Now what?

My NaNoWriMo journey has been a failure because I have given up on it. On the other hand, I have landed myself a job šŸ™‚ I’ll be out of action for about nine hours a day, not including sleep.

I’ve come up with two more story ideas, one is a YA thriller and the other is a zombie story. Note, all writers need to have a zombie story because there isn’t enough in the world right? HAHAHA

So I have about four stories that are currently occupying my head and all of them are about two chapters in with not much of an ending in sight.

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.

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.

1 – 10 days

The first ten days of trying to get myself back into writing did not go well. I got distracted by games and even today played a good six hours of The Sims. And to top things off, I had my giant cross-stitch that I ordered online arrive a few days early. Here is a breakdown of what I did.

  1. 1 1/2 pages edited.
  2. 4 1/2 pages edited.
  3. Nothing.
  4. 8 pages edited.
  5. Nothing.
  6. Nothing.
  7. Nothing
  8. 7 pages edited.
  9. Nothing.
  10. Nothing.

My goal of doing something every day seemed to be too much of a reach. After weeks of not doing anything towards my writing, I am still disappointed by what I have accomplished. All this editing was on one story and I had gone and done substantial changes on it despite this being old ground. Maybe I’ve levelled up again, but who knows.Ā  Below is the track changes I have done. It ends after the first page on the third row.

as1

100 days of writing, editing, and story-making.

My arrival in Utrecht coincides with the coronavirus shutdown. The beginning of my six months of freedom should be documented to make me more accountable. I plan to make the most of this time and make up for the last year of general disappointments. I’ll be updating my progress in 10 day lots as opposed to weekly because I’m now running in a different time zone. So look out for my progress reports and see if I either fly or fall šŸ™‚

Looking back on my first book

Feet or Fins was first published four years ago. It entered the world quietly because I didn’t market it and that was a good thing because of how bad it was written. I had to have a friend point it outĀ to me and I went back and was like, ‘Yeah, your right. Good thing no one bought it.’

That was my first foray into the self-publishing world and boy was I glad no one noticed.Ā I did like 14/15 drafts of that book and it still wasn’t good enough šŸ˜¦ But the next draft was immensely better. Thank you,Ā friend.

For the longest time, it was only on Smashwords and then I got over the idea that Amazon was somehowĀ lesser because it was a global corporation and knew that it would help me if I joined. Then I used the site to create a paperback version. By this stage, I had created a second cover image and when I finally got around to ordering a physical copy for myself I saw a few formatting issues. I used asterisksĀ to separate some scenes instead and a few of them were out of place.Ā Recently I updated my cover image again! I think this one is a lot nicer, andĀ it features two mermaids.

Alas, I overestimated myself.

I will be 30 in about five months and my goal of having 10 stories out by then looks to be kaput. I thought it was a reasonable goal, but alas it was too much for me. On a brighter note, I’m getting my writing bug back and have been slowly working on some stories. There is one that I mentioned way back that it might be my best story yet. I had stalled on it but have now written another chunk. But I know this book is far from completion.Ā There are a lot of others thatĀ are nowhere near completion and I don’t know when my next publication will be šŸ˜¦ Maybe it will be a case that in a year or two I will end up pushing out a lot of them.