Anticipation and #ROW80

Today’s word is anticipation.

It is a word mentioned many times in Wired for Story by Lisa Cron, a writing craft book that I have been reading. I lack one measly chapter to be at the end, and I would definitely recommend this book to other writers. It packs a lot of brain science and perspective on story into its 238 pages.

One of the book’s themes is that readers basically get a high from anticipating what will happen next, attempting to find patterns and solve the puzzle. Thus, everything in the book should be helping the reader to anticipate–to draw conclusions about characters, to imagine possible future choices and consequences, and even to get in on the secret and wonder when the characters will figure out what the writer and reader both know.

There’s a lot more to Wired for Story, but anticipation is the word that’s been sticking in my head as I jumped into rewriting my YA novel last week.

Anticipation is also a great word for today because we are officially between rounds in A Round of Words in 80 Days (aka ROW80). The next round begins October 1. While I will continue to work on my writing goals, I and others are anticipating the start of a new round. Some who have participated throughout the year will keep truckin’ along. Some who took a summer break will jump back in. Some who have never tried this writing challenge will join us. I have benefitted from the goal-setting, progress updates, encouragement, and community of ROW80, so I would recommend giving it a shot if you haven’t already.

While I don’t need to post a progress update, doing so keeps me honest and motivated. So here’s how my Round 3 ended up. My original goals were:

What I actually did:

  • Edited SHARING HUNTER MILLS and then realized I needed to go back to the level of rewriting. However, I have plunged in with both feet and am making real progress now. I do think it’s improving the novel to change the POV and tense, but this is requiring some merging of characters, moving scenes around, and more.
  • I sent six queries, and the specific feedback from two of those agents helped prompt me to reconsider my approach to the novel. And thus, the rewriting. So this goal was put on hold.
  • I finished The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler, read Revision & Self-Editing by James Scott Bell, and read all but one chapter of Wired for Story by Lisa Cron.
  • I was sporadic, at best, with my exercise routine.
  • I checked in with my ROW80 buddies all but two weeks. However, this last week, I checked in on EVERYONE who posted an update on Sunday. I was pleased to see that some had knocked it out of the park and even those who felt like their round fell short of a home run had at least a double or better to show for their commitment to specific writing goals. Yay, y’all!

And the final nod to today’s word, anticipation, comes from Carly Simon. Because your happy anticipation of “finer days” should never hinder you enjoying the moment you’re in right now. Savor it.

Now if you want to join this next Round of Words in 80 Days, click HERE and State Your Intent. You don’t need specific goals yet; just add your website to the list.

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11 thoughts on “Anticipation and #ROW80

  1. You did so great, Julie! And you had a huge epiphany that will make your story stronger!
    Can’t wait to see you rocking round 4!
    Cheers!

  2. Congrats, Julie, and I know you’re going strong on the re-write. I love the encouragement from ROW80, even if I haven’t done well in the two rounds I’ve done. So we’ll see how Round 4 goes! And thanks for the Carly Simon clip – I love that song.

  3. I love this round for you Julie. It was a big moment in time for you, a corner turned. Round 4, I’m not ready for it, yet. But I’m looking forward to what we can accomplish together.

  4. I should print “anticipation” in all caps and tape it over my desk to remind myself of what I’m trying to achieve in every scene. SO TRUE, especially for YA. Thanks for the tip about Wired for Story. I’ll add it to my reading list. I didn’t even realize that Round 3 was up. ROW80 has provided me with much-needed motivation. I don’t know why it means so much to “check in,” but there’s a feeling of accomplishment each time. Looking forward to Round 4 with anticipation 🙂

  5. Hi Julie! Congrats on a successful Round Three. I have to read Wired for Story! Sounds like my kind of book. It’s all about brain power. I look forward to joining you again in ROW80, and this time I’ll work even harder to follow up with progress reports.

    I have a great reason why I didn’t post updates for those last weeks, though! An incredible story idea took hold and, with lots of brainstorming and what ifs, it has evolved into a terrific high concept. Speaking of which, it’s back to the writing cave for me. Wishing you a wonderfully prolific week. 🙂

  6. Julie, I totally missed this post the other day, because as I was reading, my smartphone glitched, but I wanted to come back and congratulate you on your progress! Looking forward to the next round with you!

  7. You did great! It was a very so-so round for me. But “failure” often teaches me more than success. I really have to evaluate what I need my goals to be for Round 4 and to basically round out 2012. Where has it gone?! And Wired for Story sounds like a must-read. Thanks for sharing!

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