Be the Better Writer

I don’t know if it is the winding down of the fall season, the gearing up for NaNoWriMo or the finishing of the first draft of my novel, but I am little miss productive this month. I have set some major goals for myself, cranking out revisions and chugging down novels. I have even taken on a personal quest with grammar, forcing myself to do 30 minutes of dedicated study. I started out basic, because, well…where else are you going to start. I am having a lot of fun (here’s the part when you say, “man, she must be a born writer if she thinks this stuff is fun!”). Well I am. I can’t help myself. I bought this Kaplan workbook from Borders for five bucks and it is great. It has pre-tests and post-tests. It gives you’re the definition, form and function of each component and then has exercises and mini tests to help you practice. Now that I have finished the first unit, I find myself picking up magazine articles, and novels and diagramming sentences. Who knew it could be so much fun?

I have other goals too. I do 500 words a day. It may not seem like much, but if you do 500 words a day you can have two 90,000 word manuscripts completed by the end of the year. That is progress. Of course, it is not always good. That doesn’t include time for revisions, editing etc. On a good day, I crank right past that 500 word limit, but on a bad day…well, sometimes it is just enough to know that I sat down at the computer. Progress is progress.

Then there is my reading. I have so many books on my shelves that I need to dive into. I put reading on hold while I was trying to crank out the last half of my novel. It was too distracting and sometimes my characters and tone will bleed into the books that I am reading. I have a much harder time finding my own voice. So now I get to read! I read Charlaine Harris’s latest novel. Not my favorite. Right now I am reading a novel by a Japanese author. I will post the name and title later, because I cannot remember it off the top of my head.

But that is not all I am doing. I have an assignment that I must complete after finishing each book. I am doing sample query letters. I am a little nervous about it. They are not easy to write, but I need the practice. I can’t very well right 50 novels so that I can practice writing 50 queries. I have yet to decide if I will do the synopsis as well.

One busy bee. That is what I am.