New Years Resolutions

F-U-C-K I-T.

I’m going to aim high and release three stories this year. I haven’t made a concrete decision on what stories I’ll be focusing on but who cares? Currently, I have a ton of novellas and novelettes more than novels so it’ll probs be those stories instead of actual novels. It’s been a while since I worked on my sci-fi stories (there are quite a few) so I might look over those.

I completed my 2020 goal :)

I made myself the goal of self-publishing twice this year and I have 🙂 My novella The Dragon’s Mate came out in August and the novelette Matt and Rose dropped only a few days ago. Both are a $1.99 and are available through Amazon and Smashwords plus their networks.

I was worrying about not having Matt and Rose out in time because I seem to be going through a writing/editing slump despite having ample content to produce.

Next year I want to release three stories of any size. I think I can definitely get two out, but I should aim for the stars shouldn’t I.

Buds: A collection of stories

I just put together all my stories from 2016 to 2019 into a 5 x 8 paperback. It is 371 pages long and the stories that are in this book are;

  • My Cousin Megan,
  • From the Mountain,
  • The Backup Girl,
  • The Witch’s Room,
  • The Things We Do,
  • Save One.

Feet or Fins and The Dragon’s Mate are not in the collection. I called it Buds, as in plant buds, because while they are not the first stories I wrote (I have a bunch of short stories from uni), they are the emergence of my writing style. I think in a few years’ time I’ll put out another collection as I think my novelettes and novellas are not long enough for their own paperbacks.

One draft closer

I completed a draft of this novelette yesterday and I think with a few rounds it should be ready for publication. I was intending for end of September, but I dragged my feet with this maybe it’ll be end of October. I’m also planning on putting it up on Booksprout to get some reviews. I’ve never used that service before so it’ll be interesting to see if it works out for me.

This edit was mostly line and paragraph changes. I did do one larger plot change and that was easily fixed in a few word changes. One of the joys of writing shorter works is that everything is quicker to do. Writing, editing, reading. I’m pretty sure that for the foreseeable future I’ll be putting out more shorter works and maybe eventually put a whole bunch of them into a collection or something.

Writing during the Quarantine

Time, time, time.

Since March I have all the time in the day to write. For the most part I have spent my time equal parts writing, moaning about not writing, and wondering why my organic self cannot work like a machine. However it has not been a complete waste like I infer. These are the things I have done during quarantine;

  • The Dragon’s Mate: I wrote, edited and self-published this novella in two months.
  • Matt and Rose: A novelette that is just about ready.
  • Those in the Forest: Plan for a supernatural story about an escapee from a recluse cult. Only has a few thousand words have been written. Probably won’t be done for at least a year.

Writing a novelette in under 3 weeks

My last post mentioned that I was working on a novella, but it turns out that this story is going to be a novelette – it is under 15,000 words.

I for one cannot believe that I was able to churn this story out in under three weeks! But I did it. It was another quarantine idea that I had thought up off and finished within 2020. I have one more to go. The fact that I’m going to finish this story by the end of September shows that I’m on a roll. I’m going to meet my goal of two stories by the end of the year 🙂

This novelette will be priced at 0.99 cents and I’m planning on having it out by September 31st. Then I’m going to go on to my other supernatural story. That one is going to be longer, but I’m not sure what the word count will be.

How I managed to write this in under a month comes down to simply putting in the time. I did not write every day. When I did write I would range from a few hundred words to just under two thousand. I didn’t edit that much during the writing process, but I do think I added comments to change things as I went. I also found the internet a big distraction and I wonder how much more I could have accomplished if I was cut off.

I had fun with this little piece. I wrote in a difference voice to what I’m used to and I even switch POV’s. The first chapter is in 2nd, while the rest is in 3rd. I think that was the best way to start the story. I also have a male protagonist as the lead. Never done that before. I’m not sure how many edits I’ll do. I get better at writing with each new story and this is no different.

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.

Jumpstart draft no. 11

iStock-669387114_1I opened this word doc and to my surprise saw that I was already mostly done with this draft. I guess I gave up some time ago lol. Anyhow, I’ve had this story in the works since mid ’17 and god damn have dragged my feet on this. But I’m worried about when I have it done and there is no sequel ready. I have only written the first chapter and dot points for the next series of events.

I did more editing than I thought I would for something that is supposed to be in its eleventh draft. I think I deleted as much as I added. I know I have more to do with it as Chris has given me some pretty decent comments to go on.

I hope that when this is ready to be released I will have progressed with the next story. Also, I have no idea how that story is going to end and where the third book begins eeeek!