Writing Roundup #6

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Prompt: He must protect the laptop

How did your homework from Writing Roundup #5 go? Have you learned anything interesting? I've had a killer writing month (in a good way), but we can get into that later.


Our productivity resource this month is from DIY MFA: Seven Life Lessons Learned From Tracking My Time by Leanne Sowul. If you’ve never done a time-tracking exercise, I highly recommend giving it a try for at least a week. You may find that you have more pockets of time that you could be using to write, read, exercise—whatever you want to accomplish. It also helps to give you a realistic picture of what you can actually accomplish in one day. As a person who regularly underestimates how long things are going to take (especially cooking) and forgets all of the weird little things I have to get done in a day, I find exercises like this immensely useful for adjusting my expectations, making realistic goals, and being kind to myself when things don’t go as planned.


I’ve been binge-listening to the backlog of the Writing Excuses Podcast and highly recommend it. Your assignment for this month is to download the current season (13) up to the most recent episode and listen to all of them. Don’t worry: they’re short. The tagline is “Fifteen minutes long/because you’re in a hurry/and we’re not that smart.” When you get all caught up, do the homework from the end of the most recent episode. For extra credit, choose another 1-2 episodes with interesting homework and do those assignments too.


This month’s writing prompt comes from Megan.

Write a scene or story beginning with He must protect the laptop.

You can read my basically unedited attempt at this prompt on Wattpad. Placeholder words are in [square brackets] and notes to myself for later are in {curly brackets}.

And don’t forget to share your attempt on Twitter with the hashtag:

Technical Stuff

Our The Elements of Style assignment for this month is to read the chapter titled “Elementary Principles of Composition.” This chapter is pretty easy to remember (or easy to know when to look up) reference material, so you probably only need to read it once.

If you found them helpful, I would also encourage you to continue the Grammarly and  Grammar Girl assignments from Writing Roundup #5.


I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the additional words, but with the type of reading I’ve done recently, my list just keeps getting longer. This month I’m going to try doing 28 words, one each day until Writing Roundup #7. Let’s hope I don’t regret this.

If you want to use my words, I have a Memrise course for this class.

My words for this lesson are:

  1. Chrysalis
  2. Poppet
  3. Unguent
  4. Flummery
  5. Alacrity
  6. Croft
  7. Cabochon
  8. Equanimity
  9. Acquiescent
  10. Discomfit
  11. Morose
  12. Internecine
  13. Prosaic
  14. Sloven
  15. Interminable
  16. Quagmire
  17. Obeisance
  18. Pennon
  19. Propinquity
  20. Turbid
  21. Scow
  22. Mollify
  23. Festoon
  24. Extemporize
  25. Epithet
  26. Contusion
  27. Overweening
  28. Rapacious


I've had an incredibly productive month writing-wise. I have to confess: I haven't been great about writing every day. But even with eight red Xs on my calendar these last four weeks, I was able to write 20K words on the next draft of my work-in-progress.

Last weekend I finally got to my inciting incident, which is supposed to be 12% into the book, so I'm either going to have to cut a bunch of stuff at the beginning for pacing, or I'm going to have to expand later parts of the book to make it proportional. Probably both, but I'll cross that bridge when I get there.

I'm shooting for 5K/week when I have to also draft a review post and 7-10K/week when I get to just work on the novel.

Binge-writing blog posts at the end of August was definitely the right decision. With this much buffer, I haven't had to pull my brain out of novel mode to write a bunch of nonfiction or vice-versa.  I finished reading another book last weekend, so I want to get my review written this week, but with the current schedule, you guys won't see that until November 27th.

I'm still reading Poet's Choice and The Story and Its Writer. They are still awesome. I'll review them when I'm done.

In an effort to make our date time more personal, my husband and I have started reading to each other a little bit instead of just watching anime all day. (To be clear, we still watch anime, just not as many hours of it.) That's been fun, but also kind of difficult (I got this idea when I was sick--don't ask what I was thinking). So far I've read him "Smith of Wooton Major" by JRR Tolkien and Grimm's "Cinderella". Now he's reading me The Adventures of Tintin and I'm reading him The Canterbury Tales. It's a total nerdfest.

That’s it! Writing Roundup #7 will come out in four weeks, so you have plenty of time to do the homework. To find other posts in this series and a more detailed explanation of the categories, visit An Eclectic Writing Class.

What do you think? Did I cover it all? Is there another element you’d like to see added to this post series? Leave a comment below or my hairless ghost lemur will haunt your dreams.

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