Lena Corazon

Flights of Fancy

ROW 80 Check-in: And So It Begins

A Round of Words in 80 Days, the 80 day writing challenge, is half-way through Round 2, and I’ve decided to leap on in.  I stumbled upon the writing challenge through some circuitous blog reading last week, and given that I am trying to finally be serious about my writing, I felt the time was right to give it a try.

So here I am, pledging that I will write an average of 300 words/day.  That adds up to 2100 words/week, which is on the low end of the spectrum, but given everything that will be happening over the next few weeks (grading, thesisizing, 2 guest lectures, final exams, etc.), it’s definitely a practical decision.

Honestly, I’ve been doing surprisingly well in terms of word count.  I started tracking my progress last week, and this is what I have to show:

Daily word counts

Wordcount graph
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It’s not too shabby, if I say so myself.  I started tracking on Friday, May 6th with my first 1000 word scene.  By the following Friday, May 13th, I hit 7000 words.  I’m not quite sure where all of this energy and excitement is coming from, and frankly, I’m not about to ask.  This is the most I’ve written since I entered my writing slump almost two years ago, and I am incredibly grateful that the art of writing, of imagining, and of creating has returned (knock on wood).

There is, however, much work to be done before I can emerge from the other end of chapter one, including:

  • Brainstorming the culture and history of Peridion, particularly surrounding the role of magic within the world.  The disappearance of magic a few centuries prior to the tale’s beginning (captured here in a mini “codex” excerpt) is pivotal to the actions of my current villain, the royal mage Leopold, and also helps to explain the mysterious circumstances around Liandre’s origins and heritage.  I’ve got a vague sense of what’s gone on, but I will need to solidify what’s happened over the coming weeks.
  • Scribbling the tales and legends that are considered important in the world of Peridion.  What are the stories that every person, commoner and noble alike, seem to know?  Why are they important?  What messages or themes are prevalent, and what can they tell us about the overall psyche and culture of Peridion?
  • Thinking more about birds, and Liandre’s eventual introduction into the world of Vao Artan.  I will be reading Daphne du Maurier’s short story, “The Birds,” and also watching the Hitchcock film based on her tale for a bit of inspiration.  I’ll most likely be posting about it as well, so look for that in the coming week.

That’s about all, at least for the moment.  I am battling a migraine, so this post is neither as long nor as informative as I’d like… but there’s always next check-in.  With that, I am off to pop some aspirin… and to try and scribble a few more ideas for this funeral scene that I am trying to write.


  1. welcome – thats good word count there – I like the tales and legends researching – culture really important a story – its inbuilt into us from way back to early humanoids – how we make sense of our world, explain and ease our fears of antural/unatural forces, how we pass on our moral codes and rules for behaviour – I am always disapointed if its not there in a made up world ( doesnt have to written down just as long as I can feel it’s there
    Hope this week goes well for you.

    • Hello!

      Yes, I completely agree about the importance of culture and legends. I’m a sociologist by training, so I have been thinking about my fantasy worlds the way I would any society — looking at institutions and social structure, and considering how they shape and impact my characters and those around them. I’ve also always loved myths, so I’ve been thinking a lot about the origin stories that my characters may have learned as children. There’s just so much that can be gleaned from the tales, from the values that are important to the culture to the imagery and the aesthetics that are prized. When it comes to the “final product” of the story, I know that all of this background information will probably get boiled down to a few sentences sprinkled in here and there, but I think they will (hopefully) give the story greater authenticity and a sense of depth.

      Enjoy your week as well!

  2. Welcome to ROW80, glad you could join. 🙂 Looks like you’re doing great with research and word counts. I hope your migraine is gone by now!

  3. Welcome to ROW80! I think it’s a good idea to keep your word count goal fairly low (mine’s 500 per day) while you’ve got so many other things going on. That way, you don’t feel so much pressure, and then when you go over your goal, you feel like going “Yay me!” :0) It sounds like you’re doing great!

    I know about those migraines. I woke up with one this morning. 🙁

    • Thanks so much for the welcome! I’m excited to get started.

      I’m a little shocked that I’ve written so much in the past week, but I think I need to look at my accomplishments as an exception, and not the norm. I’ve got this master’s thesis that I’m supposed to be writing, and as much as I’d like to ignore it, my committee is going to be fairly peeved if I don’t make it the top priority in my life, lol. Working and thinking about fiction is technically the “reward” that I give myself at the end of the day, when everything else is through.

      Sorry to hear about your migraine! I seem to be in the clear so far, but I am keeping my medication nearby, just in case. I hope yours passes quickly!

  4. Welcome to ROW80 Jamila! Glad you are inspired to write again. I understand the pressure at this time of the year with wrapping up schooling work, as I am an educator, and it’s easy to push writing to the back burner when work gets us busy. A Round of Words has helped me greatly. Having the accountability of the bi-weekly check-ins keeps me ‘honest’, and setting deadlines has increased my productivity. I sincerely hope you enjoy success! ~ Nadja

    • Thanks very much, Nadja! Yes, I’m in graduate school and we’re on a trimester system, so every 10 weeks I’m usually in the throes of grading and/or writing final papers and projects. In the past it’s really thrown off my day-to-day life (writing, working out, etc), so my goal this quarter is to do my best to stay consistent even in the midst of all the stress.

      Looking forward to getting to know you and the rest of the participants in ROW80!

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