I hope you are all doing well and making magnificent strides toward your writing dreams! School starts back again for me soon so my schedule will be filling up rather quickly. I’ll be scheduling writing time to make sure I adhere to my plans.
Anyhow, here’s my second general update for 2017!
I have currently written 17 chapters out of my 29 (planned) chapter book. Right now I have a sh*t load of planning to do before I can write much more. Truly, discipline is key when it comes to making a book happen. All I want to do right now is write more chapters, but that’s a little hard to do when I haven’t laid out much of the second-half of my novel. So, I’m going to make myself sit down and write things out 🙂
If you’ve seen my last blog post, you’ll know that I’ve published Chapter 11 to my Wattpad. You can read it here. Please don’t forget to leave comments! I love hearing what you all have to say regarding my work! Your input lets me know what’s working and what’s not in my story. I’ll be working on Chapter 12 this week and hope to publish by the weekend.
What I’ve Learned:
This last week was a test of discipline for me. I haven’t planned out much of the second half of my book yet, so lately I’ve had my nose buried in a notebook trying to work out HOW IN THE WORLD I am going to pull off my planned plot points. It would be easy if I could fabricate a bunch of it, but the second half of my book calls for a much more realistic setting and approach than the first bit did. So, I’ve learned a great deal about the importance of not only pacing but also planning.
A little bit of writing advice – It’s okay not to plan out your whole book at one time. The story really does evolve as you write it, your characters grow in unexpected ways and they sometimes make unexpected decisions. However, it is indescribably important to plan things out ahead of time. Having even a rough idea of where you want each chapter to go helps out immensely as you move through your book. Keeping a running idea enables you to plan your character growth arcs, plot point development, and any surprise reveals you may be working up to. Not to mention it provides a more logical progression through your timeline.
I thought this might be a good section to add. Writing is a continuous learning experience. It requires you to constantly grow, research, branch out and network. This being said, my breakthrough of the week has been realizing how important character back stories are in every book. Every plot point, every twist, every setting, and all of your story systems revolve around the CHARACTERS. Giving your character a life before the book makes them so much more animated and believable.
Think of it this way – every single person that you have ever met in your entire life has a history, some of which you will know nothing about. They have friends, family, loved ones and disliked people who have shaped them in a way they may not be able to explain, but they understand. They’ve been places, seen things and done things you will never be able to do in the same way at the same time. They are unique. They are beautiful. They are different from you. And they are priceless because they are all these things.
Your characters are the same. They have lives, history, loved ones and experiences that are beyond the scope of your novel. These things may not be brought up in every scene the character inhabits, but they still must have happened in order to shape the character into who they are today. Consider that the weathered war veteran did not become that way by playing combat video games. The fierce domestic violence survivor is just that – a survivor – because they had and have the strength to fight. The sullen boy in the corner didn’t become that way overnight. The rich kid whose parents pay for every single college book might wish he had a little more life experience. Even the youngest child that plays with dolls, likes the dolls because perhaps they make her feel important and needed. Everyone has a story. Give your character one, too.
As a reader, it’s a little hard to connect with a character that’s got about as much history as a newly minted penny. I’d take a 1908 copper piece any day over a shiny, fresh-pressed character that waltzes onto the scene with absolutely no motivating experiences. So, roll out those well-worn, scratched up, chipped, metal-smelling pennies for your readers. I promise you they will love them!
Goals for the Upcoming Week:
1.) Keep Writing (Even with all the school work )
2.) Finish Chapter 18 of Novel
3.) Finish and Publish Chapter 12 of ‘Death of the Green Planet’ on Wattpad by next Sunday
What are your writing goals for this week? Please leave them in the comments!
God bless ❤