The shortest month of the year is through, and I half-heartedly wish I had a few more days. It’s been a good month overall, I just had a lull in the middle.
But an ending is also a beginning, and I’m pleased that a new month is starting.
Last Month’s Goals
- Complete my first round of revisions on Uprooted, The Herb Witch Tales #1.
- Read three books.
- Exercise at least three times a week.
Complete first round of revisions on Uprooted?
No. I’ve gotten about halfway through my draft. This is the primary lull I mentioned above. I just didn’t sit down enough nights to read through my story. Sometimes revisions, just like writing, is about number of sessions as much as productivity per session.
The good news is that halfway through, I like this story. The pacing is a little disorienting at first, which is intentional, and I can feel it slowing down into its middle rhythm. This first revision pass-through is about the overall flow, so feeling through those ebbs and flows is a good sign of how readers might engage with the story.
This revision process is also highlighting likely next steps for me. I think I want to complete this read-through of Uprooted, focused on overall flow and only obvious edits, and then read through again to trace scene placement and length.
Examining the scene placement and length per scene will help me determine whether particular scenes are unbalanced against others, or where natural breaks in the narrative occur. I wrote this story into ten chapters, but do the chapter breaks make sense? Are they too long? Because this is a novella, I’m starting to think that I should have more numerous but shorter chapters to help make the story more digestible.
I just want to validate that idea with a second read-through.
Once I have a good handle on the overall narrative flow and the scene breakdown of Uprooted, I’ll switch gears and follow the same process for New Earth, allowing me to ensure that the two stories make sense together as well as independently.
Read three books?
No, but I read two and started a third. I also made more progress on A Memory of Light. I got stuck on a longer nonfiction book, Dawn of the Code War, which is a bit of an oral history of the FBI’s, and the US’s, initial foray into cyber attacks. Really interesting read, but not the type of thing I can power through in a weekend.
I’m currently reading a short thriller, The Wrong One, by Dervla McTiernan. I’ve read a few of her Cormac Reilly books, so I did not hesitate to pick up this short story on Audible.
Next, I’m looking for some fantasy / historical fiction. Might be going back to Bernard Cornwell’s The Last Kingdom series… I’m on book eight.
Exercise three times per week?
YES at least in the back half of the month. I finally bit the bullet and paid for a workout app program thing. I chose Asana Rebel, since they had a one-year subscription deal and I kept seeing their ads. (Your Instagram marketing campaign worked on me, Asana Rebel! Curse you!)
I started with their intro program and am moving onto full yoga sets. It’s not terribly difficult for me to find 10-15 minutes of exercise time in a day. 20-30 minute sessions will be tougher. I’m thinking I’ll intersperse their yoga sessions with resistance training and… dare I say it? Sprinting.
I’m not into running, although I’ve been told I’m built like a runner. I’m not interested in long-distance running, but sprinting to build leg strength sounds okay. I just need to figure out what that type of workout looks like.
Asana Rebel is nice, because they push notifications to you about a weekly goal — mine is three workouts per week — and quiz you on your mood and what types of exercises may help you in the moment. At the moment, I like the structure it provides. I just need to be disciplined in building on top of it, so that’s what March will be about.
Goals for March
- Revisions for Uprooted, The Herb Witch Tales #1. I need to complete my first read-through focused on narrative flow and pacing.
- Then I need to complete a second read-through to reverse engineer scene structure and chapter layout.
- Read three books. Pretty straightforward. I also want to continue making good progress on A Memory of Light. I’m at the point where some narrative chips are starting to fall, and it is both dreadful and exciting.
- Exercise at least three times a week. The app is making me do three workouts per week, at minimum. So that’s baseline. I also want to start adding in other forms of training, so I’m mentally aiming for 4-5 workouts per week, and I’ll see how my routine develops from there.