Moving Out!

Hello everyone!

Sorry for the static these past few days, life has been all kinds of cray cray for all three of us Wordsmiths. But, you know us, we always come back one way or another.

However.

I am here with a tiny update for y’all.

In the midst of all the life drama and the writing, we have all decided to have our own little separate blogs outside of this one. But fear not! The Wordsmiths are not going away! This blog is still gonna be up. It will just be…on hiatus, I suppose? Until we all figure out exactly what we want from our blogs and posts, if that makes sense.

We are gonna have our own main/personal blogs and will keep this as our mutual side-blog.

In the meantime, do consider following us at the new blogs we are setting up!

There’s so many of you here already, and we do not want to miss you!

Harris’s main blog

Thorn’s main blog

Gee’s main blog

Quarter Goals: Why & How

September marks a new start for many people, a habit that’s leftover from our school years. I’m still in university and so that’s twice as true for me. This year though, I thought I’d do something different and set myself some goals for the next three months and see what I can actually achieve (and what I won’t).

Why set yourself some quarter goals though?

  1. Goals VS Resolutions:
    It is easier to follow through with short-term plans and goals, than it is with yearly resolutions.
  2. Create a Habit: 
    Setting Goals every quarter, and checking every month to see what you’ve achieved and what you need to pay more attention to during the month, is a way of creating a habit and setting your mind up for productivity.
  3. Planning ahead of time:
    Knowing what you want to achieve in the coming months, makes it easier to know what you want to do and plan accordingly.

How do you go about setting those goals though?

  1. Overachiever: 
    It’s good to know what you can aim for and to push yourself a little. To aim for a bit more than you know you can handle. Even if you don’t get 100% of your goals, it’s always better to try a little harder and aim a little higher.
  2. Don’t overestimate yourself:
    On the other hand though, you should keep in mind not to overload your months. Be reasonable in your goals. It’s alright to push yourself, but don’t put so many goals for yourself that it is impossible to even get half of them done.
  3. There is a time and place for everything:
    Don’t assign things on months you know you have other things going on. Don’t put a difficult goal on a month where you have exams or a difficult task at work. Don’t arrange for the bulk of your novel’s edits to happen in November, when you know you want to take part in Nanowrimo. I’m looking at you future self.

What goals are you going to set up for yourself? What are you doing to stay more productive? 🙂

~ Harris

 

M. S. Harris and the blog she failed to name.

Hello people!

How have you been in the glorious land of internet? And wherever you happen to be? The greek summer is going on strong and it doesn’t seem to want to let go just yet. The last few days, it had been a little windy, at least and that cooled down things considerably… wait what am I doing? Am I talking about the weather? This is starting to sound like a bad date and this ain’t that kind of blog.

So, my dearests, on to important things!

I have decided to use September as a starting point to get more things done. I’ve been enjoying using a bullet journal throughout the summer and so, I went an invested in a moleskine. Yes. Don’t judge me. I got the dotted one (cause that’s the one everyone suggests is best. And I agree) but I got it on the largest size I believe they have. Hardcover. Black. Like my soul *snorts*. I wanted the larger one, just because I want to use it for my classes as well, to write down the homework I’ll have and the assignments and all that wonderful stuff.

And I’ve also started editing one of the shorties. It’s not a long one, just around 15k but it has one of the most adorable characters I’ve ever created *hugs Ilaeth* *pats head*.

A photo posted by M. S. Harris (@m.s.harris) on Aug 24, 2016 at 1:08pm PDT

 

And I can proudly say that I’ve actually finished the first read through with a bunch of notes all over it in red. The pages that have red make me happy. The pages that do not… well I don’t trust those pages. But I’m going to be rereading it a lot more as I go through it to make the necessary changes and fleshing outs and fixings. All the good stuff.

Bonus points for me for making my Beta readers cry twice by reading the ending of the story, even if they knew it was coming the second time around.

What have you been working on? How have you been? 🙂

~ Harris

M. S. Harris : Winter is coming.

“It’s been a long day without you my friend…!”

*sings out of tune*

Hello my fellow wordsmiths! How has life been in your corner of the world?

I’m well, as much as possible and I have survived a week where my body and my brain have tried to kill me multiple times, or at least put me in some serious pain. But I survived. As I am surviving a very slow and torturous moving out process. Most of my things are on the other house and it breaks my heart. My books are in boxes, most of my office supplies are in boxes. What’s a girl to do?!

Be patient. That’s what a girl to do. I have upcoming exams anyway and upcoming Suicide Squad and I’ve started to edit one of the smaller short stories.
*checks chart*
Wikipedia says it’s a novelette, not a short story. They are all short stories to me.

This story has one of the cutest characters I’ve ever encountered in my own writing. Just adorable. A puppy. You want to wrap him up in a blanket, feed him pie and tuck him in bed.

You haven’t read about him yet, which is understandable since I haven’t uploaded anything about him or the story, but he’s adorable. My betas say so and I have to believe them. Then again they love me too much and I don’t know how seriously I’m supposed to take them.

*stares at Betas*

On a more serious note, please welcome the newest member of the owl family.

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Grumpy owl.

I fell in love with him the moment I saw him. Look at that face. Grumpy cat has nothing on him. I believe I will give him though a coat of white paint, so he matches his siblings.

The owl family is growing. *tears up* Now I have in total six owls. And damn some of the stores I looked at for owls had some beautiful bronze boxes with owls and books and I wanted them but my wallet just started crying and shrivelled up.

We are still not speaking.

But yes. Exams. Editing. Moving. Some sketching.

What have you guys been up to? Do any of you have any published stories on wattpad? I’m starting university again soon and I’ll need things to read when I’m in the public transportation. Buses, subway. I have a long way to go to get to uni.

~ Harris

 

M. S. Harris : Chapters, Ava’s story, Outlines, Packing.

Hello, hello people!

It has been a week after Camp Nanowrimo and life just continues on. There is packing to be done, as we are in the middle of a move and right now, even most of my books are in boxes.

*strokes boxes*

My poor babies.

I only left the “Immortals After Dark” series by Kresley Cole out, as it is what I’m currently reading. I also may or may not have bought 3 or 4 books on the series from the book depository. I cannot confirm nor deny it.

*wink*

Packing things in the middle of a Greek summer is not a fun affair. It’s hot, it’s sweaty, it’s uncomfortable. Books are heavier than they appear when you pack them and we have a lot of those. Between my books and my mother’s, we are starting to wonder if we are going to have enough space in the new house for all of them.

I hope we will. I’m not willing to part with any of my babies. That’s all I’m going to say. If they want to throw out anything, they can throw out unimportant things. Like sheets and towels. Who needs those? We could use the shelves for books. That’s a lot better.

Surprisingly, I’ve also been productive. I broke down my novel “Descent” into chapters finally and as it is right now, it has 37. They might go up to 40 because I like round numbers, or 35. That 37 bugs me too much. But I do believe it is a good number of chapters. My second draft had to do a lot with fleshing out the plot and fixing it and now I have to go through it again eventually, to flesh out the descriptions and tighten it up as much as possible. But first, I gotta let it rest. The story is still too fresh in my head and even though I can take notes, it’s not wise to go poking at it, when I can’t look at it objectively.

So, in the meantime, I have Ava.

Ava was one of the three short stories I did last Nanowrimo, in November. She was the last of them and so she was left without an ending. Or so I thought. As it stands right now, Ava has a family and she has accomplished everything she wished for when the story started. It is a happy ending and as a friend of mine pointed out, I don’t do those.

I do. I try. I swear.

I could leave Ava as she is and the story would be complete. It would need no more and the reader would be satisfied. But I can throw a little more drama her way. I can make her life just a little bit harder before she gets her happy ending. I don’t know though. I’m waiting on Thorn to read it so I can get her opinion on this matter. She is, after all, my trusty Alpha reader. She sees my stories at their rawest form and she never complains. Somehow, she even likes them. She deserves a cookie for that.

*Gives Thorn a cookie*

And now that I mentioned Thorn, we had an interesting conversation about Outlines. I believe that Outlines are not set in stone. Especially the Outline of a First Draft. First Drafts are when the writer tells the story to himself/herself. There is no way you can know a story before it is done. Maybe you know the important points A, B, C, and you can assume based on your cast of wonderful troublemakers (AKA Characters) how they are going to go from A to B to C.

But they do like to look at that Outline and then ignore it completely, don’t they?

I believe that is all right. It is perfectly okay to change how your troublemakers go from point A to point B as long as the important things in the story stay the same. Your troublemakers still end up with the same results, but through a different path.

And it’s okay.

The outline is more of a suggestion if anything and troublemakers like to ignore suggestions most of the time.

What are your thoughts? Do you outline? Do you not? Do your characters give you trouble?

~ Harris

M. S. Harris: The end of Camp July 2016

It’s been done. Over with. We sat down, we wrote, we sweated cause it’s summer, we cursed cause the coffee got from cold to hot too fast and then we wrote some more. That was the plan anyway.

Life tends to get in the way, whether we like it or not, family members tend to ignore the fact that we are writing and we want to keep writing and they bother us as much as possible. Actually, they seem to be bothering us more the moment we sit down to write.

All that aside though, I did it. I finished the second draft. Thorn teared up a little at the end and I’m going to count that as a success. It’s done though. All of it. The plot as tight as I can make it for the first round of edits but I already know there need to be more edits. And such is the life of the writer.

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I have to admit, it wasn’t easy. I skipped more days than I wanted or should have during July. For some, I was actually sick, for others I was just lazy. So I stayed up until 4-5 in the morning for the last two days, until that cursed third act was through. and it was. Damn it, but it’s done.

And do you know what I need to do now? I need to finish Ava, a short story of mine. Poor Ava has been waiting since November due to my laziness and it’s not her fault. I’m sorry, Ava. I’ll get to you, I promise. I’ll finish your third act.

Huh. I’m sensing a pattern here.

Finishing a story is hard, all right? Don’t judge me!

And while I’m doing that, September is getting closer and September is exam-season. Isn’t that a joy? That doesn’t mean I will procrastinate too much. Maybe. I need to separate my just finished second draft into actually chapters. Now it’s just scenes. And then finish Ava. And then Edit the novel again. And Edit last Nanowrimo’s short stories.

This is a lot of work. No one wants to do a lot of work.

But I kind of enjoy it.

Now if I could convince people to let me do this all day, I’d be happy.

How was Camp Nano for you? Did you reach your goal? Did you write? Even one word, is more words than what you started with. For me, Nano is a marathon, not a race. You run for as long as you can and if you stop, it’s all right. As long as, at the end of the day, you keep writing.

~ Harris

M. S. Harris : Third Week of Camp Nano

Hello wonderful people!

How have you all been? How’s Camp treating you? How are your stories/projects? I hope you are all doing great.

I, for one, am not.

The reason why? Because I missed a whole week of writing being sick with a fever. Sick in summer is the least fun experience I’ve had this far and now a whole week has gone by and I’ve barely grazed the beginning of my third act and I have but ten days to finish it!

*pumps myself up*

I can do. You can do it. We can all do it. This is the final stretch and we have to make it worth it.

But before that, I need to work on my plot. The story has grown and changed so much, it amazes me. Characters I thought I would have to cut because they played no role have found their own way in the story and they’ve established themselves. My twists have worked so far and I can’t wait for some of the more exciting scenes I know wait for me in the third act. Then I’ll have Thorn read it because she is my unfortunate Alpha Reader and she reads everything first.

I save Gee for later, as a Beta.

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To be honest, I’m liking where the story is going so far and not only that, I’m liking pretty much all of the plot. I want to believe I haven’t left many big gaps in it, that I’ve worked out most of the issues so on the my third draft, I can separate my scenes into chapters (finally some might say) and then start smoothing and fleshing everything out. My baby will be closer to being completely and my heart is beating hard just thinking about it.

I realise though that there is still a lot of hard work to come, a lot of hours typing away on a computer, editing, fixing up the story. But still everything will somehow be worth it when it’s done and the whole year and a half I’ve spend on it will pay out.

I don’t know. I’m excited. A bit high from leftover fever still I suppose, but excited.

I was also considering my three short stories. They are up next once I’m done with this second draft. They are up and at least working through them is going to be faster than it’s on a 90k words novel.

Though my research says I shouldn’t be calling them short stories. They are Novelettes and isn’t that just a wonderfully fancy word for what is basically a bigger short story?

I was thinking of publishing said short stories, but I am considering it. Would anyone be interested in reading them in the future?

Gee, Thorn, you don’t count. You are going to be forced to read them. *innocent smile*

~ Harris