January 6, 2019

Rewind to 2018: What I Wrote

In which I went through a drought, finished my novel, and started a new one.

The Drought

After I turned in my 250-page advanced fiction portfolio in early December 2017, I struggled to write. I knew where I wanted my novel to go - I had everything outlined and it was at least one-third to halfway written - but I just...couldn't. Which was problematic because I was in a workshop-heavy independent study at the time, turning in assignments two out of every three weeks. Honestly, I just used a lot of what I'd submitted for my portfolio since my prof hadn't given me any feedback on most of it (and it was good to get critiques from people who like books for the age range I write for). 

I revised a little this spring, based on that feedback, and I had one day in late January where I managed to write 1,000 words. But that was it.

I knew it wasn't the book; the idea was solid, and I still loved it and wanted to keep going. But every time I sat down to write, I couldn't put any words on the page. So I tried to read a lot, and I watched a bunch of Netflix. I was, as my independent study professor put it, recharging my battery. Filling it by enjoying other creative endeavors.

But last spring was the longest time I couldn't write for a year and a half, since I'd started the novel. 

Then I moved to New York.

The Magic Switch

I was fortunate enough to be able to set my internship hours. So I decided Fridays would be half days. My second Friday in the city, I went to find this cafe that my lovely friend Julia recommended to me. It's called Maman, and she'd followed them on Instagram and told me I should visit and tell her all about it. I stepped into one of their locations on that June Friday, ordered a lavender hot chocolate and a rose white chocolate cherry cookie, and I wrote. 

In June, I wrote around 7,500 words. Every single one of them was in my sparkly black notebook at a wooden table in Maman.

On July 13, I finished the first/third draft (some parts had already gone through so much revision while others hadn't seen anything at all).

I spent the rest of the summer revising and sent my WIP off to two critique partners and a beta reader in September. My plan was to start revision based off of their critiques over Thanksgiving. That didn't happen. But it's okay! There is no set path to getting published, and taking my time will only make this book better. It's been a labor of love for almost two and a half years now, and I know there are great things in store for it.

The New WIP

I'd been plotting my next story for quite a while. I spent some time in early September, starting its vague outline and getting to know my characters, but I officially started writing it on everyone's favorite day.

Writing it has been a bit slower going in the beginning than with the last WIP (the one in revisions), but I'm figuring out where the story goes still, and I'm trying out dual narration this time, so I'm trying to learn my two main characters' voices so that they're different enough from the get-go.

I'm also writing lots of little scenes, between one of the main characters and her love interest, that may not even end up in the book. But they're fun to write because I like them as characters so much.

If you're a writer, tell me about how your craft was in 2018! Did you hit any big milestones? Or are you proud of something smaller (but just as valid)? Let's chat in the comments!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...