31 – 40 Days

Digital-artistic-Sketch-of-a-Dragon-1146713332_2092x1438My 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.

 

  1. Nothing.
  2. 1200 words.
  3. 1200 words.
  4. Nothing.
  5. 1500 words.
  6. Nothing.
  7. Nothing.
  8. 800 words.
  9. Nothing.
  10. Nothing.

21 – 30 Days

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.

  1. Nothing.
  2. Nothing (thought up of a new story idea).
  3. Wrote 3039 words.
  4. Nothing.
  5. Wrote 2328 words and created the book cover.
  6. Nothing.
  7. Wrote 742 words.
  8. Nothing.
  9. Wrote around 2500 words.
  10. Nothing.

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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. 

 

Works in progress

Currently, I’m looking at shorter works that I can polish up while I’m in a bit of a writing slump. There is this one group of short prequel stories that belong to a story I haven’t written yet. That’s three years old now and I’m starting to panic. The days are passing by, and I’m not as successful as I want to be. I am also moving to the Netherlands in about two months and the stress is getting to me.

The most current things I’m rotating between are;

  • A social sci-fi YA that I think will be quite long. It’s 60ish thousand words and maybe a third? done. Not too sure where I’m heading with the end. Maybe I might have to break it into two books? Atm, I’ve run out of steam so it’s going on the back burner until I get some more ideas for it.
  • A dystopian novel that is not even halfway through the first draft but I have a guestimate of where the ending is. I’ve changed the POV from first to third so it needs a rewrite.
  • A sci-fi YA that’s over 120 thousand and I need to complete the 3rd draft. I’ve lost a character somewhere and need to resolve that one.
  • The prequel stories I’m editing at the moment does not have a novel attached to them and I need to write a story plan for that, plus write a first draft of the novel.

I don’t think I’ll have any stories ready for publication for at least 12 months. That worries me because I wanted to have more done by now. I’m almost 30 and with not much to show for it. I know when I move I will have some time off and hopefully, I’ll use it to my full advantage.

 

Save One Edit 9

Beautiful-African-Woman-174795229_2560x3835_preview4largeI did an edit sprinkle of my draft if that’s what you can call it. I put my book through the free version of Grammarly. I picked up quite a few things that caused me embarrassment. I spelt the word border wrong so many times and often missed out single words that needed to be added for improvement.

I’m going to have to do a few more drafts, but I’ve pretty much completed all of the structure, so it’ll just be line edits from now on.

What value do you bring?

I’m re-reading ‘The Mental Game of Writing’ by Bell and there is a section about uniqueness. More specifically your uniqueness. He asks you three questions about what you bring with your work. They are:

  1. What do I do well?
  2. What can I do better?
  3. What are my unique ‘add ons’?

With me and my self-evaluation and comments from my close ones, I can say that the things I do well are worldbuilding and characterisation. I’m hoping that my plot and storyline are pretty competent as well. Things I can do better in regards to my writing is re-establish my writing routine, finish first drafts and start more marketing.

But what about my unique ‘add ons’?

What makes me different from other writers? I know that there is not another Stephanie out there, but no one can see that because I don’t market myself. I write a lot of novellas because I don’t pad my stories out, but my style is not like that of McCarthy’s The Road. I’m slowly making my way up to larger books because I’m training my brain to deal with larger projects. Maybe despite writing seriously for the last seven years I still have to refine my ability.

Another Jumpstart draft

iStock-669387114_1I’ve just started another draft of Jumpstart. I’m not that productive with it either. I think I should have done a few pages a day because the last time I touched it was over a week ago. I could have completed it by now if I had done it that way. I’m doing more edits than I thought I would have too. I don’t know if I’m levelling up or my previous attempts were sub-par. I’m hoping to have this thing out by mid-year, but no date is set.

 

 

General update for my other books

I’ve gone and gotten shiny new idea syndrome and have begun a new book, but what about my other ones?

Beautiful-African-Woman-174795229_2560x3835_preview4largeSave One is mostly completed. Need a few more light drafts and it should be ready. I’ve just grown tired of it atm so I’m giving it some space.

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The Things We Do has been submitted to Tor.com as part of a sci-fi novella submission. Practically ready for release, but will have to wait to see if accepted by these guys.

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Jumpstart is also mostly done. I’m also fatigued by it and have started and stalled on the sequel Tune In. I want that story done before thinking of releasing this as part of the marketing strategy for the series.

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Beyond Calico has stalled. The first draft is not completed, but I have a rough outline of the story and need to write it up sometime.

The Chloris and the Electra has not been touched in over six months and I’m not sure when I’ll go back to it. I enjoyed writing what I have and will finish it. But I think it’s only 60% through the first draft. I think I have an idea of how it ends, but that’s flexible.

Overall I intend for the book I’m writing now to be done by the end of June. Then I might move onto another of the others I haven’t finished and try to maximise my time. I’m still heading towards my goal of 10 self-published stories by my 30th birthday, so I’m not slowing down. I’m hoping to have some stories out by the end of the year so I have that to look forward to.