Days 81 – 90

I haven’t done anything related to writing or editing at all. However, I do not feel bummed out. I think that is an improvement. In the last few days, I have however thought up a third story during this pandemic. It’s a portal fantasy and I have only the bare bones of what I want to happen. But I’m going to have a fun adventure with it.

Days 71 – 80

The last ten days have been unproductive. I didn’t edit or write anything. I have been looking at writing a new supernatural thriller though. I’ve got some story planned, but I don’t know how it ends. I’m not sure how long it’ll be either.

However, at the same time a YouTuber – Derek Murphy, I follow came out with this long video about novel writing basics. At the end of the video, there is a small exercise where who fill in the blanks about what your story is about. It actually helped me a bit with the story I’m working on. I have added some more things to it and it’s starting to become something more.

Days 61 – 70

Digital-artistic-Sketch-of-a-Dragon-1146713332_2092x1438

This next draft took some time to get into. I was a little put off by the idea of changing the ending, but those re-writes would only affect the last chapter. In the end, I didn’t do the changes as I’m still undecided. I spent yesterday afternoon working out my synopsis because I didn’t like the one I made. I think it has helped me flesh out my story some more and I might need to tweak some parts of the story. Like adding a bit more of a back story or adding some more characterisation.

I’m also cooking up another story. I haven’t worked out all the genres or plot points yet, but I like what I have. I think I already have a title for it as well 🙂 Anyway, this is what I did during the last ten days 🙂

  1. Nothing.
  2. Nothing.
  3. Edited 2 1/2 pages.
  4. Nothing.
  5. Nothing.
  6. Edited 7 1/2 pages.
  7. Edited 15 pages.
  8. Editing 10 pages.
  9. Re-wrote/updates synopsis.
  10. Nothing.

Second draft of The Dragon’s Mate completed

Digital-artistic-Sketch-of-a-Dragon-1146713332_2092x1438
My current quarantine project.

Just finished a second draft and I think I that I only have line and copy edits left to do. I was planning on changing the ending, but I now think it’s fine the way it is.

I can’t believe that this story is almost done. Could it be that I’ve gotten to this level where I can just churn something out and it be decent the first time around? Dare I hope that this is where I am now?

How did I get to this position? I suppose that it is because I not only had a rough plan; I am also more objectively critical about making decisions regarding my work. I don’t agonise over something and waste time. Also, the idea that nothing needs to be perfect is quite freeing.

Days 51 – 60

Digital-artistic-Sketch-of-a-Dragon-1146713332_2092x1438
My current quarantine project.

These last ten days have been lazy for me, though it never felt like it. I let The Dragon’s Mate rest for a few days and then did an entire edit in two days.

My editing comprised mostly line and grammar, not structural, but I’m thinking of changing the ending. I realised that as I wrote the synopsis, that I wasn’t satisfied with the end. So I’m going to re-write it, I think I know how I will do it too.
Well anyway, this is what I did towards my creative projects in the last 10 days.
  1. Wrote 700 words.
  2. Wrote 800 words.
  3. Nothing.
  4. Nothing.
  5. Nothing.
  6. Nothing.
  7. Nothing.
  8. Edited 30 pages.
  9. Edited 5 pages.
  10. Nothing.

Draft 1 of The Dragon’s Mate

Digital-artistic-Sketch-of-a-Dragon-1146713332_2092x1438
My current quarantine project.

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’m not productive enough and I feel shit about it

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 😦

Novella! Novella! Novella! Here are some tips for writing that not-so-novel story you thinking of writing.

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.