Writing goals for June 2017

Monthly Goals: June 2017

June is always a very difficult month when it comes to writing and the things I actually want to do. As I struggle to finish university, I have to find time in between the studying and the exams of June to arrange my writing monthly goals and see what and how I can get everything done.

What’s the plan for June?

June is full of exams.

This is something I need to keep in mind. It’s very easy for me to get lost in writing and other creative endeavours. That means my university life suffers. For this month I need to prioritize studying to writing.

Finish edits for “Fool’s Errand”.

At 16k, this shortish story is very close to the end. It’s going through the last bits of editing, I’m getting some feedback for it that will hopefully help me get this story where it needs to be.

Polish “Fool’s Errand”.

At this point, the story will have seen an editor, Beta Readers, and Critique partners. I will just need to fine-tune the last details. Then read it again, and correct anything I might have missed the first 45 times.

And then comes the second short story, “The Duchess”

Sitting at 17k right now, by the time I am done with it, it’s going to have seen some growth for sure. I’m an underwriter people. My stories grow before they shrink.

Edit “The Duchess”. 

I am already going through the manuscript and making notes of all the things I need to fix. And I’m cursing myself for not making a proper outline for this. I’m an outliner. I know the merits of a good outline. And yet I thought I would experiment. Well, that means more work for me now.

Send “The Duchess” to Critique Partners and Betas.

After my round of edits, I need to see if what I fixed and changed makes sense. “The Duchess” will go off to my Critique partners first, then my Betas. And I will have to be patient and wait for their wonderful feedback to come back my way.

Prep “The Duchess” for my Editor.

The feedback is in. Now, I’ll have to go through it and fix the story more. I need to get it as clean and polished as I can before it goes off to my Editor, and she can rip through it.

I know that I have set up more goals than I can handle, than I can do. Maybe I won’t get it all done, but since my priorities are different this month, I’ll be satisfied with a 45% on this list.

What are your goals for the month? Are you going to be writing? Do you also have exams?

~ Harris

WordBound: Wed, Feb 8

WEEK 6: This #wordbound prompt is due on 2/15! Ready to cause some destruction?

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“Okay, okay, but listen to me,” Ilaeth scooted closer to Kali, a mischievous smile played on his lips. “We can surprise her. Get her something nice, have a little celebration going on,” he said.
“She won’t like it. She said she wants nothing,” Kali said, and folded her arms.
“She says she doesn’t want anything, that doesn’t mean she actually doesn’t,” Ilaeth said. “You know how much she likes surprises.”
Kali put her hands on her hips. “Look, you’ll just get us in trouble. Actually, no. You won’t be in trouble, I’ll be. So no. Just stay put,” she said.
“You are no fun. I’ll go by myself,” Ilaeth said.
The younger elf threw her arms up in the air, with a pleading look at the sky. “You go by yourself, you end up in a ditch somehow, and then I’m in trouble again.”
Ilaeth grinned and flicked one of her horns. “Then come with me. I could use a woman’s perspective.”
“What are you even getting her?” Kali asked and walked behind him. “Flowers? Feathers? Pretty rocks?”
He put a hand over his heart. “I feel like you are mocking me.”
“Oh my. That was never my intention. How could this happen?”
“I’ll ignore that,” he said. “We can make her a pretty flower crown, or you know how she likes to decorate her spear with lil things… so I got her spear.”
“You got her spear?”
“Yes. So we can make it pretty,” Ilaeth said, and grinned at her.
“We should give it back,” Kali said, and her eyes went wide with terror when he pulled the spear from behind a tree. “We should definitely give it back. Like now. This isn’t smart.”
“Oh come on. It’ll be fine,” he said, and felt the weight of the spear in his hand.
Kali reached out to snatch it, but he held it up, out of her reach. She kicked his leg, and jumped high enough to grab it. Ilaeth didn’t let go, and she didn’t surrender. She yanked as hard as she could, and when she couldn’t take it from him, she kicked him again.
“Stop that!” he shouted at her.
“Then give me the spear!”
“No. I need it,” he said.
“You’ll just get us in trouble,” she shouted at him, as the two pulled the spear back and forth.
There was a loud crack as the wood gave way and broke in two. Kali and Ilaeth dropped back and landed hard on the ground.
“Oh… fuck…” Ilaeth said, staring at his half of the spear.
“I told you!” Kali shouted, and threw the other half at his head. “I told you! Now I’m gonna be in trouble!”
“Well yeah, you broke it.”
“No, you did.”
“You did.”
“How did I break it? Huh?” Kali snapped.
“I’m not the one who grabbed it,” Ilaeth pointed out.
Kali huffed and folded her arms. “You are stupid,” she muttered and threw a pebble at him. “You always get me in trouble.”

 

WordBound: Wed, Feb 1

If I’m embarrassed, why on earth would I say? Because prompt? Fine. FINE. Buckle up. This is going to be a wild ride.
*clears throat*
I was nine. Yes. I was young and innocent and I had no limits. My idea had no limits. I had a group of chosen ones in my story, as one would.
But they were birds.
And they had magic powers.
And they went on adventures together.

There. I’ve come out. Are you happy to know? Does this somehow make your life better? No, it doesn’t 😛

Was it inspired by pokemon? Maybe. Maybe not. You’ll never know. The world will never know, and my chosen ones will stay where they belong. In my childhood memories. (I was going to say trash-can, but I don’t want to be that cruel to them. They tried. Nine-year-old me tried too.)

11 Pet Peeves about Male Characters

In case you were wondering there for a second, that I only had to complain about the women, let me put your minds at ease.

No.

I have so many things I can complain about.

So here are:

“11 Pet Peeves about Male Characters”,

or “I’m here to complain about MORE things”.

1. The Sexy Asshole ~
Now, don’t get me wrong, everyone likes confidence. But, when that confidence turns to arrogance and general asshatery, nobody likes it. Especially when it comes from the protagonist/love interest. Most wouldn’t even date this guy, but here is his co-protagonist, falling madly in love with him. Now, I’m not against some sass in my protagonist. But it’s sass. Not ass.

2. The Love-at-First-Sight Guy ~
He doesn’t know her name, he doesn’t even know her astrological sign, and yet, he is in love. He has seen something​ in her eyes, in her aloof loneliness, that he has never seen anywhere else. This is the one for him. Why bother with pesky things like “personalities”, and “opinions”? Why get to know her? He has learned all he needs to know from her silence. From a distance.

3. The Tantrum guy ~
He is a man. Not only is he a man, but he’s a manly man. How do we know this? Because every room he is in is a western saloon. A fight is always about to happen, disaster is just around the corner, and for what? His drink had an ice cube too many. He can only show he’s manly by punching things and killing things. He has no other characteristics than a flaring temper and his manly manliness.

4. The Spoiled Brat ~
He has had a tough life, everything is just so difficult for him, so very tough. Nothing goes his way.
Or does it?
This guy has everything. Does he need to complain about the minor setbacks in his life? No. But he does anyway. He’s not an underdog. He’s just a bitch. He complains about the smallest of things that don’t even matter.
He’s being whiny. And annoying.

5. The Perfect Guy ~
He’s the most beautiful guy around, he’s the tallest man. You can hear angels sing whenever he walks in a room, and the clouds part to rain sunshine on him.
He’s the perfect guy. Charming, romantic, smart.
Maybe he’s a little too perfect. Unrealistically so. There is no other guy like him in the whole book and the reader is constantly reminded of his perfection.

6. The Womaniser ~
This guy has slept with everything that he can sleep with. Everyone is a potential lover. Until he meets the one. The one who will tie him down and show him a different life. She’s unlike any other girl he’s ever met, and he wants to settle down with and forget his promiscuous ways. Because that’s how people work, that’s how people change. Overnight. Just cause.

7. The Statue ~
This is another example of the manly man, but instead of being angry and punching things, the statue feels nothing. He’s just there to be stoic, understanding, and a pillar of support. Men don’t feel anyway, that is known. Real men don’t bother themselves with feelings, or tears.
Without feelings though, there is no character growth, no conflict, no fun. If he’s not gonna feel anything, what’s the point of hurting him? I mean writing him.
Damn autocorrect.

8. The Walking Hard-on ~
Unlike the womaniser, this character has no luck with the other sex (or the same sex), and yet, sex is the only thing he can think about, the only topic he’s willing to talk about. We all know men only think of sex as it is, right? It’s not like they have other worries and problems. Just sex. 24/7. Nothing else.

9. The Comic Relief Bestie ~
He’s there to throw jokes at the reader, to ease the tension, but that’s the only thing he’s there for. To crack jokes. He has no life outside being funny, no other purpose in the story, unless he dies half way through. But he can’t even do that, because then all the humour would be gone from the story. Because all of it rests on his shoulders.

10. The Gay Bestie~
Girls can only hang out with guys if they are gay, or else the writer is obligated to make them a love interest. They just gotta. But if the bestie plays for a different team, the female protagonist is safe to swoon over her counterpart.
And usually, these characters aren’t even fleshed out properly. Their single characteristic is that they are gay, and they follow a whole list of stereotypes. Why break the mould? Why make him an actual character?

11. The Friendzoned guy~
This guy somehow fell through the cracks and didn’t become the gay bestie. So now he is a love interest. But not THE love interest. He’s a bitter shell of a man, that’s going to make some questionable decisions and cause problems, just because he’s in love with the female protagonist. He can’t really help it. She’s there, he’s there. He needs a role in the story.
Why not just throw years of friendship out of the window, just because now he’s realised she’s a girl? The story needs conflict, damnit, and a love triangle is the only way to get it!

Fantasy has truth in it.

Fantasy is not easy to write. There are so many things that can go wrong, so few things that can go right.

Fantasy isn’t just epic quests, an adventure to save the world, or kingdoms at war. Fantasy comes alive in the little details that the writer weaves into the story, the fine threads that make up the world and the people.

It’s that kid who goes on a quest because he wants to make something of himself, because he wants to grow and explore the world around him. It’s that mother who lost her children in the war, it’s the burden that weighs down on the hero’s shoulders every time they have to make an important decision.

Because they can save the world, or they can be the reason why it crumbles and burns.

Things are not black and white in fantasy. At least they are not for me. Magic isn’t bad, the same way a gun doesn’t kill people. But the abuse of power, the misuse of a tool, that’s what’s bad. It’s a king that can be good and benevolent to his people, or turn into a tyrant after the loss of someone he loved. It’s the grief, the pain, but also the joy and happiness that people experience.

Does it matter that they experience those things in a land with dragons and sword-fights? Does it make any real difference if the protagonist is not human, but an elf?

For me, fantasy gets to explore every day things like friendships, discrimination, racism, but in a bigger, larger, and more magical environment. It gets to present things that people don’t usually want to talk about, things they want to hide away, because people expect things in a fantasy story to go crazy.

But it’s not going crazy.

It’s being honest.

WordBound: Wed, Jan 18

( I’m going to use the two protagonists of my current manuscript to write this prompt.)

“There is a door,” Teresa said. “It is closed.”
Kalith peeked around the corner before he turned to her. “And?”
“That’s it. That’s all,” she said with a shrug of her shoulders that sent his blood boiling.
“Did you try the door?” he asked her. He got nothing but a blank stare. “You didn’t.”
“I didn’t.”
Their eyes locked, neither of them moved.
“Are you going to?” he asked with a wild gesture of his hand.
Teresa huffed and turned around. “Fine. It’s not gonna lead anywhere, even if it’s not locked.”
How or why he was helping her, he still wasn’t sure. The attitude wasn’t helping for one. Nor did her need to defy him every step of the way.
“It won’t budge,” Teresa said right behind him, and Kalith jumped in his skin.
“Can you not creep up behind me?” he said through gritted teeth.
“No.”
He could leave his post to check the door, but he did not trust her enough to watch their back. Running away was hard. Running away with an annoying teenager was twice as hard.
With his options limited, he had no other choice. “Stay here. Make sure no one jumps us,” he said. He got a curt nod as an answer.
The door was at the end of the hallway. It was carved out of a dark, almost black wood, the surface smooth and unblemished. Kalith twisted the handle, but nothing happened. Even trying to force it open didn’t work.
But there was something else that could.
Patterns glowed with a light blue colour on his arms, the air sizzled around him with energy, with magic.
The lock clicked, the handle turned, and the door opened.

 

 

Booktube Newbie Tag || Gee & Harris ||

Here we are, we thought to get back on this thing. So did a thing. Was it wise to do it before Camp Nanowrimo starts? Nope. But we did a thing. Here is the thing. Enjoy it. This is the “Booktube Newbie Tag”, and if you are reading this message, you are it. Go do the tag.

Find Gee in her own lil corner of the internet, in WordPress and Instagram.

We get stronger.

Life is cruel, unkind, mean. Sometimes life likes to knock us down, and then kick us a few good times, just to make sure we’ve fallen low enough. Life looks at our plans, and no matter how well we’ve made them, how sure we are, life shreds them to pieces until there is nothing left.

And then again, life is measured not by the times we fall down, but by the times we rise up. By the times we dust the dirt off our clothes, by the times we try again and again.

Because we get stronger every time we fall down. We get more resilient. We can stand a little taller every time we have to stand up. We learn with each unkindness and cruelty. We learn and we move on and somehow we get to our destination. A bit roughed up, but wiser, stronger, more capable.

And getting up again is worth it. No matter how hard it is, how heart-broken we are, getting up is worth it. Because staying down means not trying, and we can change nothing if we never try. But standing up means that we get another chance to try, another chance for things to change.

Another chance for things to get better.

For our dreams to be within our grasp.

And that’s worth it.

WordBound: Wed, Jan 11

Azreth, 

I’m sorry. 

That’s one sad message to leave, isn’t it? But I’m sorry. Don’t give up. I wish I could be there for you, help you, ease you. You have so much ahead, so many things planned, and the fates are cruel and  unkind. 

You have the world to carry on your shoulders.

Have faith. 

Everything will be as it should in the end.

Love, 

Mom

 

Writing is hard. It takes dedication. You only do this if you love it.

The only way you really do this, is if you love it. It takes dedication. ~ Andrew Smith

Writing is hard.

Writing is something we do alone. Most of it happens in our minds, and it takes so long to see concrete results, that it is easy to lose sight of what we want and where we are going.

Writing is hard.

It’s not something you do for the money, it’s not something you do to get popular and famous. Most authors aren’t. It’s something you do because you love it. Because you have a story buzzing inside your skull and you can’t catch a break unless you put that story out in the world. Because you have characters in your head fighting for your attention, demanding they be heard.

Authors love their worlds, their characters, and their stories. They have spent hours agonising over fictional problems and conflicts. You can’t do that unless you love storytelling. Unless this is what you want to do. You don’t spend hours upon hours crafting every detail of a world, unless writing is ingrained in your soul.

It takes dedication.

It takes love for the craft, patience, courage. It takes learning to ignore that nagging sensation that everything you’ve been doing is wrong and there is no fixing it. You should just quit and let the real authors do the writing.

It takes a lot of dedication.

Not only to write, but to be yourself. You need to believe in yourself more than anyone else does, you need to see and recognise your mistakes and learn from them. You need hours in front of a screen or a notebook, writing.

And at the end of the day, you can’t put in the hours, unless you are doing something you love.

~Harris