Friday, October 5, 2012

not giving up yet

I'm behind schedule.

It's day 10 of my 'Finish the Book in 31 Days' challenge. I'm only up to day 7 goal wise. Behind by three days. But that's okay.

It's way too early in the schedule to give up, throw in the towel, or run naked in the streets screaming, "I'll never make it; I just know it!"

There is no need to change the plan or reschedule the deadline. It's just time to get serious, pull up my shirt sleeves, and work a little harder to catch up.

I know I can do it.

Never surrender. Never give up. Being behind is not the end.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Learning the writing trade

Norman Galaxy of Writers presents
“Using Your Five Senses in Your Writing,”
an interactive workshop by Sherry Bynum

Date:                 October 6, 2012 
Place:         University Lutheran Church, the Soul Room
                  914 Elm Ave., Norman, OK
Register:    9:45 a.m.   Program:  10 to noon
Cost:          $10.  Limit:  25 participants

This is a workshop! Bring writing materials—and your five senses!
Park behind the church on College Street.

Want more information? Contact Sherry Bynum, 405-364-7818, 401-2410,

Limited Enrollment—Please Pre-Register

Achievable writing goals

I believe in setting achievable writing goals.

That doesn't mean I settle for less. It means I am usually fully aware of my present abilities; therefore I am usually fully aware of which goals are actually within my reach, and which ones are beyond reach from my current position. With each achievement I set the bar a little higher for the next project. 

For years I was a closet writer. Most of what I wrote sucked and I wouldn't let anyone else read what I had written –because it sucked. Like learning to play a musical instrument, I got better with practice and finally allowed a few trusted friends to read and critique my stories. 

Eventually I joined a writing group, took a couple of classes, and attended workshops and conferences. As I learned writing technique and honed my skills I started entering contest. Then I started winning contest. 

Finally I got secure enough in my skills as a writer to submit my work to publishers. I've had a few short stories, fillers, and flash fiction pieces published. 

Like most writers I've been working on a couple of novels –forever. I've even finished a few; and promptly burned them. I'm currently working on a Paranormal Romance Novel. I don't intend to burn this one. My goal is to see it in print in the not too distant future.

But, first, I have to finish it. The first draft was easy. I wrote it in about three months. Unfortunately I've been editing it ever since. 

I've set a goal to finish the final pre-submission edits in 31 days. I just finished day 3 and all is well. I'm ahead of schedule at the moment. Of course I know progress will slow down dramatically about halfway through the book. 

As I said, I believe in setting achievable goals. And I believe I can achieve this one. 

The trick to setting achievable goals is simply not to set them so far beyond your limits that it would be a miracle to achieve them, and to realize that every achievement along the way is a miracle in itself. Aim high but remember to climb the latter one rung at a time. 

Day 4 of the climb has begun.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

setting goals

I wrote my first Paranormal Romance Novel over a year ago. It just flowed out of me as if someone stood behind me whispering the words into my ear as I transcribed them onto the page. I finished the first draft in less than three months.

Unfortunately, I've been editing and rewriting it ever since and can't seem to get to a point where I feel it's ready for submission. I've worked on it to the point of hating it. 

With the help of a word processor I'm no longer forced to write six or seven drafts of a manuscript. I just edit and revise in my program adding, subtracting, and substituting words until I am happy with the sounds they make together. I'd say I'm at the equivalent of about the twentieth draft by now. 

The book is over 70,000 words. The story is all there. But I'm still not satisfied. 

I've worked it to death. 

So I've set a deadline to quit working on it. If it's not any good by the end of the deadline that's okay, I'm done with it, until it's rejected or the publisher tells me how the hell to fix it. 

I set a goal of 31 days to finish –starting yesterday. My goal is to finish editing and polishing as much as I can –at least one chapter and hopefully several chapters a day. At the end of the day I'm going to print out the chapters I've finished and go on to the next chapter the following day. I'm hoping to complete this cycle before the end of my allotted time.  

When I've printed the entire book I'm handing it over to my beta readers. As soon as I get their feedback I'll make any minor adjustments needed and then it's off to the publisher. 

In the meantime I'll be posting updates on my progress and asking all my loyal followers to nag me if I'm not staying on schedule.  

Day 1, yesterday, I worked on the outline, did a final edit of chapter ONE, and printed part of the outline, the coversheet, and the first chapter. It's a short chapter. Truth is most of my chapters are short. But I conquered my goal for day ONE.  
Let's see if I can do the same today. 

Wish me luck, and be prepared to kick my butt, every day for the next 30 days.