I suppose the question I want to ask is: am I ready? My answer is: I have no goddamm idea. One moment I feel ready. I feel confident in my idea and in my ability to pull this off. The next moment I’m convinced that I’ll fail, and because I succeeded last year, failing will feel so much worse. Like I let myself down.
Last year I choose the kind of story I know I can write, silly romance. I did try for it to be silly Gothic Romance, but I kinda missed the mark on that one. This year, full of pride and confidence because of last year, I wanted to go with a genre that gives room for more complexity: Fantasy. I’ve dabbled but its been years since I actually managed to finish something.
I’ve spent months on research, world building, character creating. Linguistics, geography. I’ve drawn friggin maps!
And what do I the week before the first of November? I decide to write a Western. With vampires.
Yup… A story set in the Ol’ Wild West. With vampires.
It’s been a hectic summer writingwise. I’ve focused on writing fantasy as well as putting Timeless Love, my NaNoWriMo story from last year, through its first round of editing. In short, I have had my plate full. Which is great. There is nothing worse than staring at the screen and having no idea what to write.
But lately it’s been a bit much. I have too many ideas popping up in my head and not enough hours of the day to deal with them all. So I have decided to take a vacation. From now until November, I won’t write a thing in my stories. I’ll keep writing in the interactive stories, I’m involved with of course! And I’ll keep writing down any idea that comes to me. But for the next two months, I’m going to spend my free time playing Video Games. Witcher 3, here I come! 🙂
Long afternoons, the lazy hum of bumble bees and the honey-sweet scent of lavender and hay… August invites you to slow down, to inhale deeply and enjoy the fullness of summer before it gives way to autumn.
It is a month that feels endless, as if even time stops to enjoy the lingering warmth. Every year September’s arrival feels abrupt and sudden, and we remember that time does pass and seasons change. But for now, August is still here and the cold and the rain of the coming autumn feels like an impossibility…
Editing Timeless Love has reached that brutal stage when it is more slaughter than anything else. All those cool sub-plots and great scenes that felt so awesome and important when I wrote them. Now it is time to take a long, hard look and kill off the ones that doesn’t bring anything to the story. So, goodbye, masquerade ball scene, see you later, haunted self playing piano. And farewell, Edwardopus. Half-man, half-octopus, you were my favourite. Perhaps we will meet again in another story.
I am in the process of editing Timeless Love, the Romance/Horror story I wrote for NaNoWriMo last year. So far it’s going fairly well. I’m making may way through the story, filling in plot holes, trying to make the dialogue sound less awkward and fixing typos and such.
It’s been a slow process, but now I’m beginning to feel like I’m seeing the end of it. Hopefully, I should be able to update the story on Inkitt and change the setting from Work In Progress to Completed sometime next week.
If you want to check out the story, you can find it HERE.
We’ve all been there, stumbling around in the middle of the story we’re writing, feeling utterly lost and haunted by doubts and despair. Where is the sparkling novel we set out to write? The vivid world and memorable characters? The strong plot?
This is a time to remember that this is something most (if not all) writers go through. Even famous, published authors like Neil Gaiman and Stephen King, find themselves lost in the swamps of despair, also known as The Murky Middle.
So, how do we find our way out?
Sadly, I don’t have an easy answer for you. There’s no quick fix, no magical spell. All you can do is keep going, keep setting one foot in front of the other. Adding one word after the other. Stacking sentence upon sentence. Sooner or later you will find yourself back on track, the swamp left behind. From there it is pretty much downhill. The plot might feel paper thin, the characters cliches and the dialogue awkward. But that’s okay. You are working on a first draft. No first draft is perfect. That’s what’s editing is for. 🙂
NaNoWriMo’s July Camp is over. Unlike the April Camp, this time I managed to reach the goal I had set for myself: 13 500 words. I managed to write just a little over 15 000 words so GO ME! 🙂
The story I’m working on is an epic fantasy story, and even though I have a total word count of close to thirty-thousand words, I still feel like I am very much in the beginning of this great adventure. This is my first original story written in English in the fantasy genre and it is quite exciting. I have already made plans to keep working on the same story for the November Novel challenge.
If you are curious about the story, you can head over to Inkitt. I posted the first four chapters there.
Just to be clear, this isn’t one of those How To articles. There’s tons of them online, and a lot of them make for good reads, filled with tips and tricks. But it is one thing to read articles and another thing to actually do it.
I have spent hours world building, writing notes on the flora and fauna, the different kingdoms, the people and their customs. I’ve even come up with a couple of rudimentary languages to use. But no matter how many notebooks I fill, I still won’t have a novel unless I manage to write that first magical sentence. And a lot is riding on it. It’s the hook, the very thing that will make the reader want to continue reading.
It is easy to cave under the pressure, isn’t it.
Okay, so let’s say we have the first sentence and it’s a great one. Now we just need to figure out how to introduce our readers to the verse we’ve created, and at the same time not bog down the first chapter with a lot of background info. The first chapter should be fast paced and exciting so it draws the reader in and gives him or her a chance to get to know the main characters. Well, that’s the theory at least.
Yeah… I know, there is no real rules when it comes to writing. Other than the grammar, and even they can be broken.
Maybe a slightly crappy first sentence and a slow, long-worded first chapter is just whats fantasy-readers really wants?
Or I could just go back to the ol’ drawing board and start over… *sigh*
Time to come clean. I haven’t been able to work on my NaNo April Camp project at all.
When I got the e-mail back in late February early March winter was still on full force. Spring seemed an eternity away, and with it any thoughts on the garden. But spring came and I woke up to the realisation that I need to get my ass in gear and start digging flowerbeds and start germinating seeds ASAP or everything will have to wait a whole year.
So, I tore myself from the keyboard, rolled up my sleeves and got digging. And I haven’t stopped since.
Sorry, NaNoWriMo, but the garden waits for no one.
So, I have realized that I drastically need to change the background plot for the story, and have spent most of the day re-writing what I wrote yesterday… It’s the beginning that I can’t seem to get right. I know I should just leave it be for now. You can’t do a lot of backtracking and editing during a 30-day write. Not if you want to write a 50 000 word novel. Well, at least not if you’re me. I’m a terribly slow writer…
Also, I am a master of procrastination. Which is what I’m doing now. Updating the blog when I should be working on the story. And before I decided that the world absolutely need this post, I sorted my notebooks, designed a couple of colouring sheets, matched up all the miss-match socks in the back of the drawer… Yeah, you get the picture… I basically did everything BUT write. I have been very productive. Well, except for in the writing-department.
Okay, enough procrastinating. Time to buckle down and rack up that word count.