Round of Words Goals for Winter 2014

Exciting times! Winter has arrived. 🙂

My goals for this round are very simple. Write 5,000 words of new fiction per week, and edit for two one-hour blocks each week.

I’m hoping to exceed that editing goal, because I’d like to have Chaos Calling, the sequel to my fantasy novel Queen Witch, published by April. That’s ambitious with my history when it comes to editing novels. But I’m trying to get over my perfectionism. I’ve come to believe it doesn’t actually help a story to rewrite a lot — at least not once you’ve had sufficient practice with crafting stories. I actually completely messed up my first novel in the editing process, and it’s still sitting in a box today.

Good books come from writers who know story. Story is the root of what touches people in fiction.

My first drafts are getting better and better. Trusting that is hard. And it’s also hard to let go of so many years of the editing mind-set. (I edit as part of my day job and believe firmly in the value of multiple sets of eyes.) However, my best fiction is written fast, flowing from my creative side with my subconscious piping up and adding crucial tidbits I’d never know to employ. At times I feel almost meditative, euphoric, as the words just come. If you haven’t gotten to this feeling in your writing yet, keep practicing, because it will happen if you train your brain. Let go of critical voice, tune out your internal editor, and tune into the flow of story.

Okay, enough about my developing writing philosophy. 🙂

I have about 6,000 to 8,000 words to add to Chaos Calling before it’s ready for my editing side. That should take me about two weeks (because I always play around with other stories during the week; I won’t lie and say my whole 5k will go to the major thing I’m working on). At that point everything will be there, every scene complete. Editing will consist of activating language, spotting typos, adding in anything I need to look up from past books or elsewhere, checking transitions, and possibly jazzing up the ending, if needed.

After Chaos Calling is complete, my major writing project starting in February is Shield!!! The fifth and final book in my Children of the Sidhe fantasy romance series. I can’t wait to dig into this story — it’s been waiting a long time! I hope to have the first draft complete by the end of March.

And then I’ll take on The Unseen Mirror, the final book after Chaos Calling.

In recent months I haven’t felt up to tackling the big stories; birthdays, holidays, and two deaths in the family have meant a roller-coaster ride. But I’m through the swinging gate and on to better things, I’m sure. Meanwhile, I started several short stories just for fun that I will publish over the coming year, as they’re ready. Just for fun.

Best of luck with your winter writing, fellow writers and ROWers!

About J.R. Pearse Nelson

J.R. Pearse Nelson is a native Oregonian, residing in the beautiful Portland area. She lives with her husband, two small daughters and the family dog. J.R. is always searching for the magic in our world. She weaves tales rooted in mythology, bringing legend to life in modern-day and fantasy settings. J.R. is the author of the Children of the Sidhe paranormal romance series, the Foulweather Twins fantasy series, and the Water Rites fantasy series. You can connect with J.R. online at her website. Visit jrpearsenelson.com.

8 comments on “Round of Words Goals for Winter 2014

  1. “Good books come from writers who know story. Story is the root of what touches people in fiction.” Couldn’t have said it better myself. I consider myself to be a storyteller first and foremost, and whenever I get overwhelmed or caught up in perfectionism, I remind myself that these characters showed up at the doorstep of my imagination for a reason. It helps to just focus on the storytelling before anything else. Good luck with your goals!

    It sounds like we have similar interests as far as our books go; I’m a huge fan of all mythologies, especially the fae. That being said, the Children of the Sidhe books look really intriguing; I’m adding “Tribute” to my reading list!

  2. “Good books come from writers who know story. Story is the root of what touches people in fiction” — I like this idea. It’s one of the reasons I’m planning on making an effort of studying the craft of storytelling to refresh myself on the basics. Good luck with your goals this round!

  3. I love the simplicity of your goals this round, and the vigor and certainty you’re exuding. I agree with you – the more I focus on story, the better my drafts are getting.

    I’m getting ready to revise three WIPs that I wrote in a different writery place. The revisions are going to be much simpler than I once thought, because I will go with the story as I remake it.

    You might enjoy knowing that, as I was reading the end of your post, I had a flash of inspiration regarding a series of flash fiction stories I will be writing for the A to Z challenge in April. Something in your post gave me a perfect way to tie all the disparate stories together. =)

    I hope 2014 brings joy, amazement, and many new stories your way!

  4. I love your developing writer philosophy, and it very closely mimics mine. I grow with each book. Sometimes I get frustrated that I don’t grow faster, but I’m definitely growing. I, too, have to shut down the editor and write fast. I do well with NaNo for this reason. If I slow down, I lose a lot of momentum. Wishing you all the best in R1!

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