It’s so weird to me that our twenty time projects are over, and so is the school year. I put so much time and effort into it, and now we are done. I’m not going to lie, I absolutely loved the twenty time projects. The whole idea seemed so exciting to me the first time it was introduced, and now that I’ve done it, I can honestly say that it has helped me and bettered me in so many ways. I looked forward to every day seven, and I even loved writing the blog posts about what I was doing, even though they probably only made sense to just me since I was the only one that knew what I was talking talking about. I admit, remembering some of the blog posts and getting them in on time was a bit challenging, especially when I was out sick, but I did my best to stay on top of them. I learned that, no matter how far fetched my goals may seem and how little time I may have, that’s no excuse to lose motivation. I might have only had a year to write three over-100,000 word books and edit them to perfection, and I might not have gotten close to achieving this goal, but I kept going and I tried as hard as I could. Even when I knew there was no possible way that I was going to finish all of them, I still kept going and didn’t lose interest in what I was doing. From my successes, I learned that I get extremely invested and devoted and passionate about what I’m doing, and that that isn’t really a bad thing at all. From my failures, I learned to set more realistic goals for myself, and that not everything will work out on the first attempt. I know that I will remember most of the stories behind where many of my ideas for the book came from, and when I go back and read what I’ve written, I’ll remember my thought process and the songs I was listening to during particular scenes. I may not have finished all three books and I might still have a long way to go with them, but I’m very proud of the fact that I have made it this far and that these books are A MILLION TIMES BETTER than I ever thought they would be. I’m so proud that this started as a little idea that just came into my head one day a few years ago, an idea that is completely different from the books that I have written now, and that it has morphed into this big part of my life that I really enjoy. I know that I’m going to keep writing until I finished them, because I have devoted so much to them already, that there is no way I am going to give up on them now that the twenty time projects are over.
I finally got to chapter 5, which is great considering for the past couple of weeks, right after I finished the second book, I sort of lost some momentum. Finally I’m getting back on track and starting to get back to writing. However, every time I have time to work on my story, I can’t really figure out what I want to do. I’m always torn between writing some more or going back and editing, and usually I end up choosing the first even though I know that sometime soon I’m going to have to really buckle down and start again on the latter. The problem with going back and editing is that it’s always hard having to reread stuff that I wrote a long time ago, because no matter how many times I go back and reread it, I can always find at least one word here or there that I can change. In my eyes, it will never be completely perfect, so usually when I go back to edit I just go over it once and make it longer, expanding on some of the thing that I feel need to be explained more, and deleting the stuff that I’m realizing is sort of poorly written and\or irrelevant. Also as I edit, I’m really working on trying to SHOW instead of TELL, which is something that I’m realizing I should probably work on during some chapters. Also I have to be on the look out for things that I decided to change later on in the book so that I can delete them. Overall, the last book is going pretty well and I’m excited to keep writing it!
Throughout this past week I have continued to be extremely busy. I’ve finally started working on the second chapter of the third book, and things have been going slowly, but they are soon going to speed up. Over spring break I’m going to florida with my family, and I have two long flights with nothing else to do, and I’m planning to get a lot of work done on the story. I’m going to use the extra time that I have over spring break to really start to make a dent in this last book, to really start working on it. My goal for the end of break is to at least be working on chapter 5, which doesn’t seem like a completely unrealistic goal at all. I also want to continue editing the first book, I’m still in the middle of editing chapter 15 of the first book. Actually, I’ve been in the process of editing this chapter for a really, sort of terrifyingly long time, because I got so busy just trying to finish the second book that I didn’t have much time to work on it. But the good news is that I’m actually almost done with it so hopefully I will be moving onto the next chapter very soon.
So far, I’m on page three of the third book, meaning I have barely even gotten started. I need to really start working a lot more on it if I even want to make it possible for me to finish it for the end of twenty time. I’ve been thinking a lot about how I’m going to actually turn this project into an actual project instead of just me writing hundreds of thousands of words, and about how I’m possibly going to be able to finish this by the last twenty time date. The reality is that I most likely will not be able to completely finish this book series. I may have an entire first draft of all three books down, but they will need to be edited a lot which will take a lot of time. I don’t know what I’m going to do with them once I have them done, but I know it will feel really good when I type out the last word of the last book.
As I’ve been writing, I’ve developed a very diverse, complicated playlist of songs on Spotify that I listen to whenever I sit down to work on the book. For anyone that knows me, music is a huge part of my life, if not my ENTIRE life, so having the write music to go with the book that I’m writing is very important to me. I sort of choose a variety of songs, all from different genres, but all that convey the general feel of the book series. Some of the songs have the same kind of vibes as the story, others convey feelings and emotions of the characters in the book, and then some others tell the story of the book (in certain spots) through the lyrics. If for some strange unknown reason you want to listen to the playlist, here’s the link and I apologize if you take offense to or hate any of the songs that I put on there: https://open.spotify.com/user/miriamd131313/playlist/1ZQQYTpQwJlKmfjvMLWN4Z
OKAY, so the reason that I waited until the very last second to do my blog post for this twenty time period is that, about two hours ago, I finished writing the second book in the series. At this point, I’ve put so much time, energy, and hard work into this series that, needless to say, I’ve gotten extremely emotionally invested and I actually screamed when I finished typing the last word. At this point, it is over 60,000 words making up 30 chapters, whereas the first book is somewhere over 50,000 words and it is still undergoing the editing process, so it will be I still have to go back and rewrite one of the chapters because I got so bored that I couldn’t finish writing it and my writer’s block kicked in and it was kind of a disaster so I just gave up and decided to come back and write it later.
So, for every book, I have a kind of ‘writing-planning process’ that I do for every book. I start by outlining each chapter, which basically means that I write the chapter number, then I put like three points underneath about the chapter, things that remind me of how I want to go. These things can be anywhere from quotes that I think of that I want to remember to write into the chapter, to a song that really conveys the vibe that I want for the chapter, but mostly it’s three bullet points about the basic plot of the chapter. After I’ve outlined the entire book, then I draw a timeline where I plan out when these chapters occur so that I can keep track of time throughout the story. I draw a straight line across a piece of paper and write the names of the months underneath it, then I write the number of chapters that take place during that month above it, so that I can keep my story straight and make sure that I don’t get my time mixed up. For the third book, I’ve gone through and outlined it, and I’ve also drawn up my timeline. Right now it looks like it’s going to be about 36 chapters long, and I’m going to get started writing it as soon as I can.
Recently, I haven’t had as much time to work on my books, and when I have been working on them, I’ve focused more on editing the first one than on writing the second one. Though I highly doubt that I will be able to finish writing and editing my books by the time this Twenty Time project is done, but nonetheless, I have to try, so I will be doing my best to work on them whenever possible. This last Twenty Time period, I actually got a lot of work done which was surprising considering I had trouble focusing on what I was writing because my mind was preoccupied with the realization that finishing all three books in time for the deadline will be nearly impossible. I finished chapter chapter 13 and began working on chapter 14. The problem right now is that I’m at a point in the middle of the book right before the exciting ending, which is spread out through almost twenty chapters, so there’s still a lot more to come, I just have to power through writing this part, which isn’t as fun to write as the action. I’ve also really been working on developing the individual personalities of the characters and showing what’s happening through my writing, not just obviously stating it. I’ve found that showing the characters feelings, personalities and emotions through my writing makes for a much better end product, and it helps improve the story overall.
I have decided that, before I continue really working on writing the second book of the series, I’m going to go back and edit the first one. The editing process is actually going really well since I’ve been able to work on it in my free time a lot and whenever I have a break, I keep the document on my laptop, so I can just pull it up and work on it and it’s pretty easy to do. I’m in the middle of editing chapter 15, and I’m in the middle of writing chapter 13 in the second book. When I can’t fully concentrate on writing, then I’ll edit the story, and when I’m able to do my best work then I work on continuing to write the next book. I also worked on designing the covers for all three books, and I’ve finally been able to get the covers to be the way that I want them to be, even though it took a really long time of editing down the pictures and combing everything. Lastly, I’ve started outlining the last book, since I know where I want to go with it, but I wasn’t quite sure how I wanted to get there. Now, I think I have a better idea of how I’m going to end the series and where the plot of the last book is going to go.
Blog Post 7:
I actually got a lot done during this twenty time period. I’ve decided that I might post my story onto a site such as Wattpad sometime in the future, so during this class period, I went back to the original first draft of the first book and I started editing the first 5 chapters, which is a lot harder than I thought it would be. Before I went in and did that, I made a list on Notes of all of the things that I need to do to make this story better and to really get the story to where I want it to be. Some examples of things that I need to do from this list are:
- Develop the relationship between Alexandria and her father a lot more so that it will make the internal conflict a lot more intense
- Develop each characters personality a lot more, and show what their personality is, don’t flat out say it. Show, don’t tell.
- Eliminate a lot of the crying in the second book because Alex’s crying gets really annoying and isn’t true to her character at all. It makes her seem sort of superficial, and it’s obnoxious, so get rid of a lot of it.
There were a lot of other things on the list as well, those are just a few examples. I finally reached chapter 12 in the second book, which was my goal for this week so that’s exciting. The next few chapters are going to be really fun for me to write, and I can’t wait to write the ending of the second book because I’m just so excited for how the book ends, I really love the ending that I came up with.
Twenty Time #6
I didn’t get a whole lot of work done during this twenty time period, but the work that I did was necessary and I had been meaning to do it for a while now, I would just keep forgetting to do so. I went back into my first book to double check the name of a minor character, then I stumbled upon a section that I forgot to change when I changed the plot line. Originally, there were two leaders of the country, Alexandria’s father, the President, and his military leader, Niklaus, and her father was actually a good person but Niklaus was the one who was being oppressive, but then I eliminated the second character and made her father the tyrant, so I changed that so it went along with the new plot. Anyways, I changed that part and then I finished writing chapter 9 and began on chapter 10. Clearly I didn’t quite meet my goal of getting to chapter 12 this week but that’s alright. I’m already well into the second book, and since I enjoy writing them so much then I work on them a lot outside of school, even when I don’t have to. A lot of times while I’m like watching TV or something I’ll just be going through and editing or something. Also, I’ve made a playlist of the music that I listen to while writing the book on Spotify, and the music that really goes with the story and has kind of the same message and vibe to it really helps me write and helps me focus on what I’m doing. If you want to see the playlist, then it’s called The Outliers, just search it on spotify and it’s by me, and my username is miriamd131313.
Twenty Time #5
Last week, I decided to change my project. While I’m still singing in my band and enjoying it very much, I didn’t think it would be the right option for my twenty time project. For a few months now, I’ve been working on writing a book series, so I decided to change my project to finishing my trilogy, and possibly working more on the other book series that I’ve started but haven’t had the time to work a lot on. The main book series that I’ll be working on is a trilogy. So far I’ve gotten a first draft of the first book written, and I have it up to around 55,000 words, making up 24 chapters. To put that into perspective, that’s the size of the first Percy Jackson book, so it’s a pretty good size I guess. I have to go back and edit it, which will be a long and strenuous process, but I will probably do that once I finish my first draft of the second book. I also have to back and write in this one chapter that I’v been meaning to write but I was too lazy to when I was first writing the book. That will add more words in, and after I’ve written that chapter than I can go back and edit the whole thing.
Right now I’m working on writing the second book of the series. I have it up to 18,172 words, which makes up 8 chapters. In the outline that I made, I have 35 chapter planned out, but that could end up being more or less depending on how much I can fit into each chapter. In class on Friday, I was able to finish writing the 8th chapter, and began to write the 9th. I’m hoping that by the end of the next twenty time, I will have the twelfth chapter done, which may or may not be a realistic goal depending on how much time I have to work on it this week.