Right, now that April is done, I’m ready to start ROW80 (if you’re dropping by from ROW80, I did Camp NaNo and the blogging A to Z challenge in April so ROW80 seemed like a bit too much to add in at the time – so I’m joining in a little late!).
For those of you who don’t know ROW80, it stands for a Round of Words in 80 days. The principle is that you set goals for yourself from now until the end of June, post the link to said goals at the ROW 80 website, and every week there are “check ins” where you update on your progress. I haven’t tried it yet but it seems like a great way to hold yourself accountable to someone other than yourself. (And as I mentioned in my last post, I need that or I end up worshipping at the altar of slacktitude. That should be a word, by the way).
I’m probably overshooting a bit on my goals, but I’d rather fall short of an epic goal than a small one.
Writing goals. Having barfed out a rough draft of The Book during Camp NaNo (it was literally like word vomit. I have carried some of the scenes in my head for years now, so it all tumbled out in a jumble), I now need to spend time actually developing a structured story, and doing some proper worldbuilding:
- Create detailed worksheets for each character (including minor characters), and especially work on developing the MC. Write out long conversation between the MC and all the other main characters to get better handle on various voices (at the moment a lot of the characters sound the same, they lack an individual voice).
- Worldbuilding: dig deeper when it comes to those laws that play a pivotal role in the story, along with their implications and how they affect people’s lives. Develop the relationships between various races (I write fantasy, so I have non humans kicking about in my imaginary world), as well as dig deeper into the world and culture.
- Develop the currency and the religion of the world. I had to wing it on the currency during NaNo, and it was such a mess that I gave up with it and wrote ‘2 shillings’ any time I had to refer to money. I need to go back and create a proper system. I also always think religion needs to be fully developed, it tends to be a massive part of people’s lives, whether as believers, sceptics, or fanatics, everyone always has an opinion on it. And it often says a lot about the culture it belongs to.
- Pin down exact geography of the city the story takes place in, create a map for it, and establish the affluent areas, compared to the poorer (or very poor) areas.
- Create a detailed list of each and every scene with a synopsis for each, outlining the wants of the characters involved, and identifying the source of tension. Prepare detailed descriptions of the setting for each scene (none of this is necessarily to be used in the story but just to help make sure I have a very good grasp of each scene before writing it).
- Write half of the second draft (I’d love to aim for all this plus a full second draft by the end of June, but there’s a good chance we’ll be moving apartments in the middle, so there’s no way that’s going to happen).
Blog 2-3 times a week. There’s a Wordless Wednesday blog hop that I’d like to get involved with, and then one or two normal posts.
I signed up for an online English literature class a little while ago. Being French I studied French literature at school and so I feel like I have a gap as far as the masters of the English language are concerned. The course is fantastic, it starts with Chaucer and makes its way through English literature, period by period, until the 20th century. It has taken a bit of a back step though, with all the writing recently, so I want to get back on track. Between now and June, I’ll be reading the following:
- Finish Hamlet (I’ll then have essays to write on Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, and Twelfth Night. Incidentally, those last two plays currently stand as my favourites)
- Life of Johnson by Boswell
- Gulliver’s Travels by Swift (I’ll get a first hand account of the Yahoos!!)
- Robinson Crusoe by Defoe (this I’ve read in French so it will be interesting to re-read in English)
- Clarissa by Richardson
- Tristram Shandy by Sterne
- Humphry Clinker by Smollet
- Jane Austen’s Pride and Predjudice (really looking forward to that, it’s one of my favourites, second only to Wuthering Heights), and Sense and Sensibility
- Vanity Fair and Pendennis by Thackeray
- Martin Chuzzlewit, David Copperfield and Dombey and Son by the amazing Charles Dickens (epically excited, haven’t read any of those but I LOVE Dickens)
I also have essays to write on all of these books. With the house move it might be a challenge to get through that reading list on top of writing, but if I do get through it, I’ll probably add in Samuel Pepys’s Diary – as I hear it’s fascinating.
Finally I noticed some people putting some personal goals in, so I’m going to do the same. I need to get on top of my email – I’ve always been good at managing my work email (I keep a rigidly stark inbox at work) but my personal email is a rat’s nest that I need to get on top of. And also I want to stretch more – I hike almost every day but I hardly ever stretch, and I’m starting to feel stiffness building up in my back again which isn’t good.
Alright, so there we are! Ooof, I feel tired just re-reading all that. It’s making me want to take a nap. I wish taking daily naps was a suitable goal, I love a good nap. Especially since we have two cats: they are great nap buddies. There is no creature in the world who knows how to get comfortable quite as well as a cat!