Serious Writers’ Accountability Group Check-In – March 2016

Every month we gather here to discuss what we’ve achieved and commit to making more progress in our creative lives in the coming month. We call it our   Serious Writer’s Accountability Group or SWAGr, for short! (We’re serious, not sombre!)

What people are saying about StoryADayMay 2014

Leave a comment below telling us how you got on last month, and what you plan to do next month, then check back in on the first of each month, to see how everyone’s doing.

(It doesn’t have to be fiction. Feel free to use this group to push you in whatever creative direction you need.)

Did you live up to your commitment from last month? Don’t remember what you promised to do? Check out the comments from last month.

And don’t forget to celebrate with/encourage your fellow SWAGr-ers on their progress!


Examples of Goals Set By SWAGr-ers in previous months

  • Write a story a day in May – everyone!
  • Revise at least 10 short stories – Iraide
  • Write two short stories. – Jami
  • Attend one writers’ conference – Julie
  • Write fable for WordFactory competition – Sonya
  • Re-read the backstory pieces I wrote in May and see if I can use them within my novel – Monique
  • Research the market – Jami
  • Focus on my serial – Maureen

 So, what will you accomplish this month? Leave your comment below (use the drop-down option to subscribe to the comments and receive lovely, encouraging notifications from fellow StADa SWAGr-ers!)

(Next check-in, 1st of the month. Tell your friends. )

A Month Of Writing Prompts 2015
Don’t forget, if you need inspiration for a story you can still get ALL THE PROMPTS from StoryADay May 2015 and support the running of the StoryADay challenge at the same time. Give a little, get a little :) Click here. Now only $2.99

21 thoughts on “Serious Writers’ Accountability Group Check-In – March 2016”

  1. Well, I suppose I’d better post MY March resolutions, hadn’t I?

    Last month was dark and difficult and not terribly creative on the fiction front. Ugh.
    What I Said I’d Do
    * Get the darned book proposal out – DONE, and have a plan of action to get it in front of publishers.
    * Write 10,000 words of fiction – Not remotely done. Ugh.
    * Get pages to my critique group and incorporate their feedback – Fail! For the first time in six months.
    * Submit a short story to a specific anthology project (this one feels like a stretch goal, but it’s important. The anthology deadline is April 30 but I want to get in early) – Nope
    * Post Write on Wednesday posts to StoryADay every week- Yes!
    * Post about “Permission To Write” here at the blog – Yes! Three posts went up!
    * Attack my list of ‘to do’ projects in preparation for StoryADay May – Hmm, kinda?
    * I did submit a query to a Big Name magazine and got rejected only because they had something similar on the books. Was invited to contact them again in the summer, which is nice.

    In March I Will:
    * write summaries and synopses to help me figure out how to attack the fiction I’m stuck on.
    * write 10,000 words of said fiction
    * Actually write a story to submit to the anthology by the end of March
    * Read short stories weekly, novels daily and (b)log them.
    *StoryADay Stuff (undisclosed) 🙂
    * Put together the writing prompts for StoryADay May 2016, ready to release the ebook in April
    * Write about Productivity here at StoryADay (it is to be hoped I can do this without spontaneously combusting in a plume of irony)

  2. Last month I set myself; to write / re-write three more chapters of the novel. I’ve re-written two chapters, written another new chapter and I am currently on the third chapter re-write. In total I’ve added another 10,000 words I guess. Some of these words may already have existed, but I judge that by reviewing and still incorporating them, it is fair to include them in the word count.
    I didn’t have any success with the mentorship submission, but I submitted my Writer Development programme application. I’ve received an email saying that my application was complete and has been accepted for consideration. An interesting part of the submission was having to submit a video explaining why you were applying. Scary stuff but I got there eventually!
    At the end of the month I attended a ‘Discovery Day’ in London, whereby you were given access to a literary agent (for six minutes) to discuss your novel and get feedback from them. You had to give a 30 second pitch and they then read your first page. A really useful session and good to meet so many aspiring authors.
    I still need to start planning my Zeitgeist story and I am looking to enter two other short story competitions later in the year, so I need to put together a plan for those as well. Talking of competitions, in response to one I entered in November last year I received an email advising that I hadn’t made the shortlist. However, I had been long listed (amongst 90 stories), so that is progress I guess.
    March objectives:
    I signed up for a free online Screen writing course, of which I have almost finished first week. Only a two week course, but really useful information on story structure and how to pitch a film or story.
    Plan out and write first draft of Zeitgeist story;
    Plan out next two or three months for competition short stories;
    I’d like to get another three or four chapters of the novel re-written.

    1. Great stuff, Malcolm (and so much, it’s taken me this long to get through it all!!)

      Sorry about the mentorship thing,b ut glad to hear you’ve found another development thing to apply for.

      I’ve done things like that discovery day: Agent Pitch Slam’s, they call them here. It is so valuable, for honing your story’s fundamentals, learning to talk about it, meeting other writers and above all, meeting agents and realizing that they are not evil gatekeepers but business people yearning for a story to fall in love with.

      What’s the online screenwriting course? I’m going through one (FutureLearn) produced by the University of Birmingham and the BBC Academy. It’s on digital storytelling and it’s got some really great stuff about story structure in Week 1. And it’s being presented by people who are really successful, working storytellers. (It’s here, in case anyone’s interested: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/digital-storytelling/_)

      1. Julie,
        Mine is a FutureLearn one as well. It is the Introduction to Screenwriting course run by the University of East Anglia. It was a two week course, which I’ve just finished. I was looking at ways to branch out into other forms of writing and I spotted the course early in the New Year. I have learnt so much, it is brilliant to look at how scripts are produced and how they can be very much a cut down version of a novel, or even just a short 5 or 10 minute film. So much of it can be incorporated into fiction writing, the creation of a pitch and outlining a story, showing the actions and thinking about non-verbal communication. In a script you can’t include a character’s internal thoughts and feelings. I would also like to try my hand with poetry as well, maybe I’ll find a course for that!

  3. This month, after months and months of absence, I intend to outline a novel in preparation for Camp NaNoWriMo in April. I’m not entirely sure which novel yet…

  4. Hi, all!

    For February, my goals were:
    *finish/submit 4 short stories: After trying for a couple of months, I don’t think 4 is a very achievable goal. (Or, more likely, only sometimes achievable!) I finished and submitted 2 and I’m happy with that.
    *continue to post to my blog on Sundays: I mostly did this, but missed a couple of weeks. I’m rethinking about what I’m posting at the moment. I like talking about what I’m reading and watching and such, but I’d like to take more time to develop more in-depth pieces along those lines.
    *finish the historical fiction class I’ve been taking online: Almost done!

    For March, I am planning on:
    *writing and/or editing 3 short stories for submission. I have 3 specific places I want to submit.
    *deciding on Camp Nanowrimo for April. I find it a useful thing to participate in, and would like to use the opportunity for editing, but have had mixed success with that in the past. I need to find a framework that I can use to make sure the editing gets done.
    *really, truly finish the historical fiction class
    *I’m taking a one day screenwriting workshop this coming Saturday. It looks really interesting.
    *and post to my blog weekly.

  5. Hello everyone!
    My March goals are to are to write 10000 words, and to come up with at least 60 story sparks.

  6. Hello everyone. It has been a long time since I’ve joined you all here, but here I am.

    In February, my goal was to write 29 short/flash fiction Horror Tales on my blog. I am happy to report that I accomplished this goal.

    For March, my goal is to write a 31 part WhoDunIt noir-style mystery, a new part each day during the month of March on another one of my blogs.

    I am also writing two new poems per week (8-10 poems per month) as part of a gathering of poems for a chapbook I hope to publish next year.

    Happy March everyone and best of luck on your goals!

  7. Hi, guys —

    My March goals are to revise a short-story story and break the pilot story for a one-hour TV drama, both projects for courses.

    1. I love that your goals sound realistic. Although, having said that, I have no idea how much work goes into breaking the pilot story for a one-hour TV drama. Will you end up writing the screenplay too, or is it more of an exercise?

  8. Hi everyone. My March goals are going to be a continuation of February’s. I’ve still been writing everyday. Some days are more productive than others but I’ll still doing it. I was hoping to be done with chapter eight of my novel by the end of February, but I’m at the beginning of it. I was able to write a couple of short flash stories for my website along with a couple of book reviews. My food blog is gaining more readers and my email list has grown. I’ve been adding more attention to that blog again because of the readership. It’s hard to find a good balance between the food blog, the fiction blog, and my novel. But I’m writing and that’s all that matters.

    My March goals are:
    – Finish the first draft of the novel, about 5 chapters (one a week)
    – Continue to write flash fiction stories for the fiction blog
    – Start preparing two short stories (about 4000-5000) words for next month to give me a break from the novel before I start editing.
    – Keep making a list of story ideas for May so I’m prepared.
    – Finish getting the baby room ready (she is due in April)

    Good luck to everyone!

    1. Great stuff!
      I heartily applaud your idea of having short stories as an ‘amuse bouche’ between novel-related projects.
      And congrats on the baby-in-waiting!

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