February 2021 Life and Writing Update and Surprise Special Announcement

J.L. Weinmeister

Hi, everyone. This is a more informal post. I’ll be doing these on the second Wednesday of every month. I’m breaking this into four parts. The first is a life update about non-reader/writer things. The second part is my reading and writing update. The third part will be some information about my novel. I’m planning on answering five questions about my books every month. The final part is the surprise special announcement.

For your reference, this post was written and filmed on February 4th; so some things will likely change between then and when you read this.

Part One: Life Update

Not much has happened in the last month. I’ve been enjoying my semester off of school. My beautiful diploma showed up in the mail on my birthday, which was super exciting. It even says “summa cum laude” on it, which makes me so happy. I had one academic goal for college, and that was to graduate summa cum laude. I had some tough semesters, and I’m glad they didn’t drag my grades down.

Part Two: Writing Update

This past month was decently productive for me. I finished rereading The Count of Monte Cristo, and I’ve read 250 pages in Six of Crows so far.

I wrote eight posts for my “Behind the Storyteller” blog. I also edited all eight of those posts. I wrote two short stories for “Welcome to Kareena”. I edited eight short stories I wrote over a month ago. Most of my attention was focused on rewriting my novel. I started writing it on January 9th, and so far I’ve handwritten 166 pages, which is approximately 22,000 words. I’m super happy with the progress I’ve made so far on it.

I finished worldbuilding Hassandri and Northern Bursna, and I started worldbuilding Southern Bursna. I’m hoping to get the rest of the worldbuilding done today.

I filmed eight videos and voice recorded six short stories. Then I edited, uploaded, and created subtitles for all of them. I love the picture quality on my new camera, but I’m not a huge fan of the audio. I may have to invest in a microphone, too. I’m super annoyed my microphones pick up on all the traffic noise. There’s traffic on the road outside my apartment at all hours, even in the dead of night; so there’s literally never a quiet time to film. I really hope that changes once I move. Bear with me. We can hope my new apartment will be somewhere quieter.

Overall, I’m satisfied with my accomplishments in the past month. If only I had done some editing on my first book….

Part Three: WIP Questions

Since I talk about my books a lot, I thought I’d share some information about them. Each month I’ll add more details. This month we’ll start with the basics.

1) What are my books’ titles?

I don’t want to share my full titles because I don’t know if they’ll be the final titles; and if they are, I don’t want anyone stealing them. The first book’s title is ADR when abbreviated, and the second one is AWS.

2) What genre are my books?

My books are YA fantasy.

3) Are my books stand-alones or part of a series?

ADR is the first book in the series, and AWS is the second. The series abbreviation is TVC. I’m planning on having four books in total for this series, but I’ve never written the third and fourth ones.

4) What verb tense are my books in?

Currently, they’re written in present tense. I’ve had critique partners suggest I change it to past tense. That’s something I’ll consider later, but I mix up tenses all the time if I try writing in past. My brain is hardwired for present, so I’m sticking with that for now.

5) What POV are my books in, and how many POVs are there?

Right now I have three POV characters—two in ADR, and three in AWS—and all of them are in first person. I’m debating about switching two of them to third person for clarity, but I haven’t committed to it yet.

Part Four: Surprise Special Announcement!

How many of you skipped straight to this? Be honest.

I’m super excited to announce a project I’m working on that will expand the content I post on my blog, YouTube channel, and Instagram account starting in March (I hope).

Let me introduce you to Camp Write Owl.

I’m starting a virtual writing and storytelling “camp” where I share information that’s helped me grow as a writer. I’ll be drawing from craft books, college lectures, AuthorTube videos, and other sources to provide you with the best information I can find.

My first “course” will be Storytelling 101, which will be a beginner’s guide to storytelling. It will include topics such as brainstorming, character profiles, worldbuilding, and outlines. I’ll be sharing instructional posts almost every day for the month of March. At the end of each week, I’ll host Q&As for you to ask me your questions regarding the topics I covered that week.

I hope to launch a second course, Grammar 101, in June, which will also feature instructional posts every day with Q&As at the end of the week. In future years, I hope to add more in-depth courses such as Worldbuilding 200 where I dive into a specific topic for a week (or longer).

I hope you’re all as excited for Camp Write Owl as I am. I hope to “see” you there on March 1st!

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