Two Beginnings, Two Tenses: My First Four Days of WFMAD

I’m heading into day 5 of my new goal to Write Fifteen Minutes a Day (WFMAD), so I thought I’d post an update.

My stats so far:

Day 1: 27:58 min 520 words
Day 2: 34:54 min 969 words
Day 3: 44:26 min 1089 words
Day 4: 22:13 min 648 words

So, over the past four days I’ve written for two hours, 9 minutes and 30 seconds, and have written 3,226 words. (Stats are courtesy of Liquid Story Binder, in case you’re wondering how I figured out the 30 seconds thing.)

I’m also sticking with my intention not to reread any of what I’ve written until I finish the first draft.

Despite this, here’s what I do know. Day 1’s 520 words are already cut – they’re totally out of the picture now – so they don’t really count.

You’ll notice that it took me a long time to get those 520 words down. And then after I finished my writing session, I went to bed not feeling very satisfied with what I’d written.

So on Day 2, I started all over again, with a whole new and very different beginning. Much better. Except … I also changed the tense I was writing in.

Day 1 was written in first person, past tense. Day 2 was first person, present tense.

The present tense seems to be a better fit for the story I’m telling. I already know, too, that when my second MC enters the scene, I’ll be switching to his POV, in third person, to boot. The novel’s going to go back and forth like that.

(This was actually the one thing that had stopped me from starting this WIP in the past  – from the very start, it seemed to me switching from first to third person was the way to go about it, but the whole thing made me very nervous. I would have been far more nervous if I’d known I was also going to do the first person sections in present tense!)

The dicey thing is that I don’t have that much experience writing in the present tense. So this whole thing is quite the challenge for me. And yet, this seems to be the right way to go about it. I’m not writing as fast as I normally do, but what I’m putting down feels pretty good.

Now I just have to work on not leaving the writing until the last thing before bed … I am just so good with excuses when I do that. Luckily, none of the excuses have worked so far, but it’s safer and smarter to get my writing done well before midnight!

How are you doing with your writing or reading goals?

23 thoughts on “Two Beginnings, Two Tenses: My First Four Days of WFMAD

  1. Molly

    Great post, Belle!

    I have written 4 out of the 5 days – usually for about 25 minutes each time. Rather than focus on one work, I am choosing to focus on a single event in my life and try to flesh it out. It is a good starting point for me.

    I have researched several online story writing programs, but none of them totally resonated with me. Liquid Story Binder sounds great. I love the fact that I can download to a flashdrive and carry with me at all times. I plan to download the trial version and experiment a bit. Thanks for the introduction.

    Have a great week :)
    .-= Molly´s last blog ..TSS- Last week of summer =-.

    1. Belle

      I really like using Liquid Story Binder, Molly, but I’m only using a fraction of its capabilities – I use the planner to jot down my scenes and then I write directly from there.

      Have fun playing with the trial version! My friend Ann-Kat wrote up this excellent tutorial on using Liquid Story Binder last year – you might find it helpful:

  2. Jemi Fraser

    You’re doing great! I’ve never thought of timing it, but I pretty much make sure I get at least 20 minutes of writing in a day. Like you it often ends up more, but it feels weird if I don’t write :)

    Your ms sounds like fun – and it sounds like it knows what it wants you to do. That always helps!
    .-= Jemi Fraser´s last blog ..High Drama Blog Fest =-.

  3. Cruella Collett

    This is a brilliant idea, and definitely one I am saving for when I allow myself to write for real again. I don’t really feel comfortable with the whole WriMo thing because I tend to get overwhelmed by the word count (bordering 2000 words per day is just not possible for me at the moment, at least not if I want to keep up blogging AND to keep my job, while writing my thesis). 15 minutes, though, even I should be able to do that (famous last words…).

    Great post and great blog :)

  4. Olivia Herrell

    Belle, great post and congratulations on keeping to your writing schedule. I’ve been totally derailed lately. A new novel hit me over the head recently about the time I had finished Part 2 of my first. I’m in the middle of world-building for book two, writing a snippet here and there, and am finally settling in with ms #1 this weekend.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog, come back anytime.

    Great to meet you, that rebel, Olivia
    .-= Olivia Herrell´s last blog ..Sourwood Sunday with Swallowtail =-.

  5. patti

    Belle, congratulations! I’m so proud of you!!

    I finished my final edits for The Rhythm of Secrets and am winding up work on a proposal for Book 5.

    May God give me MORE ideas and quicker aptitude of capturing those ideas on “paper.”


  6. Kimberly Franklin

    Tenses. It’s so hard to choose one, isn’t it? I still haven’t firmly decided on which tense I want to use for my WIP because truthfully, I think it will work better in first person present. Though, I’m a little nervous about that. Present tense is not as easy as some make it look. I guess it just takes practice, though. Like everything else, right?

    Good luck on your story. Sounds like you’re writing time is working out well.

  7. Lola Sharp

    I’m always intrigued when people talk up Liquid Storybinder…but I never pull the trigger. Maybe I’ll finally motivate and at least do the trial; see if I like using a writing software. I like the idea of the timed, down to the second, aspect.

    As far as your tense changes and pov changes, I think following your instinct and staying true to how the story needs to be told, even if (especially if) it’s out of your comfort zone. You’ll learn and grow and it’s not like you can’t fix any slip-ups in revisions.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I love making new friends. :)
    .-= Lola Sharp´s last blog ..Blog Fest redux =-.

  8. Buttercup

    I’ve got to join all of you. Have an article that needs about an hour and that’s my goal for this week. Thanks for the nudge and thanks for visiting.

  9. Memory

    Sounds like you’re making some good progress and challenging yourself in all the right ways! Experimenting with different narrative structures can be scary, but it’s also a lot of fun once you really get going.

    I’m currently reading ARVORE aloud to myself to make sure there aren’t any major problems with it. Once that’s done, I’ll write my query package and–ulp–start querying. Needless to say, I’m scared out of my mind.

  10. Julie Musil

    You’re doing great! I think fifteen minutes a day is a great idea. I set a goal of 1,000 words per day, but sometimes that’s easy, and sometimes not so much. Plus, I don’t blame you for not looking back. We’d be stuck in revisions before even getting started!
    .-= Julie Musil´s last blog ..13 Reasons Why =-.

  11. Megan @Momlarky

    That’s great that you’re exceeding your goal every day so far! This morning my Internet was out. And it stayed out. Until about an hour ago. So instead of wasting the entire day reading other people’s words and going to bed depressed? I spent hours on plotting. Actual HOURS. I cannot remember the last time I accomplished that. Thank you, crappy Internet!
    .-= Megan @Momlarky´s last blog ..The Kitchen Sink- Vol Nine- The Thievery Edition =-.

  12. Cassandra Jade

    My reading goal for the year of 100 books was blown ages ago, but my revised goal of three a month has actually been met so far with my just finishing my third for August. My writing goal is also up the creek but I’m slowly remedying that situation.
    Glad things seem to be going well for you.
    .-= Cassandra Jade´s last blog ..Back on Twitter =-.

  13. Walter Knight

    I too have problems flipping back and forth on my “tense.”

    For example: Should I write, “He had” or “He can have” or “He has” or “He would have” or “He should have had” or “Oh never mind, he lost it!”

    I flip back and forth. Fortunately my editor cleans it up. The important thing is to gt your story or point written, and worry about cleaning it up later. Good luck.


  14. Tamara Hart Heiner

    Getting my act together long enough to get a few cohesive words on paper can be so difficult! Good for you for making progress. That is something! I haven’t typed a word on my novel in two weeks…even an additional 3000 words would be very exciting right now!

  15. Arlee Bird

    I am reading and writing a lot where it comes to blogging. It’s a good workout, but I’m not sure how productive I am being. I should at least go for a small chunk out outside blog writing–a fifteen minute goal is definitely doable. Good for you.

    Tossing It Out


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