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 🙂
I can write a 20+ thousand story, but can’t push out a faithful 250-word synopsis.
The Dragon’s Mate is a five-chapter, third-person omniscient novella that switches POVs each chapter with the last chapter being a combined POV. It goes between Osbert, a young wizard’s apprentice and Estrid, a 14-year-old woodcutter’s daughter. It’s a low-level medieval fantasy set prior to the 1100’s (if I give you a rough time setting).
My first attempt was to focus on Osbert’s character and his journey. However, it completely ignores Estrid, who has an active and equal role in the story progression. The second attempt focused on both characters but I made it seem like they team up to take down the baddie which doesn’t happen. So my next attempt I figured I take out the characters and focus on a more grand scale focusing on the antagonist of the story. But it’s misleading because his character isn’t the focus, it’s Osbert. I do this new synopsis is an improvement, it’s not exactly faithful to the story. I am liking the direction it is heading though so I might tweak my story to fit it 🙂
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.