November 2021 Update

I can’t believe it’s been less than a month since I posted my last update and this year is almost over! Well, I still haven’t assimilated we’re not in 2019 anyway, so maybe it’s not that surprising.

This month I have good news: I achieved my two goals! Both the October’s challenge I hadn’t finished yet and my secret challenge, which was… transcribing the notebook I finished in September. After adding all the information to my Scrivener projects, I updated my word count here, and I’ll tell you more about it soon.

I also backed up all my projects to the Cloud, made a new reference file for the Academy project and organized a giveaway on Twitter.

I had the feeling that I’d done very little during November, but writing this post made me realize I was wrong. I’ve had better months, but this is a very busy season at work, so I should be proud to have done so much.

I’m still looking forward to the winter holidays, though.

Anyway, my goals for December will be: transcribing the notebook I finished in October… and finishing one more notebook!

I’ll try to keep my posts up and work on this year’s ranking as well, so there will be more activity on my blog before the year ends.

A hearth with glowing embers and fire licking the wood. The wall in the background seems to be made of some kind of stone, but it's too dark to see properly.

Word Count – October 2021

I was wondering whether I should post another word count update after the one I shared two months ago because there weren’t many changes during these months. But I’ve made the graphs anyway, so why not.

Here is the updated version!

Line graph on a purple background that looks like someone used a paint roller on a lilac wall. On the x-axis, 6 different dates appear: November 2020, January 2021, March 2021, June 2021, August 2021 and October 2021. The number of words appears on the y-axis, which ranges from 0 to 150,000. There are 8 lines with different colors and all of them but one overlap.
Blue: It's the highest by far, since it starts from the 100,000 line and rises a little more before stabilizing. There is another slight rise towards the end.
Gray: Starts as the second highest, around 25,000 and goes up quite a bit from January to March, then stagnates, then goes up again.
Turquoise: Starts as the third line, but immediately stagnates and is overtaken by all of the rest except one.
Orange: Very stagnant. It overlaps with the turquoise at the beginning and with the green one in the middle, then becomes the last project according to the number of words.
Green: It overlaps with several at the beginning, with the orange one in the middle and with the yellow one before the end. It has a steep increase and goes from the last position to the fifth position. 
Yellow: It overlaps with several at the beginning, then it stagnates, but it rises a lot later on and ends up together with the green one.
Brown: Overlapped at the beginning. It is not known where it comes from, but it ends up in fourth position. Violet: Goes from the last position to the second position.

As you can see, all projects have seen a slight increase, but they stayed in the same position. That might change by the end of December, though.

All in all, I’m glad I keep moving forward, even at my slow pace, because these have been very difficult months. I’m looking forward to the holidays so I can write more!

Now that all my projects have over 20000 words, I want to try to take them over the 40000 line.

By the way, you can see more about my projects here.

Vertical bar graph on a purple background with flowers outlined in a darker shade of purple. On the left, one can see the names of the projects. Below, the number of words. The bars grow towards the right and have stripes with different shades of blue representing the different months.
The bars go from longest to shortest.
Oracle: Either doubles or triples the length of the others, but it is because of the first stripe, which covers 2014-2020.
Sanctuary: It has five distinct stripes and has managed to surpass 50,000 words. The first to achieve it after Oracle, even though it started recently.
Brothers and Alcalá: usually very evenly matched, but Alcalá has a very wide third stripe, while Brothers has a fifth stripe that helps it go a little further, managing to get third place.
Feathers: It does not have a second stripe, but it has a very visible fourth stripe because there was a month in which I only added words to this project. 

Fireflies: Used to be pretty even with the Heroes Project, but has a much wider fifth stripe that makes it more even with the Feathers Project now. 
Academy: Very narrow third and fifth stripes, while the fourth is nonexistent.
Heroes: has a wide first stripe, but not many more shades of blue afterwards.

In this second graph, you can see how words got added to each project. For this new period, I used light blue once more. This way, the pattern will restart now that they’re separate enough. The last light stripe on the right is very narrow, but please take into account that it covers a period of two months, while the first light stripe on the left covers everything I wrote from 2014 until a year ago.

Knowing I had a very long hiatus before 2014 and a shorter one afterwards, it’s not like I was writing much during those six years. Still, I feel like I’m doing much better now that my daily goal is just 100 words and I don’t force myself to stare at a blank page for half an hour every day.

I might make regular Word Count updates like this one just so I can check which months are better or worse.

Aesthetics – Feathers Project

I hope you liked my third aesthetics post, because I wanted to share another one.

This is the one I made for the Feathers project:

A collage with 9 different squares over a sand-coloured background.

First row, left to right:
Footsteps on the top of a dune.
A dark forest with very tall trees hidden by the fog. 
A path among the snowy pines.


Second row, left to right:
A European wolf with yellow eyes.
The central square has "Feathers. Sol Vera" written in a cursive font directly on the background.
A raven.

Third row, left to right:
A fortified city surrounded by an oasis in the middle of the desert.
A green forest; you can see the sun in the background, the light filtering through the trees.
The sun setting over a snowy landscape.

According to the last Word Count Update, this is my fifth project in number of words. I have started a sort of draft because it doesn’t require as much research as my other projects, so I wrote quite a lot this year (as you can see on my word count posts) hoping I could finish it.

Like many of my WIPs, the Feathers project started as an attempt to write a quick High Fantasy short story, just like the list says, but now I think it might become a novella. In it, you’ll be able to find magic, animals, loneliness and very few characters. And, as I mentioned earlier, I’ve finished the outline and started writing a draft of a draft, so maybe I should update the page where my WIPs are listed…

Anyway, I really like the characters, and the narrator is very fun to write, but I know it’s a very weird story and I wonder if people will be able to enjoy it.

Also, there’s a lot of walking involved, and transitions are very difficult to write, aren’t they? Still, I’m learning a lot and I hope I’m making them more enjoyable to read than they are to write.

Writer life goals, I guess…

Disclaimers:

I’ve made all of these collages using free stock photos (and a couple of personal photos) on Canva, so to my knowledge all of them were free to use. Please let me know if that’s not the case for any of the photos.

All of these WIPs are still in progress, so everything is tentative. Things may change as the stories and the characters develop. Also, the images I’ve chosen might not be 100% accurate, but they have some elements that might be important within the story.

October 2021 Update

It’s been three years since I started writing these updates that are now a monthly tradition. They might be boring for you all, but they’ve been a huge help for me.

Learning to choose feasible goals has made an impact in both my writing and my mental health. For instance, last month one of my goals was to postpone my other goal if I thought it was too much, and that’s exactly what happened. I wanted to finish two challenges, but I made it to one and a half. I want to finish the other one during this month, because who cares which month it is if I can finish? Only me, right?

A year ago, I also started adding my Word Count on these update posts, and it was so helpful that I’ve made separate posts so I can add graphs and everything! I’m still surprised every time I see them. I’m writing more now than when I had big goals I could never fulfill, but it took me years to learn how to make them feasible enough for me.

I’ve been very busy during the month of October due to medical reasons, but I managed to finish another notebook and one challenge, so I think it’s more than enough. November will be a busy month as well, so my new goals will be to finish the other challenge and… well, to be honest, I’m not sure about my second goal. There are two other things I want to do, but I don’t think it will be feasible, so I’ll need some time to decide which one will be my second goal. I’ll let you know next month!

Spoiler: It’s not NaNoWriMo. That’s not feasible at all, unfortunately.

I hope you all enjoy NaNoWriMo if you attempt it, though!

Two jack-o'-lanterns, eyes, mouths and noses glowing in the dark.
Photo by Toni Cuenca on Pexels.com

Aesthetics – Academy Project

I hope you liked my second aesthetics post, because I wanted to share another one.

This is the one I made for the Academy project:

A collage with 9 different squares over a green background.

First row, left to right:
Blurry snowdrops among the green grass bathed by the light of dawn or dusk.
A small cemetery, with a few tombstones and a mausoleum in the background. 
A striking purple gladiolus flower.


Second row, left to right:
A basket full of yarn.
The central square has "ACADEMY. Sol Vera" written in an art noveau font on top of a square that's a darker shade of green than that of the background.
A close-up of a violin.

Third row, left to right:
A neat stack of old books on a wooden table.
A green lane in front of an old university building.
A whirlwind of books and notebooks, all open on some surface, like someone is in the middle of studying.

After the last Word Count Update, this became the project with the second lowest word count among those in the list, so I’m trying to find some inspiration via this aesthetics post. I’m surprised it did so good on my earlier word count posts, because it used to be a knock-off of my Alcalá project at the very beginning (over two years ago). I had an idea for a story and I’d been wondering whether it would be better to tend towards fantasy or historical romance. In the end, I said “Why not both?”.

So yes, the Academy project started as the High Fantasy Romance version, but now it has very little to do with the other project. This one has magic in it! Yes, there’s a university of magic.

I wanted to finish one of my stories for The Pact, so I started this one thinking it would be easier. It’s all fantasy, right? So it doesn’t need the enormous amount of research a Historical Romance does, I thought.

And maybe I’m right, but then things got complicated and the story ended up needing a lot of research I haven’t finished yet. Well, I guess you never really finish doing research for your book. Not even once the book is published and suddenly you find something you could have used in your book. Ah, how I long to be able to feel those regrets…

Anyway, this one is an enemies-to-lovers set in a fantasy world where there’s a university, there’s magic, and there’s they-were-roommates. I’m still struggling with some of the plot points, like deciding how evil the villain is (I think I mentioned that in one of my posts and, well, it was about this story), but making this collage I realized the villain was not that important. I had started to think like the main character, while I should have a broader perspective.

I know better now, thanks to these aesthetics posts!

Disclaimers:

I’ve made all of these collages using free stock photos (and a couple of personal photos) on Canva, so to my knowledge all of them were free to use. Please let me know if that’s not the case for any of the photos.

All of these WIPs are still in progress, so everything is tentative. Things may change as the stories and the characters develop. Also, the images I’ve chosen might not be 100% accurate, but they have some elements that might be important within the story.

September 2021 Update

Better late than never, so I’m sharing my delayed monthly update now! Last month was much better in general, although it had its dark moments.

I’m still not able to use my laptop, so I’ve started a new notebook. I was so glad to finish the previous one, that I had all the motivation I needed to start another of my bigger notebooks. I’m not using the pocket notebooks at the moment because I have to stay at home most of the time, so I don’t need to carry the notebook everywhere. I’ll save the smaller ones for the future! Since I’ve filled half of the notebook already, I think it’s a good approach.

During September, I got to share a new aesthetics post for my Heroes project, and I’m already looking forward to the next one.

I also shared the word count post I promised, but I wonder if I’ll be able to check the new word count during this month. I had to reorganise the house a bit to be able to use an old computer to make that one… So I could try, but I don’t have much free time right now.

By the way, I do have some really good news: my dear friend Lee Welch has been the first to honour The Pact we made and publish a new book! And I even got to beta-read it, which was very enjoyable, and also an honour. Please find out more about it here. I got to re-read it after the release, and it was an amazing experience. Loved every minute! Thank you for sharing your work!

During September, I also got to attend some online lectures by Spanish writers, and one of them mentioned something that I thought might be helpful in my case: making a playlist for each project in order to listen to a couple of songs before I start writing. Apparently, it’s very useful when you need inspiration and/or motivation, so I’ve been working on making some for my projects, but it will take a long time to finish them. Still, I’m having fun and it totally counts as writing because I need to check the plot and the characters every time I add a song.

And now it’s time to choose my goals for the following month, but I honestly don’t know if I’ll be able to work on them every day. I’ve joined some October challenges on my Spanish account, so I guess my goals are to complete them, but also to delay the daily challenges until the weekend if I don’t have enough time.

Hope you all enjoy autumn (or spring if you’re in the southern hemisphere)!

Red and fluffy squirrell in the snow.
Photo from Pexels

Word Count – August 2021

I know it’s almost October, but I couldn’t add the word count on my last update, so I decided to make a separate post and it became one of my goals for this month.

And here we are! I’ve made some graphs to help me keep track of my word count!

Line graph on a purple background that looks like someone used a paint roller on a lilac wall. On the x-axis, 5 different dates appear: November 2020, January 2021, March 2021, June 2021 and August 2021. The number of words appears on the y-axis, which ranges from 0 to 150,000. There are 8 lines with different colors and all of them but one overlap.
Blue: It's the highest by far, since it starts from the 100,000 line and rises a little more before stabilizing.
Gray: Starts as the second highest, around 25,000 and goes up quite a bit from January to March, then stagnates, then goes up again.
Turquoise: Starts as the third line, but immediately stagnates and is overtaken by all of the rest except one.
Orange: Very stagnant. It overlaps with the turquoise at the beginning and with the green before the end, then becomes the last project according to the number of words.
Green: It overlaps with several at the beginning and with the orange one before the end, then has a steep increase and goes from the last position to the fifth position, overlapping with the yellow one once more. Yellow: It overlaps with several at the beginning, then it stagnates, but it rises a lot later on and ends up together with the yellow one.
Brown: Overlapped at the beginning. It is not known where it comes from, but it ends up in fourth position. Violet: Goes from the last position to the second position.
Made with Canva

As I mentioned on my post about Burnout, last year I decided to change my goals from writing as much as I could to writing 100 words per day to avoid feeling overwhelmed and getting stuck. And it’s been working pretty well, I think! I used to hate word counting, but being able to check how I’m doing every 2-3 months has helped me realize I’m writing more than I think.

Oracle already had a very high word count because it’s my oldest project and I’ve been adding words for over 10 years, but take a look at the others! Remember that I count all the words because research and outlines are part of writing, so the number of words is not the same as in the manuscripts, but they all count towards my goal.

Sanctuary is my newest project and it’s already ahead of the rest. Brothers is probably the second project I started, over 6 years ago, so it’s normal to see it in third place. Alcalá has seen an increase this year because I’ve done a lot of research for that project. Feathers and Fireflies keep intertwining in a beautiful pattern, with Fireflies’ word count greatly increasing in recent months thanks to a related short story I was writing. Academy has seen a slow increase, but it’s not doing that badly. And the last one, Heroes, still has way more words than I expected before I started counting.

You can see more about my projects here.

Vertical bar graph on a purple background with flowers outlined in a darker shade of purple. On the left, one can see the names of the projects. Below, the number of words. The bars grow towards the right and have stripes with different shades of blue representing the different months.
The bars go from longest to shortest.
Oracle: Either doubles or triples the length of the others, but it is because of the first stripe, the lightest one.
Sanctuary: It has five distinct stripes and has managed to surpass 50,000 words. The first to achieve it after Oracle.
Brothers and Alcalá: usually very evenly matched, but Alcalá has a very wide third stripe, while Brothers has a fifth stripe that helps it go a little further, managing to get third place at the last moment.
Feathers: It does not have a second stripe, but it has a very visible fourth stripe because there was a month in which I only added words to this project. 

Fireflies: Used to be pretty even with the Heroes Project, but has a much wider fifth stripe that makes it more even with the Feathers Project now. 
Academy: Very narrow third and fifth stripes, while the fourth is nonexistent.
Heroes: has a wide first stripe, but not many more shades of blue afterwards.
Made with Canva

And, in this second graph, you can see how words got added to each project. The darker the colour, the closer to the present. But please keep into account that the lightest colour can cover several years in projects like Oracle and Brothers.

So now we all know how my writing is going, and I got to visualise how I’m writing more now that my daily goal is just 100 words. I just hope I can keep it up!

Would you like to see more Word Count updates like this one?

Aesthetics – Heroes Project

I hope you liked my first aesthetics post, because I wanted to share another one.

This is the one I made for the Heroes project:

A collage with 9 different squares.

First row, left to right:
Make-up pallettes with bright colours.
The Tower Bridge in London.
A rainbow flag made of glitter.

Second row, left to right:
A fox stretching with its tongue out.
The central square has "HEROES. Sol Vera" written in blocky letters directly on top of the royal blue background.
A black cat is hissing.

Third row, left to right:
A group of friends walking while hugging each other.
The "oso and madroño" statue in Madrid's Puerta del Sol.
A lonely man sitting down in front of the wavy sea.

I wanted to do this project next because it’s the one with the second lowest word count among those in the list, so I’m trying to think about it and write a bit more. I’m always surprised when I realize this project placed so high in the first of my word count posts, because I always had the feeling I’d barely started and would probably never finish it. The rest of the WIPs have surpassed it in the last year, but I’m still confused when I see it has more than 1000 words.

As you know, it was supposed to be a superhero short story set in Spain, but will probably end up being something longer. It’s contemporary, set mainly in Madrid, and the main characters have superpowers and use alter egos to fight crime and injustice. Depression and anxiety are very relevant to the story, maybe as much as in Fireflies or even more.

I’m very unsure about this project, since it covers very difficult subjects, but it’s supposed to be mainly fun. It’s hard to balance things out while treating the heavy subjects with the depth and seriousness they deserve. I may need more experience to make sure I don’t bungle things up. And a sensitivity reader or two.

At the beginning, this WIP was just a game. I was having fun imagining how Spanish superheroes would look like, how the stereotypes could be used or subverted, and what they would fight against. But would it make sense without a superhero that was more or less the opposite of the main character? That’s when things started to get complicated. I’m still wondering whether I should keep going forward or just revert the project to its early stages: a fun short story with lots of stereotypes that could be read as satirical by those who are familiar with the image of the American superhero.

I’ll have to think about it.

Disclaimers:

I’ve made all of these collages using free stock photos (and a couple of personal photos) on Canva, so to my knowledge all of them were free to use. Please let me know if that’s not the case for any of the photos.

All of these WIPs are still in progress, so everything is tentative. Things may change as the stories and the characters develop. Also, the images I’ve chosen might not be 100% accurate, but they have some elements that might be important within the story.