Writing spreadsheet updated
What I Did v’s What I Hoped I’d Do

Naturally, I’d hoped to reach the 50,000 word target, even though I knew before November started it was going to require a monumental effort.  Realistically, it was never going to happen, especially when I picked up a cold at the beginning of the month.  That being said, I’m happy that I hit 39,000 – and this included 9 “no writing” days.

On my NaNo list, I aimed to complete 4 unfinished stories from my (ever-growing) list of incomplete projects, one a week.  I managed to do this.  Yay!  And I did manage to lavish some attention on another 3 short stories (but didn’t finish them), edit a small collection of flash fiction / short stories and write a detailed plan of another story.

And, in the spirit of trying to finish unfinished stories, I also came across a novella I had started writing a few years ago.  It’s not the sort of story I typically write, but I’m having fun with it and I think it’s sometimes worth writing outside of your comfort zone, just to see what happens.  Anyway, for those interested, it’s called “One Christmas”  and is a contemporary romance, with a bit of humour and (hopefully) suspense thrown in for good measure, and you can read it here, via Wattpad, as I write it.  I’ll post more about it at a later date…

I had wanted to reduce the number of creative writing notes (including scenes, chapters, short stories, flash fiction and poetry) on my phone to between the 125 – 150 mark.  I failed at this, epically.  Although I began with 526, there are still 382 notes waiting to be written somewhere I can’t easily delete / lose them.

I had started November seriously behind my book reviews over on my book review blog, Sammi Loves Books.  So, I thought it would be a great idea if I added this to my list of organisational tasks to complete in the month, as motivation to get back up-to-date.  I wrote and posted 6 book reviews; I had hoped to clear it completely before I added anymore books to the pile, but I didn’t.  There were still four books left over, plus the books I’ve finished since then.

Oath Broken, the story of Oathbreaker told from a different character’s POV, was supposed to be one of my main focuses for November.  In reality, I didn’t get much done on it at all, only 2500 words, a quarter of what I had hoped.  So, I am a little disappointed with this, if I’m honest, but the story feels like it’s in a good place now so I shouldn’t grumble too much…

I got just under 3900 words written for what I’ve been calling Novel #3 on my WIP list (Oath Broken is Novel #2).  I didn’t manage any words at all on Novel #1, which again is a little disappointing.  One chapter would have been nice…

Another task on my list of organisational projects was updating my Creative Writing Tracker, a 20 page spreadsheet that helps me keep a track of all and everything to do with my writing.  I started it back in 2015 and after a few years it needed a little bit of TLC.  Things needed moving around, layouts needed changing, sheets needed updating / deleting / replacing.  So, I gave it a bit of a makeover – it might be a spreadsheet, but it can still look interesting as well as being functional!  I am pleased to say, this task was also completed as part of my NaNo gaols 2018 – although it only earned me a nominal 1000 words towards my total word count.

The idea of the NaNo journal was good one, and I enjoyed keeping it for about a week…*Sigh*  But with feeling unwell, exhausted and trying to find time to write, this probably wasn’t the right year to try and implement it, at least, not in terms of daily entries.  If I do have another go at it next year, I will try may be twice a week.

So that’s the rundown of my NaNoWriMo 2018.  In no time at all, April 2019 will roll round and with it Camp NaNo.  😉

NaNo 2018 – Days 6, 7 & 8

Daily record of my 2018 NaNoWriMo journey…


NaNo 2018 – Days 6, 7 & 8

Goals:

  • To hit daily minimum word target of 1667
“It’s slow going, but I’m not as far behind today as I was yesterday…”

My cold has really knocked me for six these past few days, hence no NaNo journal updates. I haven’t done much for three days at all, and I guess it will be like that for a few more days yet.

I’ve decided to skip posting Friday and Monday updates for Oath Broken – I would much rather wait until I’m feeling 100% before publishing chapters. Hopefully by the time next Friday comes around, I will be back on form.  And, apologies, I’m behind with responding to comments, so please bear with me…

So let’s take a look at what I’ve been doing / not doing for NaNo for the last three days:

Day 6 I did absolutely nothing in terms of writing, though I did think about writing – a lot! If only that counted…

Day 7 I just about managed a short scene for Novel #3, amassing a total of 454 words before giving in.

Today (Day 8) has been a little better. I’ve reduced the notes on my phone from 488 to 426 (which includes 4 new notes I’ve started – sigh). I also completed Short Story #3 and wrote a chapter for Novel #3.

Currently, I’m 2000+ words behind where I would like to be, but there is still plenty of November left to catch up, so I’m not too worried.  And at least, I’m not as far behind as I was yesterday…

Achieved:

  • Hit daily minimum word count 1 day out of 3 days
  • Reduced the number of notes on my phone
  • Short Story #3 completed
  • Wrote 1 chapter & 1 scene for Novel #3
  • Total word count for Days 6, 7 & 8 – 2217
  • Monthly total so far – 11724

NaNo 2018 – Day 5

Daily record of my 2018 NaNoWriMo journey…


NaNo 2018 – Day 5

Goals:

  • To hit daily minimum word target of 1667
  • Edit Chapter 2 of Oath Broken
“Something is better than nothing…”

A slow day. I did wonder if I was going to bother trying to get anything done, but I have scheduled Mondays (along with Fridays) as posting days for chapters for Oath Broken on Wattpad. So, I did edit and post chapter 2. You can read Oath Broken here. Sorry for the shameless promotion but I need to fill today’s post out somehow… 😉

I decided to call it quits for today, once that was completed. I’m ahead of the estimated word count for this stage of the challenge (8,333), thanks to a good Day 1 & 2, but I am almost 1000 words short of the daily minimum target. But at least those numbers are still ticking over…

Maybe I’ll look into some more writing techniques. Any suggestions?

Achieved:

  • Oath Broken Chapter 2 edited
  • Total word count for Day 5 – 685
  • Monthly total so far – 9507

NaNo 2018 – Day 4

Daily record of my 2018 NaNoWriMo journey…


NaNo 2018 – Day 4

Goals:

  • To hit daily minimum word target of 1667
  • Edit Short Story #2
“A day of low expectations…”

Today’s entry is a brief one…

Day 4 was pretty much a re-run of Day 3. My cold is keeping my expectations in check, so I aimed to reach the minimum daily word goal (by any means necessary), hopefully editing Short Story #2 along the way. At some points, even that seemed unobtainable, but I got there in the end, thanks to the time I spent on Novel #3, which contributed half of the words I needed. I also edited Short Story #2, which was thankfully nice and short and easy. The rest of the time, I focused on the organisational task I mentioned yesterday. The notes on my phone have been reduced from 517 to 488. If I can get that number down to 125-150 by the end of the month, I will count that a success!

I’m off to rest now, in preparation for tomorrow’s NaNo adventure 😉

Achieved:

  • Hit minimum word target
  • Organisational task – reduced number of notes to 488
  • Completed a chapter for Novel #3
  • Short Story #2 edited
  • Total word count for Day 4 – 1690
  • Monthly total so far – 8822