ROW80 goals

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:

  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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).
  6. 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).

Blogging goals:

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.

Reading goals:

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:

  1. 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)
  2. Life of Johnson by Boswell
  3. Gulliver’s Travels by Swift (I’ll get a first hand account of the Yahoos!!)
  4. Robinson Crusoe by Defoe (this I’ve read in French so it will be interesting to re-read in English)
  5. Clarissa by Richardson
  6. Tristram Shandy by Sterne
  7. Humphry Clinker by Smollet
  8. 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
  9. Vanity Fair and Pendennis by Thackeray
  10. 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!


27 thoughts on “ROW80 goals

  1. Now I’m tempted to participate in RoW80, too. Having to make weekly progress reports would do me some good. I’ll probably be too busy with editing, though (unless editing someone else’s manuscript could be one of my goals? hmmm…).


    • You should definitely take part! Editing someone else’s MS could definitely count – and you can set realistic writing goals to fit around your editing commitments… Hope to see you on ROW80! 🙂


    • Haha, yeah – I’m looking at it and wondering if I’ve bitten off more than I can chew (yes). Adieu social life! (Not that I had much of a social life in April anyway).

      Before I can let you do my napping for me, I’ll have to establish your nap credentials. You know, things like how long you nap for, with the curtains drawn or open, avec or sans dribble, ability to wake up with pillow marks plastered on side of face… That sort of thing 😉


  2. mon dieu! I think you just gave up your “Zzzzz” from your A to Z list… but I’m sure you can do anything you put your mind to, car tu es formidable ! 🙂


    • Haha, yes no more zzzzz for me. Well I might still slip in the occasional cheeky snooze with the cats 😉

      Et merci pour les encouragements, tu es trop gentille de me dire que je suis formidable! Tiens, ca me fait penser a une chanson de Charles Aznavour. Tu connais?
      Il chante “You are the one, for me, formidable” Il chante un mix de Francais et d’Anglais, si tu ne connais pas, you should check him out, it will put you in the mood for your French trip 😉


  3. Wow, that’s quite a list! But I’m sure you can do it. 🙂
    We do tend to underestimate ourselves, so it’s good to really push yourself to the limit…
    Looking at your list for the world-building of your Camp Nano book (had a good chuckle at “word vomit”…) and thinking that you should really check out the AMAZING AtoZ world building theme at Susan’s blog (she writes fantasy). You can find it at


    • Oh thanks for the recommendation Michelle, I’ll have to go check that out, could be really useful.

      And I’m with you, it’s so easy to underestimate and go easy on yourself. Chances are I won’t make it, but I’ll probably get further than if I had a small list of goals….


  4. Wow so many goals but I find that they do help in getting you to actually achieve them. I should make a list of goals myself… like you, I tend to slack if I’m not being held accountable. Well I wish you luck on all your goals, readings and reports and I just might take a look at ROW80 myself. =D


    • Thank you! So far, first day in and it’s going well- haha let’s wait and see what it will be like a few weeks down the line! It’s definitely worth checking ROW80 out, since you can set out your own goals for yourself you can tailor it to how much time you’ll have over the next two months!


  5. Awesome goals. I also starting Camp NaNo, along with the Blogging A to Z Challenge and NaPoWriMo. I was not able to finish the NaNo, because I was performing in a production of the Tempest (I played Trinculo). I got about 18,000 word into my novel before things got crazy. So, I can understand the goals and the Slackitude (by the way, that’s a great word. I might to borrow it. I will give credit for using it though.) Happy writing!


    • Haha, thanks, I’m quite fond of slacktitude too! (the word and the concept). And of course, feel free to use it as you want!

      That’s quite a challenge you undertood – Camp NaNo, NaPo and A to Z, jeez! And performing too!

      I haven’t read the Tempest yet, it’s on my bookshelf though, I heard it’s a wonderful play. Would you consider yourself more of an actress, or a writer, or equally both?


  6. I definitely think slackitude should be a word! You have a wonderful, ambitious reading list and a great set of goals. Best wishes whipping that WIP into shape. I like your plans for getting a better hold on the world-building.

    Have a terrific round! Glad you’re joining us!


    • I’m so excited that I get to read Dickens. I have to read Gulliver’s Travels and Life of Johnson first as they’re part of the same lesson module but as soon as that’s done, I’ll get cracking on Martin Chuzzlewit! 🙂


  7. Welcome to ROW80, again! And I totally agree that ambitious goals are much better than ordinary ones. Even if you achieve the ordinary ones, it doesn’t feel that exciting. But failing an epic goal is in itself an achievement.
    Also, if you need some help thinking about religion for your cultures, I recommend a book called ‘The Universe Next Door’ by James Sires. Basically he argues that there are seven questions all worldviews must answer. I found answering these questions for fantasy worlds gave a good structure for thinking about religion.


    • Oh that’s great, thank you so much for the recommendation! Sounds really interesting too, I’ll have to see if I can get a copy out here.

      I like that: ‘failing an epic goal is an achievement’. I’ll keep it in mind for the end of the round! 😉


  8. Salut, Celine, et bienvenue a la ROW80! *

    I really like your story goals. The planning you put into your story now will definitely add to the readability later (like you say… money, religion… all these things matter to people even when they don’t like them, so it’s best to explore specifics early).

    a smallish note though… we usually do check-ins twice a week, once on Sunday and another on Wednesday. It seems to help the accountability factor some. Each one doesn’t need to be a big post; sometimes we make just a note of our progress (or lack of) in the Facebook group. Just keeping in touch with our plans and with others to supports us helps a lot.

    Glad your joined us. Have a wonderful round

    * (unsure if we should call the ROW80 masculine or feminine, so going feminine since Kait Nolan started it)


    • Bonjour Éden!
      I think for now I’m going to do the once a week blog check in, but I didn’t know about the Facebook group so thanks for letting me know! 🙂 will have to go check that out.

      I think Row80 wouldn’t get a gender, it would be ‘bienvenue à Row80’. Gender in French is so arbitrary though, it makes no sense really! But thank you for the welcome and in French too – I already feel right at home!!


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