All of the work presented on this blog is © Joanna Peterson.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Taking a Step Back

I've been making really great progress on Project 1 & 2 (that's what I call them at least).  My biggest issue right now is that with Project 1, I keep second guessing myself.  I wonder if I should have put more (or less) detail in certain places?  If there needs to be a chapter added here or there?  What about these minor characters - what drives them to act the way they do? Do I need to explain that in as great of detail as the major characters?  You know, things like that.  It's really impeding the progress I was making on Project 2.  Well, that and the fact that I scrapped almost 9800 words to start over, and am only at about 2000 right now.  :(

So what am I going to do?  I still feel the urge to write.  I need to write.  It helps relieve some of my stress, especially this time of year with the holidays coming up next week.

My solution?  I'm going to revisit an old friend.  It doesn't have an official title yet (although one is in the works, don't worry!), but I just call it "13".  I have 103 typed pages (single spaced. I can't stand to read double spaced when I'm working on a project, but it is handy when I've printed it and am proofing a hard copy), and just under 44000 words.  It took me several weeks to get it to that point, and I'm really proud of what I have written, but I got lost about 43,000 words, and found myself kind of wandering around with my plot. I set it aside and worked on other projects.  Now that I've had a few months away from it, I'm ready to dive in.

Of course, I'm slightly terrified that I'll start reading what I've written and decide that half of it is crap and it needs to be scrapped.  But, now that I think about it, I've learned a lot about my characters in the months off (even though I'm not actively working on a project, the characters are always there in the back of my mind, bugging me), and I'm not too worried about rewriting sections of the story.

So, wish me luck!

Friday, December 10, 2010

New Directions

After writing just over 9700 words on Project 2, I have decided to scrap most of it and start over, taking the whole project in a totally different direction.

It's both a good and a bad thing.  Good in that I think this project will now go the direction I ultimately want it to go. Bad in that I have just lost 9700 words and 2 days worth of work.

I am really hoping that this all turns out in my favor.  So far, it seems to be.  I just hope that it will continue on that way.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Project #2

So now that NaNoWriMo 2010 is over, I've decided to keep up the pace and start on my 2nd project.  It's a continuation of the story from the NaNoWriMo project, only a few years later.  It will be interesting to see how things turn out.  I have a loose story line for it, but I'm not sure if I'll stick to it 100%.

I know it's crazy to even think about starting a project in December, but I really want to keep working on this.  I've only been thinking about it for.....oh, since I was a senior in high I might as well get it done, right?  That's what I thought.

Also, just re-read the NaNoWriMo project, and I have to admit that I am appalled at how many spelling errors I had!  new instead of knew.  the instead of they.  So okay, maybe they were just typos.  I do tend to type really fast, and if it is an actual word, of course the dictionary in Word 2010 isn't going to catch it!  Also, there were a few inconsistencies that I found and corrected, so that was worth it, too.  Final Word word count ended up being just under 52,000 words.

Anyway, so I'm going to try and get this second project finished this month.  I'm already off to a bit of a late start, but I didn't really get going on Project 1 in November until about the second week, so I figure I'm going at about the same pace.  I will try to keep this updated as to how my progress goes, but I'm not going to make any promises.  My days (and some nights) have been taken what with work, Christmas, family parties, and a cousin's wedding this month.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Winner winner chicken dinner

Oh my gosh guys!  I am so proud to have actually finished NaNoWriMo this year!  Woot Woot!  51,397 words.  And the best part?  I actually finished a novel!!!  I'm so proud of myself.  And I'm so excited to start on my next project (Book 2 in my trilogy. hehehe) Although NaNoWriMo is over in 4 days, I won't be starting this second book until maybe January, when things slow down a bit at work.  Good luck to everyone else that is participating this year.  It's been so much fun!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Week Two

I just got an email from someone over at NaNoWriMo (I'm on the email list, you see, and receive periodic pep talks).  It talked about how week two is the hardest week for people participating in NaNoWriMo.

I don't think so.  Maybe it's because my week one sucked so bad (being computerless and all), but my week two has been awesome!  I seriously have written over 10,000 words in the past two days (not counting what I plan on writing over the next few hours).  In fact, I went from seeing an "impossible" goal number, to having it within 1600 words. 

I guess maybe this is my "week one" and next week will be my "week two."  I'm really hoping next week doesn't suck, if that's the case.  I feel like I've got a lot of my story developed in my head already, and I know where I want to go, and how I'm going to get there.  I'm excited.  And I plan on finishing this novel this month.  What a great goal, huh?  I really hope I make it :)

NaNoWriMo Progress

You guys, I just hit 15,000 words!  15,078 to be exact!  I'm so excited.  I was so behind for so long that I didn't think I would ever catch up.  Now I'm only 1600 words behind!  That's totally doable!  And the awesome thing?  I caught up in, I kid you not, 2 nights.  Yep!  2!!

Also?  I have a title!  I've always kind of known that this project would be part of a series, and I've titled all three books.  I even have basic plot outlines for the first two, and bits and pieces of plot for the third.  I'm so excited.  And the great thing is, it never would've gotten written (or planned) without NaNoWriMo.  So, thanks to whoever started it, because now I am actually getting some projects written.

But what about all the projects I've started, you ask?  Well, don't worry.  They're still there.  They've just been moved to the back burner.  The one I've titled '13' has hit kind of a dead end and needs to be re-worked a bit.  Don't worry, I haven't written 120 pgs for nothing.  It'll bounce back.  I promise :)

Speaking of page count.  I'm on page 40 of my current project.  I know.  Crazy.  Just a few nights' work and I've got 40 pages.  I'm so proud of myself for sticking with it.  And the great thing is, I don't feel the need to re-read everything I wrote the day before and edit it (like I have with past projects).  I'm really getting into this project, and I think it'll turn out great.  :)

Monday, November 8, 2010


I'm participating in NaNoWriMo again this year.  Last year I failed miserably.  This year, I'm at 7400 words (or there abouts) so far.  I'm a little behind (about 6000 words), but I think I did pretty good.  I wrote just over 3500 words last night, so I think I can catch up pretty fast.

So, are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year?  What do you use for inspiration?  Do you listen to music while you write?  If so, what inspires you?  Where do you get your ideas? 

As the month goes on I will answer some of these questions.  If you have any others, please just ask in the comments.  :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


It's totally normal that I just spent the last hour plotting out 6 generations on pedigree charts so that 2 of my characters could possibly maybe have the chance to become involved without it being gross, and 2 others could have the same last name without being directly related.  Right?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

New Project

I don't want to jinx myself, but I started a new project the other night, and I think it is going to be really good.  I've been thinking about starting it for a few months, but never really sat down to outline everything until Monday.  Now that I have, I'm really excited!  But, like I said, I don't want to jinx anything, so this is all I'm going to say about it for now.  :)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Finding Time

Lately I've been having a hard time finding time to myself to write.  I have, however, been reading a lot.  I recently read Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games, and Catching Fire.  I can't wait for the third book to come out later in August.  I also read SH*T My Dad Says, by Justin Halpern.  It made me laugh so much!  But, reader beware, it swears.  A LOT. So if you aren't into that, then I'd pass on it.  I just started reading G. Norman Lippert's James Potter series. So far so good.

The problem I seem to have is that I either am totally into reading, or writing, or doing nothing at all.  It was so much easier to write (and read) while I was on vacation.  Now that I'm home, life is hectic and crazy and all over the place, and I just don't seem to have the time.  I'm so behind in my "day job" I'm bringing my work home with me.

So, here's my question to all you guys.

How do you deal with life and family and school/work and writing and reading and everything else that seems to pop up?  How do you find a balance and take the time to get some good writing in?

Saturday, July 10, 2010


I'm having some issues.  Mainly, now that I wrote one of my favorite characters back into the plot, I don't want to get rid of him again.  I am actually considering changing the rest of the story to include him somehow.  I'm thinking this might not be a good idea, since I've been working on this project for almost 4 years, and I'm finally to page 92 (I've never gotten that far in before re-writing)!  I'm at a loss.  So, let's take a poll, shall we? 

Change the plot?

Keep the plot the same?

Please leave your response in the comments.  Thanks :)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Oh dear, what have I done?

Remember Daniel Masters?  Well, I just wrote him back in.  Yes, I know it was crazy, but he's just one of those characters that you don't want to lose. 

I've been working on writing his side of the story simultaneously, and I have to say that it's provided a lot of insight to where he's coming from and what he's going through.  Is it weird for me, the author, to say that?  Well, weird or not, that's how I feel. 

So anyway, he's back and I couldn't be happier.  Except that I know how things end up for him, and I'm a little worried that my entire plot might change, just so I can keep him in a little longer.

Well, we'll see what happens, I guess.  But, for now, I'm really happy to welcome Dan back to the book.

Monday, June 14, 2010

I'm not going to jinx it

I'm not going to jinx myself by saying that everything is going well with this project so far.  Who knows?  Tonight might prove especially difficult, or tomorrow, or in three weeks. 

I do have to admit, though, that I'm glad that I've kept all of my previous versions of this project.  I've been able to cut and paste, if you will, pieces from each of them and add them into the one final (hopefully) version.  Last night was especially nice, as I was able to write an entire chapter by taking bits and pieces from a previous draft and add in a few more things to make it better.

I'm not even close to where I would like to be by now, but I'm going to just stick with the "slow and steady wins the race" philosophy.  It's not like I'm on a deadline or anything....yet....

So, here's to a trouble-free week of writing.  Wish me luck!

Friday, June 11, 2010

It's depressing to get rid of a friend

I'm currently working on a piece I started almost 4 years ago.  I know, it's crazy that it's taken me this long to get it done.  And actually, I haven't gotten very far.  Each time I rewrite it I get to about chapter 4 before setting it aside because all I can write is crap.

I hate those days.  The days when all I write is crap, and I end up erasing most of it the next day. 

This project I've written so many times, from so many different perspectives, that I thought it would be cake to get past the dreaded Chapter 4.  Well, I decided to combine a few of the previous versions and add a few elements and characters to the story.  They had always been there, just later in.  How did I know?  I have the whole book outlined, chapter by chapter.  Yes, I am so prepared with this one.  That's what 4 years can do to you.

So tonight I reached a crossroads.  Not only did I pass by Chapter 4 yesterday, but I obliterated it!  I flew through 3 more chapters!  I was on a roll.  And then the inevitable happened.  I knew it had to happen from the moment I started writing this version.  I had to write a character out.  We had a pretty good relationship, the character and I did.  It was heartbreaking to write the last chapter.  Now, I'm stuck.  I want him back.  I want to take it all back, erase those pages, and change the story so that he can stay.  Sadly, that isn't how this story is going to work.  It would change the whole plot, and I've rewritten it enough times to know that this is the best plot I've had in 4 years.  I'm not going to change it on a whim.  Or out of guilt.  Or because I'm sad tonight.

But what if changing the plot is the right thing to do? 

Yeah, I thought about that one.  See, the problem is that I've already written bits and pieces of other stories that intertwine with this one.  There will be no changing of the plot.  It's too late.  What's done is done.

So, I dedicate this post to the memory of Daniel Masters, may you love him as much as I did if this book ever gets published and you decide to read it.