ROW80 Progress and a Meme – Cause That’s Just The Way I Roll

I just finished the first full edit on Utopians and what better way to celebrate than with a writing meme. LS Engler posted this one over on her blog yesterday with an open invitation for others to also participate, so why the hell not 🙂 The meme invites participants to share the first sentence (okay let’s be honest from the outset- I’m probably going to include several sentences because I’m just a rule-breaking kinda gal) from each of the first three chapters of their current work. This genuinely appeals for Utopians as the story is written from 3 different perspectives and giving samples from the first 3 chapters gives a tid bit from each of them.

Chapter 1
Panic jolted the last remnants of sleep from Mila’s body.
She was suffocating.
She opened her mouth and tried to suck in a huge gasping breath.
It didn’t work. The air was stale, and there wasn’t enough oxygen, not near enough.

Chapter 2
Jett woke to the familiar sway of his yacht as it bobbed over the waves. He’d anchored for the night just outside Auckland harbour. He probably could have completed the journey yesterday, heading back to dock and allowing his feet to touch dry land for the first time in three weeks, but he’d been unable to pass up the idea of just one extra night out on the water.

Chapter 3
Beep… It can’t possibly be morning already.
Beep… Ignore it, it’ll go away.
Beep… Damn it!
Austin rolled over, lashing his arm out violently at the alarm clock on the side table.

Yes I am aware that all 3 chapters begin with the characters waking up and yes it was deliberate 🙂 And now on with my progress toward my ROW80 goals…

Goal 1: Complete my detailed edits on The Utopians
Allocated time: 2 weeks
Progress: Turns out there were 10 chapters left as of the beginning of this round and I am very pleased to say that despite an earth-shattering illness that has seen me virtually bed-ridden for the past few days I managed to get through all 10 of those chapters. The first full edit is complete (and on time too) 🙂 Yay! Now I can start on the Character edits.

Goal 2: Character edits on The Utopians
Allocated time: 2 weeks
Progress: Will be starting on these ASAP!

Goal 3: Final read through and compilation of The Utopians for Alpha readers
Allocated time: 1 week
Progress: I need to finish the above goals before I can think about this one.

Goal 4: Read (at least) 12 books to keep up with my goal of 50 for the year
Allocated time: whole round
Progress: Oops, no. I’ve started reading Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. The fact that I didn’t read the whole book is evidence of how sick I was – I had the curl up under the doona bit down but I wasn’t well enough to pick up the book to go with it. I’m still 1/12.

All in all progress so far this round has been great. I think that Utopians is really starting to take shape and I can’t wait to finish up the next few weeks of character and line-edits so I can get it off to some readers.

What about you? Have you hit the ground running this round? Or are you struggling to find your feet? What did you think of the (very small) sample from Utopians? As always, I love hearing from you.

Jody Moller

ROW80 Goals for Round 3

I know, I know, I’m four days late writing this post and I have a plethora of excuses if you’d like to hear them (don’t I always): Excuse 1 – it’s school hols here, so the kids have been home and this is actually the first time I’ve managed to turn the computer on in over a week; Excuse 2 – new video game (actually bought by the kids, for the kids, to occupy them during a cold and miserable school holiday period but I find it difficult to resist); Excuse 3 – the entire collection of Breaking Bad episodes from my sister (I am not even through to the end of season 2 yet, so this one is going to plague me for a little while longer). Anyway… we need some goals!

Goal 1: Complete my detailed edits on The Utopians
Allocated time: 2 weeks
Progress: Umm… haven’t actually looked at it for over a week but I only have about 8 or so chapters left so I should be able to get through this in the allocated time period.

Goal 2: Character edits on The Utopians
Allocated time: 2 weeks
Progress: Have to complete Goal 1 before I can look at this one

Goal 3: Final read through and compilation of The Utopians for Alpha readers
Allocated time: 1 week
Progress: once again I need to finish the above goals before I can think about this one.

Goal 4: Read (at least) 12 books to keep up with my goal of 50 for the year
Allocated time: whole round
Progress: I read Deaver’s The Skin Collector this week. So I’m 1/12.

If all goes to plan the edits on Utopians will take me through to about half way through the round and then… well… I still haven’t decided what’s next. I’ll get back to you.

Are you participating in the round? Do you find that when the kids are home from school your writing schedule goes completely out the window? As always, I love hearing from you.

Jody Moller

Timeline Troubles

So for the past two weeks I’ve kind of fallen of the ROW80 railway tracks and have been tramping through the forest instead. Almost two weeks ago now I decided to finally get off my backside and write up a thorough time-line for Utopians (which might have been a task I’d been putting off since I first wrote the outline for the novel about two years ago now…oops). Having an accurate timeline doesn’t always matter in the novel, but for Utopians, where I am rotating through 3 different POVs, I really needed to confirm that all the events lined up in the correct order.

I was less than 5 chapters in when the alarms started sounding in my brain. Something was wrong, possibly massively wrong, with the start of my novel. Having committed the classic beginners mistake of starting a story in the wrong place before, I now take great care to ensure the first chapter is provides the perfect opening to the story (and I still love the opening of Utopians that finds my MC Mila waking up in a body bag). The problem was that Chapters 2 & 3, rather than providing similar openings for my two other MCs Jett and Austin, not only failed to introduce them the way I would like but also didn’t fit in at all with the timeline I’d managed to construct.

I bit of serious brain storming (and maybe a few glasses of wine) later and I managed to come up with a fix – the novel needs 3 extra chapters! Which leads my to my new goals.

Goal 2: once goal #1 is achieved switch to editing mode on The Utopians, aiming to edit half a chapter a day
Scrap that 🙂 Editing has been temporarily abandoned in favour of drafting those 3 extra chapters. I completed one chapter this week, plus some reworking of the surrounding existing chapters. 2 to go!

Goal 3: keep up with my aim to read 50 books this year.
Not a good week on the reading front once again. But the next (new goal) goes someway to explaining that.

Goal 4: complete beta-reading of LS Engler’s novel – Soulless.
I wanted to put this in as an official goal so I stay on track. I’m just over half-way through the story and (good news here LS) well on track to get it back to writer on time 🙂

Do you write timelines for your novels? Do you sometimes have difficulty trying to decide on the perfect place to start your story?As always I love hearing from you.

Jody Moller

I’m Baaaaccckk!

Yes, that’s right boys and girls. I’m back! Long time no speak… well… errr… post.

So, where have I been? What have I been doing? Well, I’ve been enjoying life, last year I spent 2 months living in Dubai, I have taken the gigantic step back into the paid workforce and I have stood by and watched my baby start school.

Oh and, of course, I’ve been writing. And writing. And writing. In the past six months I have completed the first draft of my third, as yet unnamed, apocalyptic YA novel and I have about 3 chapters to go on my fourth novel, 2 Brothers (working title). And that’s where ROW80 comes in.

For those of you that have been following my blog for a while you will know that this is not the first time I have committed to ROW80 (A round of words in 80 days) to help me keep my focus and fight my way to the finish line on a novel.

The current round of ROW80 starts today which means it’s time to set some goals.

Goal 1: write at least 500 words a day until the first draft of my novel, 2 Brothers, is complete.

Goal 2: once goal #1 is achieved switch to editing mode on the apocalyptic YA novel, aiming to edit ~5 pages a day.

Goal 3: keep up with my aim to read 50 books this year.

 

It’s day 1 today and I have already completed my 500 words. So at my first check-in I get a big tick and maybe even a smiley face. A big g’day to all the ROW80ers I have yet to meet, I look forward to visiting all your blogs over the next few weeks and following your progress.

As always, I love hearing from you.

Jody Moller

 

ROW80 – Obviously it’s not my fault!

Lack of motivation? The start of the Olympics? Where can we lay the blame when things don’t go as planned? Because, obviously, it’s not my fault.

 

GOALS FOR ROW80 ROUND 3

1. Read 10 books and watch 10 movies to keep me on track to hit 50 for the year. Watched – The Blind Side (One of those movies I’ve been meaning to watch for ages but didn’t get around to it until it was on telly last week – totally worth the wait, loved it) Total thus far =  3/10. Read – Yellow Cake by Margo Lanagan (A compilation of short stories. Loved some, hated some, but overall I like my shorts with a nifty twist at the end and these left me wanting) Total thus far = 4/10.

2. Keep exercising as often as possible (preferably 2-3 times a week). Ummm [hangs head in shame]… well… no. None. Zero. Zip. Not a one. There’s nothing else to say.

3. Write 5000 words a week on either of my two current projects. 1 word on Project 1 + 1817 words on Project 2 = 1818 words total. No that’s not a typo somehow I managed to add 1 word to my novel over the course of a whole week. I don’t know how that happened, so don’t ask. Obviously I was not even close to my goals. I did also write 696 words towards a short story, but still a complete and utter fail.

4. Complete one additional ‘Spring Cleaning’ project per week. Cleaned out both the kids wardrobes and sorted Son’s bookshelf. Thank god there is some light at the end of the tunnel!

5. Try and find some time in among all that to do some edits on Soul Hunter and send it out for another round of beta reading in prep for serious editing. I’m up to 17% so I completed another 7% this week, not a complete fail, but not the 10% I was hoping for either.

 

Not a great week by any stretch, but we all have those weeks don’t we? Don’t we? Please tell me we do.

As always I love hearing from you.

Jody Moller

 

Week 3 Already – How the ROW time flies by!

Three weeks down and time for another ROW80 update. I’m pretty pleased with my progress so far, I’ve managed to keep up with all my goals (as diverse as they are) and still feel like I’m mostly on top of things.

By the way, I’m now on Goodreads (I don’t know why it took me so long). Anyway, I would love to be friends with you all, so make sure you look me up and befriend me.

Also, in case you didn’t know I now have a Facebook Author Page. If you haven’t already, I would love for you to ‘like’ it. Here’s the link. Cheers!

 

GOALS FOR ROW80 ROUND 3

1. Read 10 books and watch 10 movies to keep me on track to hit 50 for the year. Watched – Nothing (Actually not entirely true, I watched National Treasure last night and Alvin and the Chipmunks today with the kids but I’ve seen them before so they don’t count) Total thus far =  2/10. Read – Read my Dead by Emerald Barnes (I’m three books for three weeks and almost finished another, I don’t think I’m going to have any problems with these goals) Total thus far = 3/10.

2. Keep exercising as often as possible (preferably 2-3 times a week). Only once this week, but I also went to the Dentist for the first time in 12 years, so I think it was a pretty good week for health and fitness so I’m going to give myself a break.

3. Write 5000 words a week on either of my two current projects. 4368 words on Project 1 + 0 words on Project 2 = 4368 words total. Missed the total again, but wrote more words on Project 1 this week than I have in previous weeks and managed to get the word count for that novel up over 30,000 words, so all in all pretty happy.

4. Complete one additional ‘Spring Cleaning’ project per week. Cleaned all the windows in the front room – they look gorgeous and sparkly, now I just have to get the motivation to clean all the other windows in the house!

5. Try and find some time in among all that to do some edits on Soul Hunter and send it out for another round of beta reading in prep for serious editing. Da Da Da DAAAAA! Yes, I finally started the latest round of edits. I’m 10% done (the advantage of editing on my Kindle is it’s easy to know exactly how far through the document I am). I’m going to aim for another 10% this week, fingers crossed.

 

How are you going? Do you have goals as diverse as mine? Are you able to keep up with them all or are they swamping you? As always I love hearing from you.

Jody Moller

Tis a ROW80 Update

Hi Boys and Girls. Had a good week? I’ll give you a heads up, mine’s been great! Details on my individual goals are below.

 

GOALS FOR ROW80 ROUND 3

1. Read 10 books and watch 10 movies to keep me on track to hit 50 for the year. Watched – Aliens in the Attic (Embarrassingly enough Hubby and I watched this without either of our children present and even more embarassingly I actually thought it was quite funny) Total thus far =  2/10. Read – City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (enjoyed it, but it wasn’t as good as I was expecting) Total thus far = 2/10.

2. Keep exercising as often as possible (preferably 2-3 times a week). Twice again this week… Yay me! (Have done too many lunges though and now my quads are killing me).

3. Write 5000 words a week on either of my two current projects. 2933 words on Project 1 + 2093 words on Project 2 = 5026 words total. Big cheer because I hit my weekly total for the first time!

4. Complete one additional ‘Spring Cleaning’ project per week. Cleaned out and tidied up the kids art and craft cupboard and Daughter’s bookshelves.

5. Try and find some time in among all that to do some edits on Soul Hunter and send it out for another round of beta reading in prep for serious editing. [Cough] Umm… No.

 

So excluding my edits on Soul Hunter (and let’s face it, my goal does state TRY and find some time :)) I hit all my goals this week.  Oh yeah, and I think I might have finally come up with title’s for at least two of the novels in my Ankhari trilogy!

What about you? Good week? Bad week? Are you having to change your goals to fit in with your hectic lifestyle? As always I love to hear from you.

Jody Moller