Just completed the first draft of The Dragon’s Mate. I didn’t do any structural changes because I took care of that in the first write-up. But after writing up the synopsis for the first time, I saw that there might be some changes in the next edits. In a nutshell, the one-line synopsis is; A wizard’s apprentice must overcome his fear of his King to ensure that the realm is safe from his desire to control the last known dragon in existence. An extended version is on the page for the novella.
I’ve been in the Netherlands for six-ish weeks now. I literary arrived the day before everything shut down, so it should have been a paradise for me. I was already going to have some time off work so I had been psyching myself up to it.
And then I get here and my ability to perform fails.
I’ve made some progress editing the beginning of a novel (which I gave up on). I also started a novella that’ll I have done by the end of this week. I’ve been keeping track of what I’m doing and I feel terrible about all the days where I did nothing. All that lost potential. Why can’t I make writing and editing a 9 to 5? It’s almost like I have burnout again, but I’m not sure if I do. It doesn’t help that I’m having a lot of negative thoughts that have no relation to my life at present. They are taking up a lot of time in me. Maybe it’s because I can’t socialise in person anymore.
It’s not a good day unless I’ve written more than 1k and I hardly ever do that. It’s not a good day when I spend hours playing computer games, even if I do manage to write. That’s still time spent elsewhere. From memory, I used to be so efficient at writing. But now my body and brain says no 😦
So where do I go from here?
I’m slowly getting things done, but not to my liking. Do I just keep chipping away at it? Maybe I have to as I can’t seem to do anything else. Maybe having a day job was something that improved my writing. It gave me some eustress about my finite time and made me manage what I had. Now I have all the time in the world I have no immediate rush to do anything 😦
Did you guess that this post is going to be about novellas? Let me go on.
You could say that it’s the novel’s little cousin. The unwanted and barely tolerated child of the publishing industry and pushed aside by society. People do not realise that there are some very prominent novellas; Animal Farm, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, A Christmas Carol, The Little Prince, and The Metamorphosis. These stories have left a major mark on people’s collective consciousness.
You too can do that (whether it’s because of good writing is up to you)!
So how do you write a novella?
Well, just like how you write a novel. You need a lot tears (or repressed tears if you don’t cry), feels of inadequacy, some imposter syndrome and a sprinkling of hope and desperation. Oh and maybe have a story to tell as well.
Here is what you need to do to write a novella;
- Stick to one major conflict and revolve around that. No side quests, they’re a distraction, especially that insta-love bull.
- Focus on one or two main characters/POV. No one else matters, especially that one character whose purpose is to say one line and then disappear forever into the abyss.
- Use fewer words, with fewer letters. After all, big city fancy words are for novels written by pretentious wannabees who talk about writing rather than actually writing.
- Pick an idea that it total unoriginal, but totally original to you because only you can write it like no one else.
- Find time to write. Have one less kid if you need to, or maybe ditch the child-rearing onto the other parent and then wonder why your kids have a favourite parent, that just happens to not be you. After all, it’s a novella you’re writing, not a novel. What’s their problem?
- Step back and see that story you were working on has become something and that should make you proud because completing a story no matter the size is not a task done every day. And not just anyone can write a novella. It takes someone with just as much muchness to create a novella as a novel.
So this is what you need to do to write a novella. Use all this and you’ll at least create something that resembles a shorter version of a novel.
My quarantine project is done 🙂
Looking through my calendar I saw to my surprise that I came up with the story and completed the first draft all in one month. I can’t believe it. It’s like all those unpleasant feelings I’ve had about this project is gone.
Currently, it stands at 22391 words and has two main POVs. While it took a month to finish, I only wrote for 19 of those days. I will leave it for a few days before editing. I still have a June/July release date, but I’m hoping for sooner.
These last 10 days, I’ll tell you what. I’ve been all over the place with how I feel about my writing and meeting my goals. I created the ‘write 500 words a day’ goal for myself. I only failed that three times. Then I became stuck in a certain section, but that was because I didn’t know where I was going. But today, while doing laundry, I came up with the ending. I’ll have finished the first draft by tomorrow. I’ve written 2700 words in four hours today. I’ve got a scene or two left and I’ve already written an epilogue.
I didn’t expect it to end so soon and I think it’ll end up being less than 25k. And after finishing this story, I’ll let it sit for a week before editing it 🙂 Depending on how much I’ve improved, I’ll be able to get this edited sooner than I thought.
Here is what I did over the last ten days;
- 1400 words written.
- 500 words written.
- 1200 words written.
- 500 words written.
- 215 words written.
- 400 words written.
- 2725 words written.
I went and did that Myers-Briggs personality test. I got INFJ, the Advocate. Apparently, I’m a little bit rare and special. When I read through the profile, I saw a bit that resonated with me and a little that didn’t. I wonder if these tests take in a person’s life experiences because I never really gravitated towards charity work like the profile said. I have a lot of distrust for places that claim they are a charity. I also fit into the turbulent side more than the assertive side. My husband, on the other hand, is an ENTJ. And I feel like he is my complete opposite, but we complement each other very well.
I look at my blog posts about the first 40 days of my creative endeavours and I’m like, is that all? I’m not nearly as productive as I would like and yet I felt like I had accomplished quite a bit. It’s strange how I see things.
I always want to have more done than I have completed and I somewhat blame my cross-stitch kits. Those little bastards call to me too much. I need to complete them like I’m trying to fill a fix.
I hope by the end of the next 40 days; we’ve come out of quarantine and that I’ve at least finished The Dragon’s Mate. I want to publish it by June/July. But that is not a set date. I also want to finish one of the three cross stitches I’m doing as well 🙂
I’ve made my mind up to complete a project during my time in lockdown. It’s my new novella ‘The Dragon’s Mate.’ I’ve already done 15,000 words and if I do another 500 every day this month, then I’ll have doubled it by the 31st. I don’t have a set word goal for this story, so I’m not sure if it’ll pass the 30k mark when completed. I kind of know where I’m going with this story and I am planning on this being just a stand-alone.
The Dragon’s Mate revolves around two teenagers as they team up together to try the stop their King gaining control of dragons and prevent him from having absolute power.
My writing is slowing down mainly because I don’t know where I’m headed. I had a decent beginning and now the sagging middle has set in. I also don’t know where and how this story will end. I’m on the fourth chapter and 14 000 words in. I still planning on this being a novella but because I don’t really have a plan, I’m not sure. Once it hits forty thousand it becomes a novel, though I don’t think it will be that long.
I watched a video for people unsure about their stories to write out a synopsis to pin down what they want to happen. Maybe I should do that. It’ll clear up the white pages in my mind.
- 1200 words.
- 1200 words.
- 1500 words.
- 800 words.
Isolation is getting to me. I’ve been all over the place and every day I’ve felt both sadness and happiness. I’ve been trying to learn Dutch on Duolingo and I’ve plateaued halfway through the first stage 😦
Also, I stopped editing in favour of starting a new medieval fantasy novella I thought up on the second day. Since then I have completed two chapters and a total of 9100 words. I’m mostly making it up as I go with only a few future events to aim towards. Since it’s short, I might have it done in a month 🙂 Below is what I did for my story.
- Nothing (thought up of a new story idea).
- Wrote 3039 words.
- Wrote 2328 words and created the book cover.
- Wrote 742 words.
- Wrote around 2500 words.
I’ve found that I work best with no music and only ambient sound around me. It makes me focus more and afternoons/evenings are when I get most of my writing done. I used to run a Youtube vid of jazz cafe music in the background because I previously found that I could hyper-focus in a noisy cafe. So I figured that I would take it home with me. It kind of worked but not as well as no sound.
And because I was struck with a new shiny idea, I also had to have a book cover made immediately. I spent a few days looking at dragon images on iStock until I came across this one. With some simple editing on Pixlr.com I went and made me a decent cover image. The trick is to keep it simple.