Writing Update (Sep. 2019) #WriteUpMyAlley

The past year I began getting back into one of my first passions: writing. It started in 2018 when I decided to jump the gun and participate in Nanowrimo. I fell off a bit after winning and then proceeded with writing again during the summer. Particularly, I participated in Camp Nanowrimo and also succeeded in this. Now, after a lot of reading, outlining, researching, I’m beginning to take this more seriously. Writing is fun, but I’d also like it to be my job.

If you’d like to know about where I am with my writing, keep reading this writing update.

Before reading this writing update, check out my vlog where I discussing beating Nanowrimo.

Writing Update: Nanowrimo 2018 Project

I don’t have a title for this project. Coming up with titles is one of the hardest parts for me. But for the sake of simplicity in this writing update, let’s call it Project Salt. To be as vague as possible while still explaining the gist of it, this is an adult contemporary novel about a young woman who is facing many life changes. She’s about to launch a business and getting married. Said young woman is also quite fickle which causes her problems. Then her father dies, she has to confront things from her past and learn not to run away from her problems.

Yeah, that’s the overall feel of the story. But what kind of writing update would this be if I didn’t give more info? Although I completed 50,000 for Nanowrimo, the story wasn’t finished. I didn’t touch it for months until around May/June and then finished. When I went back to start round two of edits I was very underwhelmed. In fact, I thought it sucked.

Now I know, I know, first drafts are supposed to suck. But gosh, was this rough draft rough. I found myself not being excited at all to develop the story into something better. But I was unsure whether it was just never knowing how to finish a project. So I kept at it, adding chapters, deleting and/or combining characters – all that good stuff. Except, it still wasn’t good stuff to me.

Something was drawing me back to the story. However, I think it was the characters and not the story itself. The story turned into something I didn’t imagine – including a love triangle, which I hate. But I really enjoyed my main character and both love interests. Now I’ve decided that these characters might be good – but they didn’t have the right story yet.

A trip down memory lane. Here was my first week recap while writing Project Salt.

I don’t regret writing the story. It pushed me to write everyday and finish something. Plus, I have a skeleton for several characters that could make it into another story. Who knows? Maybe they’ll all be together again but in a completely new setting. Until then, Project Salt is on the back burner.

Writing Update: Camp Nanowrimo 2019

No official title for this one yet, although unlike Project Salt I do have a couple working titles. But I’m going to call this one Project Sunflower. The writing update for this project is a bit more positive. I began working on this during the summer and I had a different approach. Previously, I’ve discussed my method for outlining before I write. I definitely like outlining and planning, but this time I went for a more relaxed method.

This video shows the outlining method I used for Project Salt. I used what some people call the Storyboard Method.

Instead of using the Storyboard/Index Card method marking each scene, I had a rough idea of major plot points and how it would end. How I got there had a bit of structure but ultimately I allowed myself a lot more freedom. And it worked. At least for this project. Aspects of the story connected in ways I didn’t originally plan for and when I found a way to link something I mentioned previously I got super excited!

I finished Project Sunflower toward the end of August around 80,000 words. This was a great improvement from Project Salt which I completed at around 70,000 words and needed to beef up more. Now, I am allowing myself to separate from Project Sunflower before going in for edits but I am super excited about it. Hopefully this doesn’t change when I go back to read it again!

From Project Salt to Project Sunflower, I began realizing some areas I need to improve on with my writing. That’s why although Project Salt is currently shelved, I consider it a great learning tool.

What’s next?

The last bit I wanted to include in this writing update is what’s next. Well… I don’t know! At the time of writing this post I’m not working on anything. I have a few plot bunnies but none of them are at the stage where I feel comfortable enough to begin working on them. However, I do have the itch to start a new project. I’m planning/outlining a couple of my ideas to see which one feels like the next great fit. But until then, I am trying to read and learn about this craft.

That’s all for this writing update. Are you a writer too? What are you working on?

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