Month Six Out Of Twelve #IWSG

I find it hard to believe it’s June already. I mean, wasn’t it just April where I was down with fever and pneumonia? I’m still coughing, so it couldn’t have been that long ago.

But alas, it really is June. That means almost half of the year is gone, and I haven’t finished writing my draft yet. That’s where my insecurity lies. Am I really so stinking slow that I can’t finish before the year is through? I suppose it doesn’t help that as I brainstormed out a plausible reason for a side character to ask a POV character to do something, I roamed into unplanned territory which includes introducing a character who appears in the next book and the Cera Chronicles, as well as made him related to a character who died. It triggered the bunny thought trails and character interactions that didn’t previously exist. So I’m still writing, but not fast enough.

Of course, writing pace isn’t the only factor. I still make it a point to spend some time with my family. But my book and my world never fully leave me alone, so this past weekend, I found myself sketching while chilling with my husband and kids. Then I shaded, took a photo, tweaked it on my phone, then added text and texture on my laptop. I have to say, I’m pretty pleased with the result.

IWSG Question of the Month – What’s harder for you to come up with, book titles or character names?

Considering I only have 4 books and dozens upon dozens of people in my head, I’m going to have to say characters, because I need to make sure that the names I pick aren’t too similar to the ones I’ve already used.

Are you a fast or a slow writer? Do you ever create maps for your world?Which are easier for you to name–titles or characters?

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You can find the sign up for the IWSG here. We owe Alex J Cavanaugh a huge thank you for thinking this blog hop up.

Loni Townsend

About Loni Townsend

Wife. Mother. Writer. Ninja. Squirrel.

41 thoughts on “Month Six Out Of Twelve #IWSG

  1. That is an awesome map! Book titles are the hardest for me. Though I’ve had a few characters with the same names over the years. They name themselves, and they refuse to change names once they decide! Time is really strangling me this year too.

  2. What a cool map. I’ve never had to make one, but I don’t write fantasy. At least, not yet. I’m definitely a slow writer.

  3. katje

    That’s a lovely piece of art!
    I’m a slow writer. I was originally going to qualify that with “I’m a slow writer to finish”, but really, I’m one of those 250words/per day people.
    I would love to do maps, but graphic art has never been my medium. I really need to get down to drawing a picture of my universe at some point though; blargh argh pfffertg.
    Titles are hard. Character names are easier – mostly because I have no shame in taking names from all over the place and because I don’t have huge casts. Yet. Even so, many of my stories are interlinked, which helps a bit.

  4. I write down names I like, that might fit my series. Is that how you got dozens of names? It sure makes it easy when I add a character or need to name one!

  5. That’s a really great map!
    Titles are my struggle.

  6. WOW. Just wow. Love the map!! Yes, I plan to do a map for my new MG mystery set in Door County. Actually, I sketched a rough draft of one early on to get the layout for my book! It helped me write the story in the best order. Even though the city is real, I made up a few things, but checked the city map/photos before I took literary license!

  7. Anna

    I know I can’t believe how much of the year is gone as well. At least you have a plan and a great drawing of the land. 😉

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  8. That’s pretty epic. Loving the map.

    I’m slow too, but that’s only because I have 5 kids, a HUGE house to take care of, a husband who likes my attention, and the whole home schooling thing. If I cut out some of those factors, I know I could be fast. Regardless, this is reality, so it is what it is. We do the best we can, eh?

  9. I LOVE your map! How cool!

    Balancing family/writing time can be difficult, so I get it. But you’re still working, still creating and shaping your worlds, so, you’re still working. The draft will get there. Keep plugging away and I have no doubt it’ll be done by the end of the year 🙂

  10. Maps are always cool. But you’re right. It seems like it was just yesterday when I was making new year’s resolutions.

    BTW, I hope you were serious about being a beta reader for my fan fiction. You’ll be hearing from me soon. 😉

  11. Love the map. Looks great. Happy IWSG!

  12. My year pretty much mirrors yours, without the pneumonia, in terms of writing progress. Much slower than I’d like. I love your map! I have one for my town (just a fictional town in the midwest, US, Earth) but it really helps visualize the comings and goings of the characters. Plus, I know where the bodies are. 🙂

  13. Ooh I love the map! You are so creative! Love it.
    I can’t believe it’s June either. Unreal!

  14. Excellent map!

    This year has been going fast and every year goes faster. I’m not sure I like this trend. I wish I would write as quickly as my time goes–if I’m on fire with an idea I do write with some speed, but sadly this doesn’t happen often. Motivation is my biggest obstacle.

    Vacation ahead so I’ll be traveling again which means I’ll be writing little to none for a while. The story of my life.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

  15. I’ve been working on the same book for three years and it’s only 2/3 done! One of the stories did require a map just so I could keep it straight in my head.

  16. Yikes! You’re still coughing? That sucks. I’m so sorry to hear that. I hope that clears up soon. You are a woman of many talents. Writing, drawing, creating awesome bracers, what can’t you do? Color me impressed. I can relate to taking time to write a book. My first took me several years and looks like the second will too. That’s okay. I enjoy the process of it all. Like you said, you’re enjoying the family, that’s the important piece of your life 🙂


  17. Tonja Drecker

    I love the map! Writing speed is my biggest issue but spending time with family is more important. And June does mean that the year is half-way over….ugh, hadn’t thought of that!

  18. I adore the map you created! Books only have one title, but there are tons of characters’ names to find. I have a tendency to use similar names too and have to fix them in later drafts.

  19. Slow writer here. The tortoises can attest to that. 🙂

  20. My brain is at odds with my writing. I tell myself I’m fast. I want to believe I am. Really. But … boo … I am very slow LOL. I love the drawing! Amazing! And love up on the family. I hope everyone remains healthy. happy IWSG day.

  21. Love, love, love that map! I would really like one for my books, but alas, my drawing skills are pretty non-existent. You’re one talented woman!

  22. Wow! You’re so good! I wish I knew how to do that.

  23. Cathrina

    OMG!!! That map is Amazing!!! The months are flying by. Time seems to get away from us, especially when family comes first! You’ll get your writing done, in time…

  24. You did a fabulous job on that map, Loni! I want to steal it and take a journey to wherever it leads.

  25. I love your sketch! I could never come close to that. And yes, I am a slow writer. But jobs and family are important too. As long as you are productive and doing what you have to, that’s enough.

  26. That’s a gorgeous map! I makes maps too. They help me keep everything straight. I am a slow, slow writer.

  27. Stephen Tremp

    Now that’s some Mad Skilz right there awesome looking map.

  28. Pnemonia… I think you answered your own question, there. I bet you’ll be amazed when you finish. It’ll seem like it took no time at all.

    I love to draw world maps, but I’d never let anyone see them. Yours is amazing.

  29. OMG, Chikara is so beautiful, Loni! You are so talented! I can barely read my writing, never mind draw. 🙂

  30. Wow, that drawing is amazing. Look at you, Renaissance Woman! Hope your health is back to 100% soon.

    I’m a fast writer once I get going. If I take breaks from a book, I lose momentum and have to get it back. Please try not to beat yourself up over your speed. You probably can’t control it, and the important thing is that you produce a book you’re happy with, no matter how long it takes.

  31. Claire


    Your drawing is amazing! I can’t think of his name atm but a crime writer Stuart mc something has drawn a huge a-z map of his town, and it as detailed as an a-z someone with too much time on their hands.

    When I have an idea I write at like 1000s miles an hour, but atm I am kinda struggling with stuff.

  32. That map is amazing.
    You are talented!

    Yes, six months have passed.
    I know it’s cliched, but really, where does the time go to?

  33. Love your map! Next time I need a map, I’ll know whom to ask for it. :))

  34. That map is awesome!
    I can definitely relate to the slowness. But I think my problem is avoiding my WIP when I know it’s going to be difficult to rewrite.

  35. Sometimes it feels like I’m barely doing any writing. Then other times I’m blowing through it. I can never find a happy medium.

  36. Your map is spectacular. I love it. I’m not getting so much done either. Things are what they are. That’s what I decided.

  37. That’s a brilliant drawing. We all take differing amounts of time writing so never panic. I’m about to re-work something as glitch has arisen, and I suspect that happens to many of us.

  38. My grumpy Gertrude side would insist I am a slow writer, but when I just do the thing, I plod along well enough. I would say I’m a careful writer and have just learned to live with the amount of self-editing I’m prone to do a great deal of the time. And that’s a very cool map 🙂

  39. I never used to think I was a slow writer, but man, I’ve been working on my book for two years. TWO YEARS. And it’s still not done. 🙁

  40. That map is really something, and I’m impressed that you sketched it in an idle “down time” moment! You could have a sideline as an illustrator. 🙂

  41. Hope you continue to feel better! Very cool map! You’ve got some drawing skills.

    (I’m a slow writer, too. Mostly because I’m stretched doing other things.)

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