I haven’t done anything related to writing or editing at all. However, I do not feel bummed out. I think that is an improvement. In the last few days, I have however thought up a third story during this pandemic. It’s a portal fantasy and I have only the bare bones of what I want to happen. But I’m going to have a fun adventure with it.
The last ten days have been unproductive. I didn’t edit or write anything. I have been looking at writing a new supernatural thriller though. I’ve got some story planned, but I don’t know how it ends. I’m not sure how long it’ll be either.
However, at the same time a YouTuber – Derek Murphy, I follow came out with this long video about novel writing basics. At the end of the video, there is a small exercise where who fill in the blanks about what your story is about. It actually helped me a bit with the story I’m working on. I have added some more things to it and it’s starting to become something more.
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 🙂
- Edited 2 1/2 pages.
- Edited 7 1/2 pages.
- Edited 15 pages.
- Editing 10 pages.
- Re-wrote/updates synopsis.
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.
- Wrote 700 words.
- Wrote 800 words.
- Edited 30 pages.
- Edited 5 pages.
I’ve been in the Netherlands for six-ish weeks now. I literary arrived the day before everything shut down, so it should have been a paradise for me. I was already going to have some time off work so I had been psyching myself up to it.
And then I get here and my ability to perform fails.
I’ve made some progress editing the beginning of a novel (which I gave up on). I also started a novella that’ll I have done by the end of this week. I’ve been keeping track of what I’m doing and I feel terrible about all the days where I did nothing. All that lost potential. Why can’t I make writing and editing a 9 to 5? It’s almost like I have burnout again, but I’m not sure if I do. It doesn’t help that I’m having a lot of negative thoughts that have no relation to my life at present. They are taking up a lot of time in me. Maybe it’s because I can’t socialise in person anymore.
It’s not a good day unless I’ve written more than 1k and I hardly ever do that. It’s not a good day when I spend hours playing computer games, even if I do manage to write. That’s still time spent elsewhere. From memory, I used to be so efficient at writing. But now my body and brain says no 😦
So where do I go from here?
I’m slowly getting things done, but not to my liking. Do I just keep chipping away at it? Maybe I have to as I can’t seem to do anything else. Maybe having a day job was something that improved my writing. It gave me some eustress about my finite time and made me manage what I had. Now I have all the time in the world I have no immediate rush to do anything 😦
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.
These last 10 days, I’ll tell you what. I’ve been all over the place with how I feel about my writing and meeting my goals. I created the ‘write 500 words a day’ goal for myself. I only failed that three times. Then I became stuck in a certain section, but that was because I didn’t know where I was going. But today, while doing laundry, I came up with the ending. I’ll have finished the first draft by tomorrow. I’ve written 2700 words in four hours today. I’ve got a scene or two left and I’ve already written an epilogue.
I didn’t expect it to end so soon and I think it’ll end up being less than 25k. And after finishing this story, I’ll let it sit for a week before editing it 🙂 Depending on how much I’ve improved, I’ll be able to get this edited sooner than I thought.
Here is what I did over the last ten days;
- 1400 words written.
- 500 words written.
- 1200 words written.
- 500 words written.
- 215 words written.
- 400 words written.
- 2725 words written.
I look at my blog posts about the first 40 days of my creative endeavours and I’m like, is that all? I’m not nearly as productive as I would like and yet I felt like I had accomplished quite a bit. It’s strange how I see things.
I always want to have more done than I have completed and I somewhat blame my cross-stitch kits. Those little bastards call to me too much. I need to complete them like I’m trying to fill a fix.
I hope by the end of the next 40 days; we’ve come out of quarantine and that I’ve at least finished The Dragon’s Mate. I want to publish it by June/July. But that is not a set date. I also want to finish one of the three cross stitches I’m doing as well 🙂