So its my first ROW80 check in for Round 2. I didn’t do an initial goal-setting post because I wasn’t sure what they should be yet. Now that I’ve had some time to ponder, I can share my goals for this round.

I like to keep my goal of writing between 8:00pm-9:00pm Monday-Thursday on a work of fiction. I’m in the home stretch of finishing the first draft of my first novel. I have two more chapters to write and then I get the joy of writing “The End.”

Then there is the task of editing. Since this is my first novel, I think I should put the time in to edit it, but I’m not sure if its something I would want to query. I would prefer to write a new novel and polish it for querying. If I don’t edit this book, I think it would feel incomplete still somehow, even though I don’t plan to query it. Maybe it would be good practice for book 2?

Start my new blog theme. I write blog posts on Saturdays and Sundays, which leaves Fridays for “non-writing” activities such as reading. Last Round of ROW80, I came up with a new weekly blog theme and I want to implement it this round. I have brainstormed some ideas in advance, but I think I’ll need more ideas yet. However, I want to get it started at least by May. I just need to decide which day to blog on.

Re-tweet. Yes, I’m making this a goal in and of itself. I’ve joined Triberr, but not all of you are using this platform so I only get a few blog posts in my stream for tweeting. I just need to figure out how all of you re-tweet each other because when I look at one person’s specific tweet stream, most of the time I only see re-tweets and cannot find their original tweets to re-tweet. So this Round, I try to figure out a method for re-tweeting. If you have any time-saving tips on this, PLEASE let me know in the comments.

Read two craft books. I have two writing craft books waiting to be read. I just have to get back into routine of spreading the eggs among different baskets and being able to balance and focus on multiple projects at once like last Round.

I’m also considering taking an online writing course, so you have one to recommend, I’m all ears.

So after I finish my first novel, I will work on plotting book 2. I just haven’t decided which idea to go with for book 2. I have three ideas swirling around and some scenes already written for each idea.

How do you choose an idea to write about when you have a few on the radar?

Happy Easter!

25 thoughts on “Putting the eggs in different baskets – ROW80 check in”

  1. Great goals, Nicole. I would think that editing your current WIP, even if you don’t plan to query it, would be excellent practice and probably save you a great deal of time in the future. Nothing beats experience and you will have a full manuscript in hand to learn from.

    All the best for the coming week 🙂

  2. Revising a novel is great practice and who knows, you may be able to whip it into something you do want to shop! OTOH, I have set a novel aside after completing the first draft – I just wasn’t excited about it by the time I finished it, and my revisions are a great deal of work (take twice as long as writing a first draft), so it seemed a better use of my time would be to write something new. The book I’m releasing this week is one I didn’t revise at first – second in a series, and the first one didn’t sell. Now that I’ve gone the indie route and published the first, I got this one back out and I’m glad I did because I love it! (And readers are asking for it!)

    As far as new ideas, it’s usually whichever one’s been screaming at me the loudest and longest. 😀 Happy Easter and have a great week!

  3. You’ll be glad to have gone through the editing process. Get it under your belt! I know I always feel better about taking on a project when I’ve done it before. Plus, the second time you always find a better way of doing it – of making it more efficient. Best of luck.

  4. Cute bunny!

    And great goals… I look forward to seeing what advice people have to give (or what you discover on your own) with regards to improving efficiency in using Twitter, which is something I need to work on myself…

    Also, for your first novel, you might consider putting it through the critique process at – it’s an interesting site that I recently signed up for, where your work goes through a series of critiques by other authors, with the idea that it’s going to get cleaned up and queried. The site is still in beta and free to join, but fair warning – it requires a fairly detailed profile that includes a lot of craft-specific questions, samples, etc.

    Wishing you the best in the coming week!

  5. Great concise goals, Nicole! I think editing the WIP would be good, but you could set it aside for maybe 30 days and then begin editing. You might view it with fresh eyes if you let it hang out in a drawer for a while, so to speak. By the way, I’m sure I revised my first novel more times than you have sung O Canada, but I learned a lot along the way.

    I am taking an online course from Margie Lawson Academy soon (with Tiffany Lawson Inman). I’ll see how that goes, but I’ve heard good things about it. And I’m curious which craft books you’re planning to read.

    Have a fabulous ROW80! We’ll be here cheering you on!

    1. Thanks Julie. I do plan to let it sit for about a month after I finish the late two chapters. 🙂 Then I can re-read it and be struck with horror at how juvenile it sounds. Just kidding, but some drawer-sitting will be good for it.

    2. Julie, you make me feel so much better about my first book revisions process! I finished the book last year, received positive rejections after querying, let it sit for two months while beta readers got in their feedback, and now, I’m revising it AGAIN. The first 90 pages are completely polished at this point, but I still have another three months before I expect it to be complete. I was worried this was a waste of my time, but it’s true, I’ve learned so much about the process of writing a book and about my writing style. Great suggestion for Nicole to go through revisions and final edits, polishing…

      BTW, I hope to hear one day that you publish that first book. 🙂

  6. RE your last question: I go with the one that inspires the most feeling in me, the one that looks as if it offers the most chance for character development. .
    Re good craft books to read: have you read THE WRITER’S JOURNEY by Christopher Vogler? Or SOLUTIONS FOR WRITERS by Sol Stein. Also, Ed Griffin, who teaches creative writing and has a blog called Wriiters Write Daily on WordPress, has a How to writing manual for sale, which I think would be very good. I’ll find his blog URL ASA I can and put it here for you.

    1. Thanks Danielle. Its a good tip about the story with the most chance for character development. There are 3 story ideas, one has a strong lead character ready for a field day so that might be the one. 🙂 Thanks for the book reference. I’ve heard good things about these so I will add them to my list.

  7. That bunny is adorable, Nicole ;). Happy Easter!
    And I think your plan to edit your first manuscript is a solid one, even if you decide not to query it. It *is* great practice, although, I’ll say that for me it helps to put the manuscript aside for a week or two (even a month or more) before beginning to seriously edit it. You’ll be amazed at how a phrase that seemed so clear to you when you were writing…isn’t remotely clear upon rereading. Or, sometimes, the opposite. A scene you really struggled with and feared didn’t make any sense at all turns out to be better than you’d hoped.
    Good luck with everything!!

    1. Happy Easter Marilyn. The funny thing is I spent quite a while looking for the cutest bunny picture I could find.

      Yes, my plan is to get my novel finished and then let it simmer for a while like you said. Then I’ll come back to it and edit, edit, edit. 🙂

  8. So exciting that you are chapter 2 away from writing The End!! I think like you have said in your replies to comments above that you are going to edit as good practise and I think that is a great idea. I know what you mean about it feeling unfinished in some way…my NaNo novel is sitting unfinished in a computer file somewhere!

    Good luck this week 🙂

  9. Great goals, Nicole. Awesome you’re so close to the end! Just remember to allow yourself a couple of weeks away from the book before you begin editing. It’s amazing how fresh it will seem to you. LIke others, I think editing it is a great practice, regardless of what you do with it. Also, you might look into taking Angela James’s editing class for beginners. I took it last summer and learned a lot.

    Good luck this week!

  10. Editing…uggh…the hardest part of the journey. My suggestion is get a second set of eyes on it. I did my own editing for my first novel and cringed a little when I found a couple of typos in the final product. I had looked at the edits so often I was nearly blind, but I think it is impossible to do it yourself (you too often see what you meant to say and not what you wrote). Of course, editing services are expensive and 85k words can cost $850 to edit so there is that to consider (maybe we could trade off my book two for your book one 🙂 – I have read several “craft” books including The Hero’s Jouney, King’s On Writing, Write Like the Masters, and The First Five Pages…but the best in the toolbox is still the grammar books LOL. I do like Holy Isles writing courses, but I’m betting from the quality of your blogs you’re already an excellent novelist. One recommendation I would make for every writer is the Scrivener writing program. It’s an excellent tool for organising, outlining, and writing.

  11. You’re on your way, Nicole! Great ROW80 goals, too. I definitely agree with your idea of letting the first draft simmer before you return to it. If you have critique partners who can give you feedback, all the better. Sometimes we’re too close to our own work to see it in perspective and may miss things that jumps out at a reader/agent/editor.

    I’m just a little ahead of you writing-wise, finishing up final edits (again!) on my first book. My focus this second year is getting into the routine of splitting up my time between final edits, writing/revising book 2, plotting book 3, and gathering seed ideas for future stories as they come.

    Twenty-five percent into the calendar year, I’m still trying to get into my groove. But, I find plenty to write about each day with so many projects in different stages available to me (No such worry as writer’s block!!). In fact, my book 3 has yelled the loudest recently and I’ve written a thorough, rough draft synopsis, detailed character sketches/backgrounds and even the GMC outlines for chapter/scenes to hapter 9. My book 2 characters that had been unwieldy when I was paying them all my attention now clamor for me to return to them. Today, I know which scene I need to go back and add to/revise before moving onto chapter 4 writing. Book 1 is like a old, dear friend, and a complete joy to revise since I’m not stuck with it day in-day out, and gives me the confidence that I can complete future books, as long as I stick with them.

    That may give you another idea of how to organize your writing time once your first book rough draft is complete, helping you avoid the dreaded let-down of having to start over at page one for the second book. (I suffered with that writer’s disease for months…to be avoided at all costs!)

    Good luck, Nicole. I’m cheering you on as always!!! 😀

  12. Aw, what a cute bunny! 😀 You’ve got great goals, Nicole, and no matter what you decide to do about novel #1, it won’t be time wasted. You are developing such important skills that will serve you well the next go-round. Good luck!

  13. great post. I recommend your next project be the one you’re most passionate about. personally, I can never just edit a piece. I try to edit for a couple hours and then write creatively on a new piece for a couple hours, just to keep the juices flowing.

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