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,
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.
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.
I’ve got a new story coming. The first draft is done and it’s just under 15,000 words. I have even done a book cover.
It follows Matt, a 20’s something beer shop employee who lives in a semi-stoner house who has just come out of a car wreck. Not only has he been knocked about, he also had this weird dream about him been murdered.
Then he does something stupid, he blabs about it at a party, after working out who the killer is. Now he is sure he is being hunted by the perpetrator and done for.
I’m writing two supernatural novellas 🙂 One is about a young man experiencing paranormal events after a car crash, and another is about a young woman whose escape from a backwoods cult. I’ve written over 5000 words for each story, and I might have them completed by the end of the year. I don’t know how long each will be and I haven’t figured out titles for them either.
My journey to this event was both straight forward like I stated above and just as bumpy. Between each step, I had many moments of anguish and worries that I wouldn’t get this done at all. After all, I have many uncompleted manuscripts. But I finished it. This might be my second fastest publication. If I was a lesser person, I might have given up when I got my feedback on the first beta read. But I fixed it rather than throw it away.
How was my mind during this time?
Well, I arrived just on lockdown, and that might have been both a blessing and a curse. I had no distractions, but I found them. I had nobody to talk to, but I might have shied away from them under the guise of writing. I had no job and yet couldn’t make writing my job. I was harder on myself than I should have been. However, I still managed to complete it 🙂
So what happens next?
Well, I have a bunch of other stories I came up with around the same time as The Dragon’s Mate, so I might work on those 🙂
I completed another edit of The Dragon’s Mate. I added some more things that help add and explain some parts of the story. Then I went and re-wrote the synopsis. I still think there are some more things to tweak, but it’s getting close to completion 🙂
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.