If you see a scattered pile of computer paper and hear muffled noises coming from underneath it, I promise it’s not haunted. It’s just one of us senior writing students, buried underneath our overwhelming major projects.
Truth be told, my senior seminar project is actually going pretty well. I’m on track in terms of my word count, and it seems like the story is moving along at a nice pace. I covered what my major project is about in my last Writer’s Life post, but here’s a quick recap: I’m writing an “alternate history” novel set in 1968. It features two young women (a college student and a journalist) as they investigate several U.S. soldiers who have mysteriously disappeared in their home country.
As of this writing, I’m at 26,783 words just over halfway to my word count goal 50,000. I’m also a little more than halfway to my deadline of November 30 (remember, I started mid-October). In other words, things are right on track and as long as nothing wild happens (knock on wood), I should reach my goal no problem.
Big-picture-wise, it looks like things have been smooth sailing, but this project has been more complicated than that. I’ve fallen behind a few times, though I always manage to recover within a few days. Fortunately, I’ve had a lot of great help – I have a writing program that keeps me organize, fellow writer who encourage me, and music that keeps me motivated.
Today, I’m participating in the Language of Worlds linkup, hosted by Liv K. Fisher. If you’re unfamiliar with the linkup, every two months Liv posts 10 questions for bloggers to answer about their writing projects, characters, or the writing life in general. It’s great for getting to know your story better and connecting with other bloggers, so go check it out! It’s open to anyone.
Not long ago, I shared that I’m working on a new writing project for my senior capstone class, an “alternate history” story set in 1968. You can read more about it here, but today, I’m going to be talking about one of my main characters, Valerie “Val” Harris.
It was a dark and stormy night. A young woman sat at her desk, a blanket wrapped around her shoulders. The light from her laptop reflected off of her glasses as she frantically typed away at her keyboard, desperate to meet her word goal. Her workshop is counting on her, she reminded herself. And so is her grade point average.
If that’s not a glimpse of my past, then it’s definitely a prophecy about my future.
This semester, I’m taking a “senior writing seminar” course and our big assignment is to plan and complete some type of writing project. For me, I’m plotting out and writing 50,000 words of a novel. In addition to fiction, I know there are also students writing literary non-fiction and graphic novels.
So yeah. Lots of pretty neat stuff is happening in Writing Seminar.
I’m sure you’re thinking by now, “Maggie, what is YOUR project about? We’re all dying to know!” Or maybe you’re not thinking that, which I understand. But if you actually are dying to know about my project, keep reading!
To make a long story short, I was on a student leadership retreat last weekend fighting mosquitos, so I didn’t have a chance to write a blog post as usual. Instead, I’m participating in the Language of Worlds linkup, hosted by Liv K. Fisher.
If you’re unfamiliar with the linkup (since I’ve only done it once before), Liv posts 10 questions every two months for bloggers to answer about their writing projects, characters, or writing life in general. It’s a lot of fun, and I’m excited to participate again and talk about my fantasy work in progress, codenamed “Quest.”
Back in October 2018, I entered a short story contest held for the Blimey Cow patron community (or “cowmoonity,” as we call it). Our prompt was to write a story with the following elements:
Theme: “Things are not as they seem”
Music should be featured prominently
Including one of the following: a broken television, a cobweb, or a cassette.
So I decided to enter the contest, and ended up winning three of the five categories (Best story, best character, and best overall). To be honest, I was totally surprised and honored to be one of the finalists (let alone a winner)!
Since then, the story was accepted for publication in my school’s literary journal, The Peregrine Review. Since I spend most of my time working on larger writing projects, I’ve become rather proud of this little story and how far it’s come. Since I mentioned it a few times recently, I thought today would be a good time to share it!
Read on to check out my short story, “Time After Time.”
It’s every college student’s favorite time of the semester, and by favorite I mean that we have a week and a half of classes left before exams and it seems like everything is due all at once.
Anyway, in between working on research papers and rewriting the end of Jane Eyre, I’ve spent the past month starting the rewrite of my fantasy project. The working title for this project is Quest, though I have been playing with some more official ones… but I’ll save them for another day.
I set my goal to write 25,000 words by the end of April, or about 850 words a day, give or take. I knew that wouldn’t complete my story by any stretch, but I wanted to hit the ground running and get off to a good start before life got too busy. Fortunately, I did reach my goal on April 26, which has given me some breathing room to complete my other responsibilities.
Anyway, as part of my big writing push this month, I’ve been sharing my favorite lines on Twitter every day. I did it as a way of motivating me, because sometimes when you write a lot in a short period of time, you get frustrated with the quality of your work. And yes, I know that a lot of what I write will be cut and revised and altered in the future, but I wanted to appreciate the parts that I do like, as a reminder that there is still some good that comes out of this first draft (other than it being written, of course).
So as April is coming to a close, I thought I’d celebrate what I accomplished this month and share a few of those favorite lines here. Most of them don’t have context, but hey, that’s part of the fun!
I’ve got Camp NaNoWriMo on the brain lately, so I’ve decided to do something fun today to share the project I’ll be working on starting next month.
As you may recall, I participated in NaNoWriMo for the first time in November 2017 with a fantasy project I called “Quest,” mostly because it was inspired by other fantasy quest narratives I enjoy, like The Legend of Zelda series. Even though I completed that 50,000 word draft (and learned a lot from it), I’ve since decided to scrap it and start again from the beginning. Not the beginning beginning – I’ll be keeping the same world, characters, and much of the same ideas, but I’m reworking the plot and making it a better story.
One of my less-explicitly-stated goals for 2019 is to complete a draft of what I hope will be the first book in a series. Since November will probably be a crazy time for me – it’ll be my senior year, after all – I plan to use Camp NaNoWriMo in April and July as my intense writing sessions, but also allow myself to write in between.
All that to say, I recently rediscovered an older blog post of mine called “The Six Question Character Challenge,” where I shared a bit about the three main characters of my “Summertime” project. Since Camp NaNoWriMo is just around the corner, I thought I’d do it again with the three main characters from Quest! I’ve written posts about them in the past, so I’ll link those as well in the post.
Anyways, I do talk about my projects every so often, but it’s usually limited to a specific character or incident. So, sort of in the spirit of NaNoWriMo, I decided to share some “fun facts” about my three writing projects. If you’re not familiar with these stories, don’t worry – I’ll link to their “About” pages below.
Without further ado, here’s some trivia you can impress your friends with when I’m rich and famous*
*let’s be honest, that doesn’t usually happen – but hey, I can dream.
As I mentioned last week, I’m taking a bit of a “sabbatical” from blogging for the next month in order to be able to restore myself creatively. I’m still posting weekly, but I’m focusing on things like linkups, blog tags, and so on – partly because I’ve been wanting to do them for a while, and partly because they don’t require as much creative energy from me.
This week, I’m participating in the Language of Worlds Linkup, which is hosted by Liv K. Fisher. The Language of Worlds is a bimontly character linkup (think like the Beautiful People linkup). It’s specifically tailored to Christian speculative fiction (sci-fi and fantasy), but it’s open to anyone who wants to participate. If you’re interested, you can read more about it on Liv’s blog.
I’ve never done this linkup before, but I decided to give it a try with Silas, a character from my fantasy work-in-progress that lacks a proper title. I won’t tell you much about him, since you’ll meet him in a minute, but here’s a quick overview: Silas is a bounty hunter that meets Myrina and Adrien in the course of their travels. He’s not very talkative, and can come off as a little mysterious, but here’s a peek into his character…
Continuing what I did last week, here’s another character questionnaire! Like I mentioned last week, I was inspired by Miranda Kulig at Miranda Writes to do these questionnaires, so be sure to visit her blog too! She gives awesome writing advice. And don’t forget, you can find all these questions for yourself here.
Today, I’m featuring Spencer Rose, the other main character from my Camp NaNo story, “The Show Must Go On.” Spencer is the newcomer in this story, having just met the band when she finds out they’re looking for a drummer. She fits in with the others pretty easily (well, most of them at least). But enough about that – on to the questions!