HI GUYS! The time has finally come to tell you about the book I’m writing!!! 😀
One of my goals this year for my blog was to post updates on my writing progress, both to keep myself motivated and accountable, and also to share with you for fun! It’s really easy for me to feel isolated in this, since writing is a solo job most of the time and I don’t have many friends in my life who are also writers or that I feel like I can really talk to about it. But I know there is a whole online community of other writers out there, and I know it’s going to be really helpful for me to try my best to engage with them through my blog, social media, and doing Nanowrimo! 🙂 So without further ado,
(I’MSOEXCITED!) I introduce to you…Project Ocean Eyes! 😀
Why Project Ocean Eyes?
Okay look, I know it’s a weird name. XD XD I do have another title that is way better, but just in case I get it published one day and the title is kept, (which I really want it to be cuz I love it and it fits so well, even if it might be a little cliché? XD ) I want to keep it a secret since I’m still so early on in the process.
I’ve been watching a lot of writing vlogs and some people decide to go with a “code name” for their projects, whether to keep the real title a surprise or as a placeholder because they haven’t come up with one yet. XD
I decided that was a good idea since I plan to be sharing a lot about my writing progress here, so I came up Project Ocean Eyes! Honestly, I kind of hate my code name, but it took so long for me to decide on one that fit well enough so I’m sticking with it for now. 😛 It’s named after a song on my playlist that I randomly came across when I was putting it together. I barely even know who the artist is, but I listened to it and was like “This describes my main character…kind of…I guess?” XD And I was sick of overthinking what the code name should be so…voila. Project Ocean Eyes. XD
Why Write A Book?
I feel like it’s kind of a cliché now to say I’ve been writing my whole life, but it’s kind of true? XD I mean my mom said when I was two I was drawing consistent storyboards when I didn’t even know what they were! And when I was eight she gave me a notebook so I could write down all the themes and story ideas I had, so I think then is maybe when I started to make it a hobby? But I finally decided to write my first book when I was thirteen and I just knew then that I wanted writing fiction books to be what I wanted to do with my life. There’s obviously a lot more to the story than that, but as far as writing goes in my childhood, that’s basically it in a nutshell. XD
I tried my best to keep up with my writing, but you know life happens and gets in the way, so there was a lot of things going on from when I was 13 til now, which you can guess. XD In those years I started several books and only finished the first drafts of two of them, but I never have made it to the revision process on anything.
But, when I got the idea for this book last summer, (I think? I’m not exactly sure when.) I tried pushing it to the back of my mind to work on later because I felt like I should focus more on all of the stories I’ve started in the past, but where I was stuck with all of those, this one was shiny and new and seemed to all click together in my head pretty much instantly. I haven’t had an idea that like felt like that in literally years, and it felt so good, I knew I had to pursue it and see where it would take me! 🙂
Since college didn’t work out and I’ve had so much downtime right now, I thought basically that it’s seriously now or never. I have picked up so much more knowledge on books, writing, publishing, and all kinds of things through blogging that I didn’t know before, so I feel so much better equipped to act like an adult about this and treat it like a career for real. I’m never going to get published if I never make it past the first draft, right? 😀
What Is It About?
Basically, Project Ocean Eyes is a YA fantasy retelling of a historical legend mixed with Pirates of the Caribbean and just a tiny bit of Moana. (Maybe. We’ll see how much of the Moana thing will end up in it in the end. XD )
I’m not going to tell what historical legend because I want to keep it a secret as long as possible. 😉 There’s been a few YA books I know of that have written about it, but so far I don’t think anyone has had the idea to put it in a pirate setting, and I really really want the chance to try it before anyone else does because I have so many ideas! (Though I may not possess the skills atm to actually pull this off, but…hey I’m only on the 1st draft so I won’t know until I try? XD)
Where the Idea Came From:
Well, I think the original seed of an idea (for my main character at least) came after I saw On Stranger Tides when it first came out. I was daydreaming about what the 5th movie might be like when they made it, and I found myself thinking about what it might be like if Jack and Angelica actually had a teenage pirate daughter, what would she be like? Probably very sassy and kick butt. XD
But that was years ago, and I didn’t really have any plans to use a character like that in anything. But then fast forward to last summer (or maybe even earlier?) when I started daydreaming about a book series about pirates that I wanted to write one day. Around that time I read something over on Cait’s blog when she was giving writing advice, and one of the things she said was if you have too many story ideas and having trouble deciding which one to write about, then why not take two and mash them together?
And at first I was like “Yeah, okay I might do that someday,” but one day when I was watching TV (some crime drama show, something completely and weirdly unrelated,) for some reason my brain just clicked and went “Heeeeeyyy, you know those retelling ideas for that legend you have? Why not do what Cait said and put it with your pirate story?” And YOU KNOW WHAT? It actually worked SO WELL with my basic ideas I already had for it! Seriously, everything made SENSE and it was UNIQUE and AWESOME and had so much POTENTIAL!
I just had to FaceTime my friend who’s in college out of state and fangirl about my own idea to her cuz I just had to tell someone and she thought it sounded awesome…annnnd now I’ve written half the 1st draft and I’m like…it was so much better in my head. XD Oh dear. How do I do this? I don’t know how to do fantasy??? XD But it’s okay, I’m sure everybody feels like that at some point…I hope. 😛
But even if nothing ever comes of it (which would make me very sad 😦 ) I am determined not to give up on it and to use it as a learning experience to teach myself discipline and to just experiment with a genre and some techniques I’ve never written in before. 😉
My Main Character:
I’m not sure I want to tell anyone the names of my characters yet, so for now I’ll refer to my main character as AK. It’s kind of her initials, but also it’s the postal code for Alaska so it’s appealing to me. XD So let’s just go with that.
Besides her initials, I’ll just tell you the basics. She’s about 18, she has dark brown hair and blue eyes, and she is the first mate on her adoptive brother’s ship, who he is the captain of. And…I think that’s really all I can tell you about her for now. Except maybe that she’s going to be really sassy and I know I’m going to have…an interesting time writing her, to say the least. XD
I’ve had such a fun time putting Pinterest boards for this project together, but they’re still pretty unorganized, so I’m keeping them secret so far. XD But I did take some photo’s from AK’s board and I made this cool collage to share with you!
Progress So Far:
My total words for my 1st draft so far stands at 40,024 words, (including chapter headers and stuff.) and my document is 77 pages long. I wrote it all during Camp Nanowrimo in April, and I met my goal and beat my personal best by about 3,000 words which was awesome! 😀
But, my draft is only about halfway done, so I think I might need to write about 40,000 more words to finish it. So it might end up coming out to around 80,000 words instead of 100,000 like I originally thought, which makes me feel a little better. XD It’s still going to be the most words I’ve ever written in one project before, though. I think before this I’ve only made it to about 60,000? But not all during Nanowrimo or anything! That’s a goal for another time. XD
Plans For the Future:
My goal for the near future is to have this first draft done by July 31st, so I can have my two friends who will be my first readers for me read it before their lives get too busy again. (I know letting someone read my first draft is probably a bad idea because I know it will be nowhere near perfect, but it’s just so I can get some opinions on the general story direction and characters, and get some encouragement going into revisions that I know I am going to need. 🙂 )
I went through my outline and broke up all the rest of the draft I have to write into about 20 scenes that I think I can complete in one sitting. So instead of tracking by word count cuz I’m not sure exactly how long it’ll end up being, I will focus on completing the scenes and progressing my story that way, which I think will be much easier and give me time to think through the story more and not rush to get a word count down like I was doing for Camp Nano.
I wrote down all the scenes I have to do on sticky notes and made a schedule for myself in my planner’s full month calendar pages starting from May 28th and on into July. I left myself room for days to work on my blog and other things, which left only about three days a week to work on writing but even then it only was enough scenes to take me to July 13th, so I think even if some scenes take me longer than expected, I should definitely be able to make my deadline for myself on the 31st. 😀
July Camp Nanowrimo Plans and Beyond:
I want to do something for July Camp Nano, even if it’s small, but I’m not sure how I’ll do it in between finishing the 1st draft. I was originally just going to have finishing it be the project I do for it, but now that it looks like I might be finished with it only halfway through the month, I’m considering outlining another project on top of drafting for Camp Nano? That’s probably a bad idea cuz I probably should be focusing on only one thing at a time, at least while I’m still drafting, but ugh I just really want to follow the plot bunnies on this other thing! And it’s only an outline, and I just want to do something for Camp Nano…hmm, maybe I’ll just combine the word count of drafting and outlining together? Idk, I’ll have another writing update in June and I’ll let you know what I decide then. 😛
Things I Think Are Going Well:
It would probably be easier to say what I think aren’t going well, but I’ll try my best to be positive. XD
I mean there’s at least a scene or two I’m kinda proud of so far, and there’s definitely a handful of scenes I’m pretty excited to write going forward, but…Idk, that might be it? XD I’ll explain more in the next section.
Things That Aren’t Going So Well:
Okay, see, it’s just that I can already tell it’s not coming across as well written down as when it was in my head, you know? And I’m definitely not a pantser, but I don’t really think I’m a planner anymore either? I think I’m definitely in between. A plantser. And so I wrote an outline before I started just to make sure I at least had a beginning, middle, and end, because I knew if I didn’t I would get stuck at the halfway point and just give up, because I have so many times before.
But I’m so used to sitting on my story ideas for forever before I really do anything concrete with them, and since this idea kinda just hit me like lightning and I decided to go for it only a few months later, and I did the best I could outlining and preparing to draft it for April’s Camp Nano so I could myself motivated, I kinda felt really unprepared even though I’m not totally pantsing it. I’m not used to writing fantasy, and I think I might have underestimated how hard it was going to be a little bit. XD I just didn’t give myself the time to really to do the research and worldbuilding that I wanted, and though there are basic things I do know about my story and characters, it just feels like I’m not getting the info down as much as I wanted to. And there is still so much I don’t know about really anything, that I know it’s going to create a lot of plot holes later because just the logic of some stuff I didn’t really have a chance to think through. Going into the second half of my book is scary cuz there’s so much more plot holes even in my outline that I just am so aware I don’t know what I’m doing and I know it will just end up a hot mess and be such a pain to revise and edit. XD D:
But I’m determined to finish and not give up and I keep telling myself all the writer advice I keep hearing, like “you can edit a bunch of crap but you can’t edit a blank page, and first drafts are supposed to be word vomit and terrible, just have fun discovering your world and your characters!” but…I’m worried I’m just digging my own grave here. XD
And now in the tradition of Christine Riccio, I would like to end with sharing a song from my playlist! XD
Going with the tiny bit of Moana inspiration, I’ve been listening to songs from it a lot. 😛 So when I heard this cool version a while ago when I was first was brainstorming the idea of a pirate series, I read all the comments on it and most of them were like “Wow, if Moana was a pirate, this is what her song would sound like!” And again my brain was kinda like “Heeeeeey, pirate Moana?! Heck yeah!” And that’s kinda another story of how AK’s character was born. XD Enjoy!
All credit goes to the authors of the images.
Images all from Pinterest
Collage maker from Pixlr Express
What Do You Think?: