A Round of Words in 80 Days: Goal-setting

A Round of Words in 80 Days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life. There are four rounds each year. You set your own goals for each 80-day period, announce them on your blog, then track your progress. Your goals can be anything writing-related, as long as they are measurable.

And why do we like writing challenges? Apart from the fun of hanging with other writers who are also beating their words into submission? Because of the Big A: Accountability.

No, it shouldn’t make any difference, and yet, somehow it does. Whatever works, I say. Anything that helps me achieve my goals. And what are those goals?

So glad you asked! This round of ROW80 started on 5th January, and finishes on 26th March. As it happens that fits very neatly into my most immediate goal, which I’ve already been working on: get The Twiceborn Queen published!

The first draft is written, and the revision all planned. Last week I started working my way through the revision. So, by the end of March, I need to:

  • finish first revision, which includes going through the whole manuscript, writing new scenes and revising existing ones, fixing all the big problems;
  • finish second revision, which goes through the manuscript again, focusing on smaller issues, like smoothing out prose, making the voice consistent, adding setting details (which I always forget) and checking facts;
  • finish third revision, which goes through the manuscript again focusing on more sentence-level detail, checking for typos, overused words, repetitions, rewording ugly bits;
  • send to beta readers. While it’s away, fret, write a 1000-word short story, begin planning revision of another novel, fret some more;
  • when it comes back from beta readers, do another pass through manuscript, making suggested changes where applicable;
  • send to editor 1st March;
  • when it comes back, go through editor’s changes, accepting and rejecting as appropriate and rewriting;
  • one more read-through (on the kindle this time) checking for typos, then send to formatter;
  • finally, when the formatter’s finished, upload to Amazon!

Gosh, I feel overwhelmed just thinking of getting through all that. I have to remember it’s like eating an elephant. You do it one bite at a time.

Four scenes done so far out of 33 in the first revision. Yum yum. Love the taste of elephant.

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16 Responses to A Round of Words in 80 Days: Goal-setting

  1. Beth Camp says:

    Really like the way all that work is mapped out. I’m pretty much in the same spot, but my plot holes just might be deeper. I checked out your book, Twiceborn, and was intrigued by the story concept. The writing pulled me right in. Your urban fantasy and gritty heroine sound like a really fun story to work on . . . and a good read.

  2. Bev says:

    Great accomplishment! It was interesting to see your revision
    schedule. I will be starting mine soon and have never done one on such a long novel. All the best in the weeks ahead.

  3. Pamela Morse says:

    Making a deadline for yourself is a bold and excellent move. Yours seem very well planned. I think you will have a good time following this plan, and the book will be brilliant.

  4. Michelle says:

    Your editing roadmap seems well laid out and you are going to be one busy bee. Good luck from a ROW80 blog hopping friend.

  5. alberta ross says:

    I’m in the final stages but not planning on getting it all done until about may/june time – elephants are great slow cooked with spice:)

  6. Our revising processes sound similar. I’m in the same position. I have several stories that I’d like to revise this year, plus a shiny new novel to write. I’d also like to squeeze a short story in there somewhere, since they’re quick and fun and a nice break from the complex plots and character arcs of novel writing.

    Best of luck with your story!

    If you haven’t seen it, Beth Camp did an excellent article about revision over on the A Round of Words in 80 Days blog. It had some good suggestions.

    • Marina says:

      Thanks, Denise. Yes, I did see that article, very helpful. Sounds like you have a busy year ahead too. Just don’t let that shiny new novel idea seduce you away from finishing the other stories! I usually have that problem.

  7. Kate Sparkes says:

    Great goals! Challenging, but possible. Good luck to you!

  8. Owen O'Neill says:

    Wow! I’m impressed. No doubt you will accomplish it all, too.

    This is why I never make lists — I like to cherish my delusions about how productive I am.

    • Marina says:

      The tricky part isn’t accomplishing it all–it’s doing it within the time frame. That’s the part where I often fall short! I can procrastinate with the best of them. Still, I find that I get more done if I have a goal to shoot for, so it’s worth a try.