Update on my Reading and Writing Challenges 2015

Hey everyone. It’s roughly halfway through the year so I thought I’d update you all on my Reading and Writing goals. You can find the original post here.

I’m doing okay on the reading challenge. I’ve completed several of them (although I have yet to write reviews for most) and I have ideas for what I want to read for the others. I’ll get there. I still have half a year left.

As for the writing challenges…well. I haven’t written for at least half an hour every day – but I am determined to start, so hopefully I will be able to tick this one off. I started Camp NaNo but failed horribly. I am determined to do better on the actual NaNo in November though. Let’s see, shall we? I changed the “finish the first drafts of two books” goal to finish the first drafts of a book and a screenplay. I haven’t managed either yet BUT hopefully if I start writing every single day and kick ass in November then I will complete this one. There’s still hope!! And as for writing more fanfiction…I actually haven’t written any this year (although I have read a ton). I have a few ideas for fanfics though so I’ll definitely have written at least a few stories by the time the year is up.

So overall I’m not where I wanted to be in my goals so far, but I think that as long as I step up my game from now on, I can still complete most, if not all, of these goals. Wish me luck!

Camp Nano – How Badly did I Fail?

Well, I did better than last time that’s for sure. But still. I didn’t realise just how little time I would have to dedicate to it. I need to start practising making writing a part of everyday life and not a “whenever I get the chance” thing. But anyway.

My goal was 30,000 words across both of my projects (my novel and my screenplay). You can find my previous Camp post, detailing what my projects are about here. I wrote…4,612 words. Yeah. Not quite there, huh? My philosophy of “it’ll be fine, there’s nothing to distract me” didn’t quite work out. I’m going to work on incorporating writing into my daily routine for at least half an hour each day from now on.

Camp didn’t work out for me this time, but I’m not put off. The people in my cabin have been lovely and everyone is very supportive of each other. I’ll definitely be entering NaNoWriMo again this November – I’ve already got a couple of ideas floating around for novels. Hopefully I’ll finish rough drafts of these two projects this year too. Fingers crossed and all that. Just…maybe don’t hold your breaths, yeah?

Camp NaNoWriMo July 2015

Hey everyone! Well, Camp NaNo has begun today and I’m really excited to actually finish this time. I entered Camp in May of this year, and also the proper NaNo last November and failed miserably at both. Third time lucky! In case you haven’t heard of it, NaNoWriMo takes place in November when you are challenged to write a 50,000 word novel. Camp is slightly more lax in that you can choose your own word count. I chose 50k in May but 30k this time – hopefully I can exceed it and not get disheartened like last time! Unlike May and November, I don’t have university this month and I don’t have any upcoming exams, which means that, aside from moving into my new flat, I don’t have anything to distract me from writing. In this post, I’m going to explain a little about my projects this month, and I’m also going to do a couple of follow up posts so you can see how I’m getting on. If you’re doing Camp this month and are blogging about it, please leave a link in the comments. And my Camp name is A J Maslin – follow me if you want! You can look on the Camp about page or the FAQ page for more info. Here’s a link to my profile.

You’re supposed to do one project, but this month I’m going to be working on two. The first is a novel, and the second is a script/screenplay for a television series. I’m going to put both together for my word count.

My novel is the novel I entered into NaNo last November and didn’t even start, and the novel I was going to work on at Camp in May but got overshadowed by my exams. So this is the third chance for Last Train to the End of the World (working title). It’s about a spy, Calum, and an assassin, Bella, who have an unfortunate meeting on a train while both on assignment. Well, unfortunate for one of them. While Calum survives the incident with little more than a dislocated shoulder and a severely bruised ego, Bella isn’t quite so lucky. But when Calum steals a locket from her body, he discovers it’s not just a pretty pendent, and while later sifting through reams of paperwork in an attempt to find out who she is working for, he finds some disturbing information.

He thought he knew which side he was on, but it’s a lot more complicated than that. The Allies and the Enemies have just signed a tenuous peace treaty, and one side is already looking to break it. The question Calum must face is…which side? He assumes Bella’s identity as a notoriously successful and anonymous assassin, and heads off to discover the truth about the war that’s been constantly threatening his country since before his parents were born. But as he sinks deeper into his lies and this stranger’s life, he worries that he’s losing his grip on the reality he fights for. But the most terrifying thing of all? He’s not sure that he can bring himself to care.

Last Train is an adventure story about a spy who isn’t sure which side he should be on. It follows him from the first seeds of doubt to his final confrontation, and all the while he struggles, not just with the pressures of a looming war, but with creeping feelings he’s not sure how to handle.

Naked Fridays/The Secret Lives of the Young and Wild (working titles) is a screenplay for a television show in a similar vein to Sex and the City meets Girls. It follows six housemates who live in the city of Edinburgh. They all have vastly different jobs but all are determined to rise to the top. They are young, budding professionals, and they can’t wait for the day when they can buy a house and stop having to borrow underwear off each other because they don’t have the money to fix the washing machine. Until that day though, they all hide a secret. While they might be almost-professionals by day, they run a sex dungeon in their basement every Friday night, where they work as dominatrixes. They manage to keep their lives separate by heavily utilising code names and masks, but there’s lot’s of close calls ahead of them as they attempt to navigate city life as 20-somethings with many secrets in their closets. The first season will begin will the arrival of the newest housemate in Edinburgh, and follow their journeys, both separate and as a group, throughout the year.