April Novel Update – Helpful Things

Yay! Progress! What Dreams is at 33,845 words for April, plus 2,197 more of development/outline-y stuff sitting in the document for me to write over. I usually count those words too, since it’s a jumble of notes and dialogue and transitions and whatnot. So that’s 36,042 total, and 4,968 written in the month. I finally got my folks off their transitional spaceship and onto the next planet! A whole new world of characters, settings, and events!

Also, I was playing around on Canva, which seems to be a cool design site, and I made an alignment grid for my characters. This was extremely challenging and I find it notable that all my central characters wound up in “True Neutral” for some reason…

The ones in purple don't show up until planned sequels.
The ones in purple don’t show up until planned sequels.

I’d really, really, really like to finish a draft this year. To do that, I estimate needing to write 10,000 words a month. Steep compared to all my previous months, but I believe it’s doable with the past year’s experience. You may recall that I hardly got anything done in March, and I only started getting anything done halfway through April, so 5k is on track.

Things that helped:

  • The A to Z Challenge. I get more writing done when I’m busy elsewhere, as long as there’s a certain structure to the busy-ness.
  • Twitter wordsprints, particularly with writing buddy Eclectic Alli (shoutout!). The idea is a bunch of writers have a start time and end time, usually 20-30 minutes, to write as many words as possible. This totally dispenses with “staring at the screen” time, because you all share your word count/Last Sentence Written, and of course you wanna be impressive. Tweet me @hannahegivens if you wanna play!
  • HabitRPG. Nerd in the Brain turned me on to this site in her H post for A to Z, and it’s awesome… You create your own list of habits, daily activities, and to-dos, and then as you check them off you gain XP and coins. If you don’t do all your dailies, you lose hit points. You can use the coins to buy armor, and you hatch pets and mounts, and it’s basically just an RPG of your life and it is SO MUCH FUN. I have writing goals on there, and it’s helped tremendously, especially to remind me what I’ve actually done from day to day. They blend together otherwise. Holler if you wanna join my party!

I don’t know how well this week will go writing-wise, as I’m re-taking the GRE on Friday and that’s not the sort of busy-ness that lends itself to other work. However, I should be able to catch up on the weekend. Update in the Sunday Post.

Supplemental Reading: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1: Cosmic Avengers (2013) by Brian Michael Bendis.
Guardians of the Galaxy comics are still some of the best space opera I’ve ever read. Love.

15 thoughts on “April Novel Update – Helpful Things

  1. Cool, you are almost there. The first draft is the hardest. I’m up for some writing sprints. Room for one more? Good luck on the GRE, I’ll be sending good vibes your way on Friday.


    1. It’s kind of freaky how helpful it is. 😀 Although as you have probably noticed, I still have entire days where I just get nothing done and don’t even realize until the next day…

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay! People use them for fiction and blog posts and such. I’ve mostly been doing them on weekends when I have a stretch of time and notice Alli’s tweeting about writing, lol. Melissa also said she’d keep an eye out — mayhap I’ll create a list of the four of us? Or just holler at me.

      The hashtag #wordsprint usually has other people running them too.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This alignment grid sounds like fun, and also worth testing for anyone who isn’t quite sure about their characters. My first guess is that my main character is neutral good (she has both lawful moments and chaotic moments), her father is purely chaotic neutral (maybe leaning toward evil), and the first book’s third main character is closer to lawful good. In a sense, the most entertaining characters are chaotic neutral because sometimes it’s hard to tell which side they’re really on.

    Congrats on the progress by the way. Keep going and you should get it done. Online surveys probably won’t give you a completely accurate analysis on where your characters stand, but if everyone is showing up on true neutral, it’s something to keep in mind when you do get to your second draft.

    These Twitter wordsprints sound like word wars we have during Nanowrimo, where we try to write the most words within a predetermined set of time, whether it’s 5 minutes or 15. I’ll have to try it out when I get back home and start writing again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was a lot of fun. I’m gonna keep fiddling with it. My characters were a pretty even spread, even more so if I include their shifts (I tried to limit each person to one alignment except Rama, because she has a very distinct shift from Neutral Good to Chaotic Neutral.)

      Thanks for the congrats, and although I’m entirely sure you’ll leave me in your dust, we should do some sprinting. 😀


  3. Yay you! That’s excellent progress. *grabs dummy cigar* I love it when a plan comes together. The wordsprints sound like fun. I’ll watch out for you, but I’m not sure if our schedules will align given the time difference. Good luck with the GRE 🙂



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