Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Setting Goals

A few days ago, I set my writing goal for the week.

I also told the followers of my weekly newsletter about the goal I had set. That goal was to beef up three characters with at least one extra scene for each in my work in progress.

Did I accomplish my goal?

I did. Partially. I did go back into the book I'm working on and add in a couple of scenes that better define the characters. And I, of course, re-read the entire manuscript several times.

I'm not finished yet, though. I still think there's more work to be done.

If you read your work and when you finish you feel as though something is missing, don't dismiss that feeling. Ask yourself, what's nagging me? Is it a not fully developed character? Is it a feeling that the timeline is off? Is there a secondary character who is interesting, but has nothing to do of importance? Why is that character here? Should I cut that character? Give him something to do or contribute that adds to the story?

Maybe you have a feeling something's off but you can't put your finger on the problem. Get a friend, editor, or  second reader to read the book. Have them look for areas in the book that bother them, pull them out of the book, leave them wondering about a character or event. Don't  tell them what to look for. 

Sometimes you can set aside your WIP. Then when you come back to it, you see it with fresh eyes.

I've found that it's always good to trust my instincts.

Do you ever set writing goals? Does that help you?


  1. I agree. Setting it aside and going back often gives you a new perspective.

    1. I always find little things to change or correct.

  2. Yes, I'm in the same process with my novel. I finished the first draft, now I have a few people reading it for thoughts and impressions. And I'm going thru it again to see what's missing, what can be cut, etc.

    1. I have a beta reader looking at my next book right now, too. I want a reader to be totally honest, even if it's negative. I want to know the glitches before it gets published.

  3. I set goals all them time. It's meeting those goals I have trouble with. ;)

  4. Setting goals do help. I have friends that will read my writing and sometimes they'll pick up on the gnawing at me areas. Their insight sure helps.

  5. Indeed, I write, edit, run stuff through TWW critique group and then set it aside. Coming back and reviewing group notes plus my own gut is cause for more rewrites. I am not good at keeping my time goals when it comes to writing. Good at all other schedules in my life, but writing is loosey-goosey.

  6. I do agree that setting writing goals is very important. Sticking to them, of course,is even more important! My goal at the moment is just to take time out from everything to get over the turmoil of the last couple of years. Finally I'm starting to feel creative again, so my current writing goal is to start planning my new novel on 25 April, complete rough first draft in 90 days. And I'm determined to stick to it!! :)

  7. After I've slacked off or put off my goals, it's difficult for me to get back into work. Sometimes it's just putting one foot in front of the other so that I keep moving forward.

    I love your determination, Judy!


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