Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Day 15: Rewards and Reviews

If you are doing the 30 day challenge according to the calendar you should be halfway done!  Go ahead and give yourself a figurative pat on the back (or literal if you want to find a friend willing to do it).  Rewarding yourself for your hard work should be more than internal satisfaction.  I highly suggest taking some time now to plan out what kind of reward to intend to give yourself when this challenge is completed.  A night out with friends?  A fancy dinner with the hubs?  The cell phone of your dreams?  In planning your reward think of whatever thing you want most and contemplate why you have failed to give it to yourself before?  Why will completing this challenge help you feel you now deserve it?

For those of you who followed my advice and called week one a "prep" week you should have just wrapped up your first seven days of actual writing and have finished Act I as well.  It may be a bit premature to start planning rewards, but it is a great time to take a look back on your progress so far by reviewing the worksheets you've filled out these last two weeks.  BUT PLEASE REMEMBER that while your current work may not match up with your previous expectations it is important that you do not go back and rewrite anything!  Reviewing your work is only to help ensure your story stays on track from this point on.  If you find what you have already completed needs to be edited, take note of changes you would like to make and then continue writing as if the first portion of your story had already been rewritten.  Only after the 30 day challenge can you go back to edit.

DAY 1:  Does your one-sentence summary accurately reflect your novel thus far?  Is your Story Idea Map still relevant for the work you'll be doing in the next two (or three) weeks?  If there are discrepancies, do you need to adjust your sentence summary, or does your story need to be steered back toward it's core idea?

DAY 2:  Are you continuing to record new ideas for scenes on your Scene Cards?  Would the story move more quickly or be more interesting if some scenes were omitted, combined, or put in a different order?

DAY 3:  Review your At-A-Glance Outline and adjust weeks two, three, and four where necessary.  Continue taking note of items to be researched after the 30 day challenge on your Research Tracker worksheet (scroll down to page 252 after clicking the link).

DAY 4:  Make sure that your characters are acting consistently and are properly motivated.  Review your Character Story Sketch (page 253), Character Snapshot (page 255), and Character Revealing Scenes (page 258) worksheets and make whatever updates or changes you've decided upon for your character.

DAY 5:  Ensure that your Act I turning point presents enough challenges for your characters to keep the readers engaged.  Review your Act I Turning Point Brainstorm worksheet (page 259).

DAY 6:  Take note of how effectively you've spread your characters' backstories throughout Act I.  Add any new backstory ideas to your Backstory Brainstorm worksheet (page 260).

DAY 7:  Be sure to look back through Act I for any plot or character holes using your checklists.  

MY DAY 15:  I found myself losing steam.  Although I'd planned to write three scenes a day I was only able to complete one scene on this day because I was feeling the strain of such a frenetic writing pace.  I also found the mess in my house and the neglect of my family members pulled me from my creative thoughts and had me a bit sulky and feeling deprived of my loved ones.

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