Taking stock of my writing activities

Writing a novel involves a lot more than just drafting and editing. Here I enumerate my writing activities and try to figure out why I never have time for them all.

It struck me recently that I have all these writing-related activities that I don’t do as often as I’d like or have stopped doing entirely. When I did them I thought they were valuable, but now it’s hard to find time.

Which is crazy because I’m literally working 20 hours a week from my living room chair (by the fire because it’s cold).

I should have time to do everything I want, so why don’t I?

In an effort to (begin to) answer this question, I thought I’d enumerate what these writing-related activities are. Then maybe I’ll discover some of them aren’t important. Or that I’m really lazy.

I guess we’re about to find out.

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Contemplating a collaboration between writers

I never thought I’d write a comedy or collaborate with another writer, but it turns out I might be doing both. Here’s how it happened.

I’ve finished another round of structural editing of my WIP and I’m currently doing a once-through scene-by-scene edit. Once I finish this, I’m trying to decide whether to send the draft to beta readers or let it sit for a month and have another read through myself.

Either way, when I finish this edit I will start drafting something new.

I’ve been thinking it will be the sequel to my current WIP, but I’m a long way from having planned enough of it to start writing, and it’s being inordinately stubborn about falling into shape.

So I’m open to ideas.

How it happened

It started with a tweet (@micah_chaim‘s not mine).

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Lessons from my trunk novels

I’ve written trunk novels that should be kept from the world for its own good. Doesn’t mean I can’t read them, laugh, and maybe learn something.

I expect most people who write long enough end up with a collection of novels (or pieces of novels) that will never see the light of day. I have.

I love my trunk novels. I love how cringeworthy the earlier ones are, full of purple prose, plotless plots, nonsensical worlds, and blatant plagiarism from my favourite authors.

I love the progression of goals: save the village, save the kingdom, save the world. Because what else could the goals possibly be?

And there are so many Mary Sues.

Golden Horse Summer

It’s a fantasy novel so there has to be a magic sword. I know! I’ll have them find one lying by the side of the road, because that makes sense. And the sword’s purple. Come to think of it, the main character’s eyes are purple too.

Purple is the best colour.

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Living and editing in the time of Covid-19

I wanted to write a blog post that entertained or meant something, but it feels wrong to be funny when the world is so grim, and currently my insights are as scattered as my concentration. So you get a stream of consciousness about my current editing strife instead. Sorry about that.

Recently I looked back at my record of word counts, and discovered I started writing my WIP in December 2015. I finished the first draft in March 2016, and I’ve been editing ever since. During that time I’ve changed the story substantially, learned a lot, and written enough scenes for five books.

Okay, probably not five. But I have scrapped and replaced a lot.

I even sent the story to beta readers once. The feedback? Parts were good, but what the main character was doing for most of the book had nothing to do with the main quest.

Problem.

I’ve pulled the whole book apart and put it back together again. I’ve solved some problems and introduced others.

And along the way I’ve discovered some truths. In case they’re helpful for you, or you enjoy laughing at my pain, here they are.

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One of those days

A post about nothing at all. Plus a little writing inspiration.

I ran a Twitter poll recently asking if you wanted more or fewer book not-reviews.

The results were:

11% think I post too many not-reviews

19% think I post just enough reviews

11% think I should post more reviews

and 59% want chocolate.

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