Day 90 Of 90 Day Novel

It dawned on me that I never wrote about my last day of the 90 day novel challenge. Oopsie…

I have two versions of my first draft: a novel divided in four parts and a novella with just the section that I liked the most. Once I start editing, I’ll finally make a decision. I’m still debating if I just want to make my point, then get out. To focus on the cheating and that’s it. Or if I want to show readers the characters’ entire journeys, what happened before the scandal, how it affected everyone afterwards.

No title. I’m thinking it should be a pop culture reference since my story deals with celebrities. Or it could be the main character’s name. See I’m all over the place…

When I write, I like to play certain playlists to keep me in the mindset of the people in my stories. For this one, I listened to:

  • Dru Hill–Someone’s Sleeping In My Bed
  • Destiny’s Child–Temptation
  • Dru Hill–We’re Not Making Love Anymore
  • Rihanna–Unfaithful
  • Brandy–Angel In Disguise

As you can probably tell, my story is about a love triangle. I want it to be women’s fiction instead of romance, so I focused on the main character trying to rebuild her career after the fallout of her infidelity. I shared her, her boyfriend, and her fling’s perspectives to show the emotional rollercoaster. I guess I shouldn’t tell who she ended up picking, if anyone at all, because I don’t want to give the ending away.

I haven’t touched either versions of the first draft in close to six weeks. I want an objective eye when I go back to edit; apparently I have a lot of work cut out for me.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Day 82 of 90 Day Novel

Should I stop? What’s the point? Last night, these thoughts kept running through my mind as I sat in front of my computer screen with the Word document opened (still untitled). I didn’t do anything for two hours straight while I watched The Voice. Then something told me I should keep going. That this is a 90 day challenge so get to work. I obeyed even if I hesitated a little.

I don’t know what it is, but for the past four days, I’ve lost motivation to continue with this novel. It’s like I’m adding scenes–just because. Because it has to be a novel so should be over 50,000. Because I have only a few more days left so should keep going. Because my inner-nerd doesn’t want to fail the challenge.

  • I talked with my writing buddy this morning, and she’s been experiencing the same feeling. Maybe it’s the 90 day challenge blues. I wondered if it would creep along somewhere in the timeline. With NaNo, it appeared in week 2. Maybe for this challenge, it happens at the very end. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one going through this.

I have the middle and ending. I’m just working on the beginning now (I wrote out of order). Some days I wonder if this  should just be a short story or novella. If that’s the case, then I should stop writing and focus on deleting the scenes that don’t really add anything to the plot. Scenes that are just there to add word count. However, maybe I should keep going to see if something interesting will happen at the beginning. Maybe I should start where the middle is–where the celebrity scandal has already taken place–instead of trying to plan things out beforehand.

All those thoughts are running through my mind at once. I’m going to pull my hair out. I love my story, I really do. It’s not boring to me at all; that’s why I’m so baffled that I keep debating over a short story or novel. This is the 90 day novel challenge I participated in, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world if I spent 90 days working on a shorter piece of fiction. At least, it’d be a finished first draft either way.

Since first drafts are meant for experimentation, I guess I’ll keep on writing. What’s the worst that could happen? I’m afraid to even answer that…

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Day 60 of 90 Day Novel

I can’t believe it’s Day 60 already! Where did the time go? I’m still in the mindset of jotting down notes in the mornings then typing my scenes once I get home. The downside to that is I read part of my story before creating new scenes, which causes me to edit. A few days ago, I decided I didn’t like a scene in a particular character’s point of view, so I deleted it (YIKES!!!). I rewrote it in someone else’s perspective. Sure the story flows better now, but geeze louise, that set me back.

Right now, I finished with all the heavy-hitter scenes–basically the juicy plots. Now, I’m filling in the gaps with transitions and smaller plot points. I don’t know how far I’ll end up with word count at the end of 90 days, but I know I’ll have a completed first rough draft.

Even though writing is a passion of mine, I still believe in giving rewards/incentives to keep motivated. That’s why Melissa and I came up with the bright idea to have $1.99 margarita night at Las Trancas to celebrate reaching 40,000 words so far. The celebration happened to fall on Day 60 (only 30 more left. I wonder if the challenge will stay chill or get stressful like NaNo).

It was pretty fun. We laughed about how when we tell people our projects, they always think we’re in school because we talk about deadlines and word count. No, it isn’t homework. We joked a long time ago that we named our group The Procrastinators since if we didn’t give deadlines or projects, then we’d never start or finish anything hee hee. It’s just our way of keeping the momentum going.

More laugh out loud moments:

  • For some reason, Las Trancas has a kid’s menu for only children. No exceptions. Well, I’m a rebel at heart even though I’m not aggressive about it. I like to test my limits to see how much people will let me get away with. Not liking Mexican food, I wanted chicken tenders and fries off the kid’s menu. I stated this to Melissa, and she convinced the waiter to let me order it. He was hesitant at first, but no one can say no to a Leo’s charms hee hee. We joked that he risked his job for me, then gave me dirty looks throughout the meal.
  • This was my first time ever with a full drink. I guess I don’t only eat slow; I drink very slow as well. It was funny because the margarita glass would not empty. Maybe I took sips from the straw instead of gulps. I don’t know, but I honestly thought I’d never finish.

Who knows, maybe our conversation or events we witnessed weren’t really funny? Maybe it was the margaritas playing tricks on us? All I know is I giggled a lot, talked loudly even though I tried to whisper (an older gentleman with a mullet caught my attention), and had a good time.

I didn’t let the fact that I had jury duty the next morning ruin my night. Even though that was another thing to laugh about: my bad luck.

When I got home, I worked on my story. I’m still iffy on the characters’ names and a little disappointed that I don’t have any working titles yet. Hopefully, I’ll think of something soon.

For all the writers out there, do you give yourself rewards for finishing a project or deadline? What’s the most interesting one you gave yourself?

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Day 41 of 90 Day Novel Challenge

This morning I had writer’s block while trying to concentrate in Java. My mind was too distracted and I couldn’t calm it down. It’s my own fault for not going to bed at a decent hour last night. Oh well, that’s how the cookie crumbles sometimes. Hopefully, by the time I reach home, I’ll be ready to finish my scene.

Normally, I write in the mornings. I’m motivated, hardly looking up from my paper. Then I go home to type it, sometimes including something extra if I’m in the mood. I’ve decided not to print this novel bits at a time like I usually do. When I hold the paper in my hand, it keeps me motivated because I see my story’s progress, I see it growing. This time, I’ll just wait until I’m finished my first draft since I’m writing out of order.

For some reason, the middle section is speaking to me more than the beginning. This story is fun to write. The female main character is the total opposite of me; she’s flirtatious and seductive. She can get whatever she wants from men without even trying. To help with showing rather than telling, I researched flirty body language, ways to know men/women are attracted to each other, when to notice they lost interest, with Google.

  • It’s been interesting creating those scenes. In a nutshell, this novel is about a love triangle. I write from the woman and the two guys’ perspectives. The girl will end up deciding she doesn’t want any of them; she’d rather be alone. One guy will respect that while the other guy will become a clingy mess.
  • I noticed the majority of my stories (novels, writing prompts, short stories) involve the guy pursuing a relationship but the girl hesitates. I wonder what that says about me…

Since I’m not concerned with word count this time around, it’s been less stressful. I’m confident that I’ll have a finished product on Day 90. I don’t care how long it takes to copy and paste a new document. Even though I’m focused on this new novel, I still wonder about One By One. I still haven’t heard from my betas yet. I feel vulnerable and exposed, which is hard for a shy person. I can’t wait to get feedback, so I can feel normal again. I hate not knowing; the suspense is killing me.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Day 20 of 90 Day Novel Challenge

I didn’t lie when I predicted I’d have plenty of time on my hands while outlining my next novel. I’ve managed to get the majority of my editing accomplished for One By One (only 20 more pages to go woo hoo), provided character sketches and plot outline for screenplay with my writing buddy (it was fun the day we scouted locations in Harpers Ferry), and I completed character sketches for my comic–even did research (will be combining comicpress with wordpress for my art blog next year).

Now, its day 20 of this novel challenge. In 8 more, I can start my rough draft. I can’t wait! I’ve described the majority of the scenes that I want in this story, so it’s all fresh in my head. I just have to jot it down on paper. I’ve been a busy bee, getting intimate with my characters. I’ve roleplayed enough that I know them by heart. It took a while for me to figure out their names though–that was a first. I’m not even completely sold on my four main characters’ names, so they may change in revisions. Since they are celebrities, they should have memorable first and last name combinations.

My routine for this challenge so far has been to focus on plot outline and character sketches  in the morning(using my own method instead of those questions in the 90 day book), then in the afternoon and night, I work on my other projects. This challenge expects a 80,000 word count novel at the end! I have to rethink my strategy.

  • Let’s see, for NaNo, it was 1,666 words a day. If I write 1,000 words a day for the next 2 months, that only leaves 60,000. If I do 1,340 words a day, then it’ll be 80,400 words give or take. Hopefully, this will be less stress compared to NaNo. When researching, I couldn’t find anything about when to expect burning out or being motivated, the best and worst weeks of the process, etc. I’m going into the situation blindly, and I hate that. I want to already know, so I can prepare myself for it. Oh well.

Being realistic, I don’t expect to reach 80,000. I really don’t want to hee hee. I like to get in, make my point, then exit to the left. This 90 day novel challenge will probably give me a headache, but I’ll succeed. My inner-nerd won’t let me fail. It’ll help that I plan on dividing this novel into different parts–it should help me produce a higher word count than usual.

The premise is based off of an actress’s experience. It’s a popular headline at the moment for magazines and blog sites. It was fun to Google the gossip to get the juicy version from the press and to hear fans’ reactions. I’m excited to reveal behind-the-scenes of Hollywood with PR, bruised egos, inflated egos, narcissists, etc even if my story is make believe. That’s why it’s called fiction. The details are changed so much that no one will be able to tell where I found inspiration from. There’s only one person I told, and she better not spill the beans hee hee.

I plan to finish editing One By One this weekend, leaving me time to begin my creative writing prompts again. I’ll start this Friday. I’m sorry I had to stop awhile–it was cool that some of you enjoyed reading them 🙂

Come on Day 28, I’m ready for ya! For all the writers out there who’s participated in this 90 day novel challenge, do you have any tips or suggestions for me and my writing buddy before we start our first rough draft?

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Day 7 of 90 Day Novel Challenge

This challenge has started off somewhat confusing to me already. I’m supposed to think of my imaginary world within my novel and brainstorm about my hero and villain (or protagonist and antagonist). However, it’s all supposed to be considered thinking very loosely. Don’t commit to anything regarding plot.  Then how come some of the questions asked for character sketches get specific with plot LOL?

I had an idea in my head where I wanted this novel to go before NaNo even ended. I wanted it to be suspenseful–a love triangle gone wrong. For seven days straight, I’ve been keeping that in mind answering these specific questions for each day.

Day seven. I completely changed my mind. Now, I want it to be a drama, still involving a love triangle. I was excited to jot down notes all this morning about my new concept than what I’ve written for the past seven days. This new plot (or imaginary world) will give me more options to play with. I don’t want this to be under romance genre, so I’ll have more leeway. It’s based off a celebrity’s experience at the moment. Please don’t sue hee hee!

  • The first thing I teach my students is you can find inspiration for story ideas through other people’s experiences, whether you know them or not. You weren’t there to personally go through it, so the details you include will be made up–therefore, fiction.

I’m not discouraged that I have to start all over. It’s quite the opposite actually. I’m relieved. Now, I can make the female main character the villain instead of the hero. Bad girls are always fun to write about. Instead of re-answering all those questions since day one, I’ll just leave it alone. It’s not even worth going back and changing anything. To be honest, I kind of hate the questions. I don’t think it’s really helping me understand my characters at all.

Maybe I should stick with outlining and doing my own version of character sketches to get on a more intimate level with them. I usually have my own set of questions, play around with character’s relationships, make mock journal entries, fake facebook accounts (drawn on paper, not created on internet), etc. Everything I can think of to roleplay. My favorite part of the writing process.

For this ninety day novel challenge, I don’t officially begin my rough draft until like day twenty-nine or twenty-eight, so I have plenty of time to experiment getting to know my characters better.

Wish me luck!

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

The Procrastinators Goals

Since NaNo was a success (we finished critiquing each others’ story around the same time), we decided not to wait to try the 90 day challenge of writing a novel. When I say “we”, I mean Melissa (my writing buddy) and I. Tomorrow starts the big day; I’m really excited! Our goal is to keep producing novels, to keep each other motivated. So after 90 day challenge, we’ll have a little bit of time before the official NaNo starts. Might as well do that too; if we post on the website, we have a chance to win. To get our name out there.

  • I can handle it. We’ll be pursuing these projects while editing our NaNo novels. I would hope by three months I’d be finished. I won’t be naive as my first novel when I assumed it only took a couple of weeks. Boy was I wrong. Anyway, we also want to write a screenplay somewhere in the middle of all of this. Or maybe after NaNo is over. Robin was nice enough to give us tips. Movies that are cheap to film (stay in one location, shoot in daytime for majority of it) are more likely to be brought. Something useful to keep in mind.

Wish us luck!

For the 90 day challenge, there’s certain steps that need to be followed. The first month–absolutely no writing the draft is allowed. You can only focus on structure and stream-of-consciousness questions, basically in-depth character sketches. At the end of this month, you begin outlining.

For the second and third month, you create your first draft into three different acts (the same concept as a screenplay):

  • Act I–opening, dilemma, inciting incident, opposing argument
  • Act II–false victory, midpoint, hero suffers, end of Act II
  • Act III–hero accepts reality of situation, action, battle scene, equilibrium

Cool beans–this 90 day novel challenge will give us practice on the structures of screenplay writing. I’m used to it, but it’ll be my first time with a partner :). I’m a team player, so I should be alright hee hee. This will also help me get back into the mood of writing, instead of just editing. I should have time to go back to writing creative prompts again; keeping my fingers crossed.

It feels good to work with people who are on the same page as you. Who want the same goals as you. Who has the same passion and can help keep you motivated.

We call ourselves The Procrastinators, but as you can probably tell, we’re far from it :).

For all the writers out there, do you have any future projects you’re working on?

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby