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I’m still not on the NaNoWriMo pace of over 1600 words a day and I likely won’t make it to 50,000 words by the end of the month. I’ve written about 6500 words so far when the pace would be about 14,800 words. I actually had negative words one day when I went back to fix something that was going to lead down the wrong rabbit trail. But I am making good, solid progress on BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING.

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And I’m fast approaching places where the writing may go more quickly. Or not. Sometimes those exciting bits, while they’re fun to plot, are actually harder write–and get right.

Still, I’m happy with my progress so far. I’m really happy with what I’ve written so far. And that’s what counts the most.

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I’m still well off the pace of writing 50,000 words on BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING this month.

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That’s okay. I have a three-day weekend coming up. I may make up some ground then.

But even if I don’t, I’ll still count this experiment as a win. I’ve written every day, so far. Even if some of it was going back and altering what I’d already done. And I’m generating new ideas–which is making me more excited about this story again.

Forward!

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Well, so far I haven’t achieved either the daily goal of NaNoWriMo–1,667 words a day–or my personal goal of a chapter a day. More like a scene a day. But that is still making more progress on BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING than I have been lately.

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I have excuses, but, except for Thursday, which really was too busy to get much writing done, they are just that–excuses. Except for one.

One of the issues I have always had with arbitrary goals of the form x number of words a day, especially when embedded in the competitiveness of something like National Novel Writing Month, is that it encourages just getting words down whether they’re the right words or not. Now, that’s not entirely a bad thing with a first draft. I love Shannon Hale’s quote on this:

I’m writing a first draft and reminding myself that I’m simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles.

However, there’s one time when “just keep writing” is very bad advice: when it’s taking you down the wrong rabbit trail. (Not a problem outliners are as susceptible to as discovery writers, like me.) Then, “just keep writing” can make it much harder to come back and fix the story in the revisions.

And I think I just dodged a rabbit trail. You see, where I am right now in this story, my characters are on a sort of Grand Tour, visiting the rulers of all the neighboring countries.

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They start out from Juturna, which is their home–well, home to two of them. They pick up a third on their first stop in Versenna. That trip through the forest and what happens once they reach Versenna is absolutely critical to the rest of the story. Then they go over the mountains to Khatar. I have a few interesting things happen in the mountains and Khatar will be important later in the story. Fine, so far. And I was reasonably close to my NaNo goals that far.

But then they have to go south to Farea and Idun and finally back to Juturna. Um. Boring. Nothing very important was going to happen there. And if I’m bored there’s no chance of keeping a reader’s attention.

So, I can either skip over that and just pick them up arriving back in Juturna, where my main character expects to face some consequences for his decisions back in Versenna. And I could do that, but it feels wrong.

Or, I can make that part of the trip more interesting. And early this morning, my subconscious bubbled up the way to do that. It means I have to go back and change what I wrote yesterday–which won’t add to my word count. But it will mean the story is more interesting and add a complication/obstacle that could well turn up again later. I like it, so I’m going with it.

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NaNoWriMo

National Novel Writing Month, that is. I’ve never formally done NaNoWriMo. Partly because I already know that, under the right circumstances, I can write that fast or close to it. And I’m not doing NaNo this year either. However, what I am going to do is try to use this month to change a few habits, get rid of or at least reduce some distractions, get a little more disciplined about my writing time than I’ve been lately.

So, I will be continuing to work on BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING,

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not starting something new. (Anyway, the next thing currently on my list isn’t new either. It’s a rewrite of MAGE STORM.)

If I can come anywhere close to the 50,000 words of NaNoWriMo, I should be able to just about finish this first draft by the end of the month. Fifty thousand words in thirty days comes out to an average of 1667 words a day. For me, that’s about an average chapter, or a little less. So, rather than count daily words, I’m going to focus on writing about a chapter a day. We’ll see how that goes.

I haven’t exactly started off with a bang, so far. But then, the day isn’t over yet. And nobody ever claimed that changing bad habits was easy.

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I don’t have any books in this sale, but there are plenty of others. Enjoy!

This Valentine’s Day, the awesome authors at Fellowship of Fantasy have banded together to provide an awesome selection of free and discount Fantasy and Speculative Fiction stories. Browse the titles, select as many as your heart desires, and discover your next favorite author!

 

All Fellowship of Fantasy titles are author rated with a guaranteed content level no higher than PG-13, so you shouldn’t encounter graphic sex, gratuitous violence, or excessive language.

 

As pricing can be subject to the whims of the vendors, please verify that the deals are, in fact, still active before purchasing. Thank you!

 

Bargain Books (priced at 99 cents)

Fellowship of  Fantasy

Rebirth—Frank B. Luke-Amazon
Seven Deadly Tales—Frank B. Luke-Amazon

The Hidden Level—AJ Bakke-Amazon

To Save Two Worlds—AJ Bakke-Amazon

The Regency Shifter Series—KM

Carroll-AmazoniTunesBarnes and Noble

Academy of Secrets—Michael Carney-Author Website

Sunbolt—Intisar Khanani-AmazonBarnes and NobleKobo

Wyndano’s Cloak—A. R. Silverberry AmazonBarnes and Noble

The Stream—A. R. Silverberry –AmazonBarnes and Noble

Rainbird—Rabia Gale-AmazonBarnes and NobleKobo

Reality Break—Jennifer Kibble-Amazon

Battle for the Throne—EJ Willis-Amazon

Nyssa Glass’s Clockwork Christmas—H. L. Burke-Amazon

The True Bride and the Shoemaker—L. Palmer-Amazon

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So, last week’s promotion was the first time I’d tried a free promotion. Here are the results:

For THE SHAMAN’S CURSE:

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????I gave away 914 copies, including books in two markets I’d never “sold” to before–Italy and Japan. Now, if only a quarter of those continue on to buy THE VOICE OF PROPHECY, BEYOND THE PROPHECY, and (eventually) WAR OF MAGIC, that will have been well worth it. Especially if they go on to leave reviews.

I’ll have a better idea how well this worked by the middle of next month, when the royalty report for May comes out. Of course, that won’t be complete. I’ve certainly downloaded a free book–or two–and not gotten around to reading it immediately.

BY SWORD, TALE, OR MAGIC didn’t fare quite as well, even at three books for $0.99.

By Sword Boxed Set

Only 15 sales. Still, hopefully those are new readers of my work. Hopefully they’ll go on to read some of my other books. Or at least leave a review. BSToM doesn’t have any reviews, yet. (Which may be part of the reason it didn’t sell better.)

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And also the Flinch-Free Fiction sale by Clean Indie Reads.

THE SHAMAN’S CURSE is free during this sale.

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????And BY SWORD, TALE, AND MAGIC is only $0.99.

By Sword Boxed SetIn other news, I’ve finished that new chapter for MAGE STORM and I’m turning back to the revisions on WAR OF MAGIC.

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