As Tangled as a spider’s web

Last Sunday night I pledged to provide a progress update of Tangled (my novel-in-progress) at around this time every week.  I also set a goal of writing at least one chapter each week. That’s when Murphy’s Law set in. Is it just me or is goal-setting synonymous with begging the heavens to put obstacles in your path? All designed to test your commitment to the goal, I suppose!

What were my obstacles, you ask? Well, last week, I started a new job. On my first day as I was given an exciting but time-heavy project with a turnaround time of the end of the week. Okay, I thought, slightly longer hours than anticipated but should still be able to churn out that chapter.  

Then there’s the authors’ platform-building crusade I’ve committed to. It’s an awesome exercise to be involved in, but time consuming too – just following all of the crusaders on Twitter took me over four hours and I’ve still got most of the blogs to go!

Then two friends organised (separate) weeknight get-togethers at the last minute. Sure, I could’ve said no to them, but I value my friends just as much as my writing. So when it got to Friday night, with a packed weekend ahead of me and not a word written, I was feeling a little dubious about whether I’d meet my goal of a chapter by, well… now.  How embarrassing, I thought, to fail at reaching my goal in the very first week. I was already writing this post in my head, trying to work out the best way to explain why I’d come up short.

BUT… I’m delighted to report that I actually HAVE finished chapter 83 – it meant I had to stay up till 1.30am last night writing and feel like a zombie for most of today, but I did it! Hooray! 🙂

Like last week’s chapter, this chapter is critical to the story, because it represents a moment of crisis for one of my main characters (Ceara this time). I felt quite elated when I finished it, because it’s a key scene in the story, a scene I’ve been mulling over since I started chapter one.

Here’s a little sample of chapter 83 for you:

“Somehow, I had to get from the bathroom, across the dance floor, to the exit without breaking down. Once I was home, then I could collapse. I’d have the house to myself; no one would hear my desolate, heaving sobs. Some sadistic part of me began to look forward to it. Began to ache for that moment when I could totally lose control, could surrender to self destruction…”

Clearly, that’s an intensely emotional moment for Ceara. Very tricky (but fun) to write!

My word count is now sitting at 153,570 and I have around 14 chapters left to write. Stay tuned to see if that drops to 13 next week!

P.S. If you’re interested in reading more from Tangled, you can download the first two chapters.

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23 Comments

Filed under Progress update, Tangled, Writing

23 responses to “As Tangled as a spider’s web

  1. Wow, that’s quite a word count! I’m guessing this is fantasy? 🙂 or a series?

    Anyway…I’ve managed to get through following everyone (not on Twitter, just on blogs), and it took most of my Saturday. So I’m very relieved it’s done 😉 Now I can get on with enjoying the Crusade!

  2. That’s some word count for your story!

    Crusading has been taking up a lot of time for me, too. I finally managed to get through to all the blogs but it took a while!

  3. For the first week of the Crusade, I thought I’d never post on my blog again. Over 200 folks to follow on Twitter and at their blogs. Whew! But I finally got them all done yesterday.

    I feel ya when it comes to Murphy’s Law and goals. You should be proud that you got that chapter out despite the universe’s insistence that you don’t. 🙂

  4. What a wonderful post. I know what it is to have goal and get consumed with other things and feel overpowered for a moment. I feel that way trying to catch up with the crusaders myself. There are so many great posts to read and new people to meet…but what a great experience. It’s very nice to meet you and I think that your book seems fabulous and will be downloading the first two chapters to read. Very intriguing stuff. Thank you. 😀

  5. Susan Landis-Steward

    Trying to keep up with the crusade, finish edits on my own book (it went to formatting on Saturday! YAY!), work on other books we’re publishing in our first major release, and keep the bills paid means even the tiniest distraction can swamp the whole boat. And today the tiniest distraction, in the form of my 5 month old granddaughter is coming to play. Time to start bailing as I’m not giving up one minute with this cutie. Great post.

    • Hi Susan, congrats on getting your book to formatting stage. That’s very exciting!

      Ahh yes, little balls of energy make very good distractions! Thanks for your comments. 🙂

  6. Hi Cally,

    Thanks for stopping by my blog.

    Just so you know i tried to email you back from your comment form, but your email isn’t attaches so i couldn’t 🙂 (just in case you wanted to fix this)

    anyway, your comments are much appreciated 🙂

    i’m looking forward to getting to know you a little better. we are in the same spot. first book. YA. Contemporary and AUSSIES ( i am in Brisbane if your story is set in Bris are you in QLD as well?)

    anyway best dash, like you were i am behind in my writing this week. Damn crusade (I LOVE IT THOUGH!! thanks Rach!!)

    Congrats on that chapter.

    • Hi Constance, thanks for dropping my blog too! Yes, I am indeed in Brisbane as well. We have a lot in common, don’t we? Perhaps we should catch up over coffee! Do you have any critiquing partners? I’m part of a novel writers’ group that meets once a month but none of them are writing YA…. 🙂

      • Perhaps we should start a group of sorts? or find another YA writing group around here. Might be a fun idea. At least we could catch up and say hi.
        Might put a note up on my blog looking for other Brisbane YA writers. I am sure there are a couple about.

        Where do you meet your novel writing group? I have heard there are some good groups that meet in Brisbane city.

        Have a great afternoon, i really think i aught to do some writing this afternoon, or go to the gym… we shall see. 🙂

        • Good idea re getting a YA Brisbane group together. When you put something on your blog, I’ll link to it from mine. My current group meets in the Brisbane Square Library, which is a great location but books up extremely quickly (because it’s free!).

  7. Hi Cally – stopped by to return your visit and follow, which I will hopefully manage via email (I’m not so good with anything more difficult than the follow button :)) I’m still working my way through the long list of crusaders.

    But I say well done you for getting that chapter written in the midst of all the other things going on!!! Tangled sounds good! I’ll look forward to following your progress. Good luck!

  8. Hi crusader! I was just added to the new adult crossover group. Can’t wait to get to know you.

  9. I’m with you on the obstacles. They are everywhere when I set a goal. Oh, well. One we go. I’m following you now.

  10. What’s your story about? Your excerpt really caught my attention. I might be interested in betareading, if you need it. 🙂

    ❤ Gina Blechman (fellow crusader)

  11. Thanks Gina! It’s always so exciting to hear when your writing piques someone’s interest. In a nutshell, Tangled is about two 17 years olds (Ceara and Seb) who each move to the country to Brisbane (Queensland’s capital city) to go to uni. It’s about all of the unexpected challenges moving away from home brings and charts Seb and Ceara’s journeys as they try to work out where they fit in this new world. More info and the first two chapters are available on [this page].

    Have a look and let me know what you think – I may just take you up on that offer of being a beta-reader. 🙂

  12. Hiya Cally – I’m really curious, has the Disney movie “Tangled” made you think about changing titles? I love the premise, curious to see how it all turns out!

    • Yep, Tsuchigari, the Disney movie has made me consider whether I should change my title. In fact, I actually plan to do a blog post on that in the next few weeks seeking people’s opinions about it, so stay tuned! 🙂

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