Archive for the ‘ Project X ’ Category

Project X: Signed, Sealed, Delivered

With my days off from work falling on Wednesday and Thursday, my ‘weekend’ is always a little off-kilter. The advantage though is that I’m the only adult who’s home and that provides good writing time as long as I’m able to manage my time properly. This past ‘weekend’ I was able to complete my work on Project X. Then I took a step into unknown territory… I submitted it.

I feel like throwing a party or doing a dance but honestly my nerves were all wrapped up in the worries that I was following the guidelines correctly. If there’s one thing I’ve had hammered into my head in the past few years it’s this: “Follow submission instructions to the letter!” There’s likely nothing worse than spending copious amounts of time working on a WIP to then torpedo it by not following instructions.

Composing the email was a task that took me almost an hour as I read, re-read, and triple-re-read the submission guidelines. Did I include my real name? What about my phone number? Did I remember to attach the damn file?!?! Universe-ending questions such as these ran through my head with each pass of my unsent draft. Actually worrying was a good thing as I did miss the ‘Real Name’ field and quickly inserted that into the list of information required for submission.

In the end, I was satisfied that my email was 100% correct, the file was attached and then I hit send. A momentous occasion to say the least but the lingering ‘nothingness’ afterwards was a stark reminder that there’s more words to write, more story to edit and tons more work to do. I’ve set my first story free and now I wait impatiently for an answer that likely won’t come for many months.

Aside: I loved the movie Project X as a kid and just thought it was fun to pay homage to this cool movie from the 80’s in my writing.


Knowing Your Length

This past Thursday I began working on the revisions to Project X after getting it back from my second beta reader. In reading her comprehensive and detailed notes, I realized something important: You must pay attention to length!

In working on Project X, I’ve focused strictly on word count and not number of pages. My go-to, most favorite writing software Scrivener doesn’t even understand page numbers as it’s designed to work in small chunks. Only when compiling the WIP into Word do I see where I stand. This seems to have bitten me in the ass.

My second beta reader liked the idea and the execution but felt the story was very front-loaded. It took me 12 pages just to get to the action! The entire manuscript was 29 pages, so this is a glaring issue. It was also a surprise to me since in my Scrivener world, I had three documents broken down to about 1,100 words each that lead up to this action. Broken down, it doesn’t seem like much. Combine it all into real-world formatting and BOOM I’m dragging my feet on the story.

It was only by viewing my writing in a linear format did I see areas that needed improvement. My advantage here was having Scrivener AND Word open side by side. As I read through the WIP in Word (and staying mindful of what page I was on) I was able to make the appropriate edits in Scrivener. With just a few hours of work, that pesky page 12 action was bumped up to page 6 with some shuffling of scenes and cutting fat off the WIP as a whole. Even reading it mid-revision, I see the story is a lot tighter and significantly improved.

Sometimes we need multiple viewing angles to see what needs to be done and that requires multiple tools. While I’ll never do my primary writing in Word, I’ve now seen it can be valuable for analysis in the editing process.

So how do you change your setup and approach when shifting from the writing stage to editing? Sound off in the comments!

At A Crossroads

It’s been a week between posts here but I wanted to update Copious Notes because it’s writing that I want to get done. Lately I’ve felt that I’m at a crossroads with my writing with all three projects that’s going on.

An opportunity arose last month to write a short story and to get it done in time to submit it out. ‘Project X’ as I’ve dubbed it, is completed, back from one beta and will be back from a second beta reader in a few days. I’ve enjoyed starting something and then finishing it in such a short amount of time. It’s lead me to wonder if I should write some short stories on my own and put them up on my website or self-publish them for free on Kindle, Nook, etc.

On Thursday, with Project X in the hands of others, I returned to Loopback and wow it’s not easy coming back to a WIP! I was away from it for a month and my groove I’ve had with it was nowhere to be found. I found myself referencing my outline multiple times and completely re-reading the previous chapter I had completed. My output was decent (1,128 words) but I know when I revise this book, these chapters will need a lot of work.

This leads to me to the final WIP: good ol’ Spirit Hackers. I’ve had it back from my second beta for two months and haven’t touched it. That needs to change.

So I’m at a crossroads and need to decide in which direction I need to go. My plan right now is spend one day editing Spirit Hackers and the other writing Loopback. Ambitious as always, we’ll see what happens.

How do you decide what to work on?

Status Update

Once in a while it’s good to take inventory of where you are in order to see where you’re going. Things have been a bit busy in my writing world and triggered me to remember that it’s a good time to take stock of each story I’m working on.

Spirit Hackers

My second beta reader finished the book a couple of weeks ago and we’ve e-mailed back and forth a bunch of times getting her feedback and answers to my multitude of questions. Next stop: round 3 of editing!


I must say I’m quite surprised and happy about the progress I’ve made within Loopback. Since starting this novel I’ve written 22,840 words which is great because I have a lot going on in my life that takes away most of my time. I’ve fallen into a groove of writing on my two days off and I’m also keeping close to my 3,000-word-per-week goal I established a few weeks ago. The book is already more than 25% done and we’re rocking & rolling.

Project X

Wait, I’m working on a third item?? Didn’t I JUST say I wasn’t?? Well project X is a quick thing I’m working on that I AM able to work into my writing schedule. This is a short story (no more than 7,500 words) that I’m working on for submission into an anthology. I’m already 3,400 words into Project X so this is something I’ll have wrapped up soon.

This short story is something that really intrigues me and I’m excited to submit this out to see if it’ll be picked up. As things play out I’ll provide more details but for now this is where my writing energy is going. Now Loopback is not on hold or even taking a back seat. I’m simply working on Project X for a few days since there’s a deadline involved with that.

We’re turning the corner into very exciting times in my writing world since Spirit Hackers is that much closer to a querying stage and Project X coming out of nowhere.

While I’m holding on for the ride and remaining positive for results I’d love to know how you’re juggling your projects!

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