Sunday, January 5, 2014

WRoE: Working on the Goals

My writing buddy, Doug and I met online on Thursday and set up an accountability plan. We met for two hours! I didn't think it would take more than an hour but we really had a lot of ideas to share and things to discuss. 

We set our goals and decided we will initially meet once a week to see how it is going. The meetings are to share updates, address any problems we're having, present any excuses, and probably chastise one another for making excuses and set new goals. We set up calendar to post goals and progress. Google is great for this because you can share the calendar with your partner and both of you can update, make changes and post progress reports. 

He's doing better than I am so far at meeting his goals. His was simply to write 500 words five days a week. He did +1000 on Friday. My goal is that three days a week I will write at least 500 words and to revise one chapter. I was sick on Friday evening and did not get started but I spent most of Saturday editing Chapter 3 in The End of Winter. 

The story is my 2008 NaNoWriMo novel. I use Scrivener to do my writing these days and I realized that rewriting was going to be a bit different. I mean, once you delete it, it's gone, right? In addition to revising, for accountability purposes I have to keep a word count. Scrivener has a word count feature but it isn't exactly designed for what I'm doing. The document word count is set and was met during that NaNo. So, I can't reset it.  However, the session word count is flexible. I can start typing and when I'm done I can see how many words I've written. 

The next problem I faced was that if I typed 20 words and deleted 20 words, the session count went to zero, effectively canceling my word count. I had to find a work around. Although I might, in fact, remove huge amounts of text, I still need to track exactly how much new text I'm typing. 

My solution was what you see here. Any text I wanted to delete, I scored through and changed to red. It isn't really gone and it isn't counted in the session count. I can remove it later if necessary. It is a bit more labor intensive but, this way, the session counter keeps an accurate count of new words typed. I still delete at times, usually things I added that I changed my mind about or that I know won't be kept for any reason. 

So far, it seems to work great. This chapter is full of junk and I'll have to divide it into more than one scene but at least I've solved the problem of keeping track of my word count. Now if I could just get better prose. Reading some of the text above I see more that needs to be fixed. I hate rewriting, revising, and editing my own work. When I go back and read it everything sounds wrong. I know it isn't all bad but I find fault with all of it. 

Still, I've made this pact and it is one of my goals for the coming year to get one whole novel finished and revised. 

Did you make any writing goals this year? Are you working on them? What are they and what are you doing to help you meet those goals?

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