In this entry, I apply advice from screenwriter John Truby to the first draft struggles I’ve been dealing with. Additionally, I run into a helpful plot structure from Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat and create my own character profile template!
During my meditations this week, I accepted an important sacrifice I had to make. Sacrifice is strange to me. Sometimes I go out of the way trying to find a way where I can get everything I want without losing anything. I try to strategize, work around the way people perceive me, hoping I can […]
The system I have in place has been going quite well. Here’s a preview of the editing key I created on Instagram.
It took me a couple of hours just to edit six pages…out of 470ish? Haha. It’s great fun, actually. After stressing over the ending and coming back to the beginning, the ending looks clearer and easier to manage. For now, I’m at the beginning, relearning how to write exposition well. I found a great video for that actually.
This is the same channel I recommended on my Magic Systems post. I’m definitely going to be sharing more resources in the future. I’m hunting for them constantly and get excited when they have damn good advice. Hope this helps anyone who needs it. Speaking of which, here are two of the books I’m currently studying right now, just to get the basics down and start thinking outside the box. Click on the pictures to check them out.
Mastering Suspense, Structure, and Plot by Jane K. Cleland – I bought this a couple years ago. More than anything, this book reminds you to keep your audience in mind and helps you keep your writing fresh and inventive.
Hope that helps anyone who needs it. I’m grateful to have them…obviously
Word Count Today: 2822 words Current Word Total: 102,920 words
No research today.
Additional Work Needed:
Creating certain spells and incantations for characters
Should I create a new language? Will I hate myself if I do? Probably
Continuity checks on character arcs
I’m ultra proud of my writing sprint today.
I’ve broken 100k and I’m predicting I may reach 150k. That might be because a friend challenged me to reach it, but who knows how far it’ll go. Honestly, writing at the end of the second act is such an intense time for writing, at least for me. The momentum is nonstop. My imagination won’t stop. Nothing stops. I’m enjoying it. I’m even happier that I have an ending to keep my focus on. I see the finish line. I’m ready to cross it.
Tomorrow will be the last day of airplane travel. I’ll definitely be doing some writing before hand and on the way. I will admit, the pressure of the deadline is helping so much, but I’m also unsure if I’ll actually meet it lmao! I’m still going to try, but there’s still so much! My chapters are getting longer, my descriptions of my world are becoming more dense, and my characters are so much more fun to delve into and it’s fun to think about how I want the audience to take them in. This project is so much work.
I love it. No complaints whatsoever. I’mma reach that deadline, damn it.
Writing characters who are fluid in their sexuality is such fun!
Words Written Today: 1596 Approx Word Total: 100,158
Going to be traveling ONCE AGAIN and I don’t know if I’ll have the mentality to write or even read because I know I’m not going to get a lot of sleep. But I’m at a great place right now. I have a vampire character who is sooooo enticing. He’s so…Lokean? Luciferian? Mischievous? Chaotic Neutral? He’s so many wonderful things. I love him. Just love him.
Now that my deadline is getting closer and closer, I think my writing word count needs to increase. My goal is usually 1200-1500 a day, but I’m going to push myself to 2000-3000 after today. I have less than a week. I’m ready to complete this draft. I am so ready to make this reality.
Words Written (yesterday): about 1000-1300? I lost track while traveling… Current Word Total: about 98500 words.
British, Scottish, and Irish accents
Better development of LGBT+ relationships
Cool names for islands
I have about six chapters left in my story, plus an epilogue and a prologue. It’s quite the challenge and I’m excited to take it on. I’m hoping that even though I’m traveling a lot I’ll be able to complete this. The pressure of a deadline is actually helping me more than crippling me. I’m thinking more critically about plot. I’m reaching the climax/transformative revelation of my protagonist, but there’s still so much rising action that’s needed. I’m trying to weigh what is and isn’t necessary. It’s easier said than done. When you’re trying to build up suspense, you don’t want to lose momentum unless slowing down the momentum makes it agonizing in a satisfying kind of way, like, as Donna Tartt wonderfully put it, people having a casual conversation somewhere and there’s a bomb under the table they’re sitting at. When’s it going to go off? You’ll have to wait. Although I do like that style, the suspenseful elements in my novel are fueled by momentum. There’s always something going on in with the protagonist in the span of a week because of one choice she made. I want the stress to be focused on her and how she’ll be able to sustain everything going around her. We’ll see how it goes.
Also, I ended up writing two LGBT relationships that are so…complicated?! Ugh! I’m kind of upset with myself for doing that. It’s just not fair representation. I need to display simplistic and successful LGBT relationships. I was thinking way too hard about them. Gonna fix that.
Lastly, accents. I gave one of my characters a type of accent that’s a mix of Brit, Scot, and Irish. It’s VERY fun to write his dialogue.
Words Written: approx 1770 words Current Word Total: approx 97485 words
I have noticed the math has been super off on word count and that’s because I add extra notes at the end of each writing session so I’ll remember where I left off if I get cut off abruptly.
No research. Just writing, which really made the flights go by quickly. I noticed my main focus was on relationships and my world’s magic system for the most part. I’m too exhausted to elaborate, but I’m proud of my progress for today.
A few things. First, this is the year of Stark lol.
Next, the eagerness for the completion of the first draft makes me want to just write nonstop. I’m so excited! I can’t watch a show or listen to music without thinking about my story and characters. I’m excited to edit the second draft because it’s not just time to venture into my own world and comb through the details, but I also get to study. Much of what I’m creating requires study of so much history and culture. Understanding the world is just so satisfying to me. With as much intent as possible, I hope my creations will allow me to travel the world. I want to go everywhere. I want to feel everything.
Also, one thing that has been knocking at the back of my mind is my PhD. I want to get it because I simply want it. But what do I get it in? I’ve swayed between mythology and more obscure topics like the occult or metaphysical studies (yes, these programs exist). I figured out what I wanted while I was watching Midnight in Paris (2011) (with Owen Wilson. Suuuuuuch a cute writer movie). I got really giddy seeing so many artists come to life through so many actors (Salvador Dalí was superb. I really want a movie of just him. Hiddleston stuck out to me too ’cause that American accent messed with me, but he was a great Fitzgerald! And Hemingway omg. Pain in my ass in undergrad, but his lines were great. Overall, I really, really admired the dialogue writing in the entire movie. I need to read the screenplay). I put myself in Gil’s shoes and wondered if I went back in time, which artists/authors would I want to hang out with? I started looking up some of my favorite authors; they were all from the late 18th through the 19th century. Romantics. The original emo kids and goths hanging around a lake or other areas that were nature-rich, thinking about death, subjectivity, challenging what enlightenment was and was not. It’s not really a golden age, like Gil was wanting for himself, but an imaginative one lodged in the unconscious with little bits of it escaping through poetry and other forms of artistry. Those are my people. I fell in love with so many writers, musicians, and artists from the 1800s. Mostly Romantics, some Victorian. It feels like “goth” was born there. So, if I were to get my PhD in anything, it would be Romanticism/Literature from the 18th/19th century. I’ve already decided on some easter eggs I want to put in my novel and even some study articles I want to write about my heroes. Hopefully, that’ll snag me a few letters of recommendation or references.
Gosh. I’m excited lol
I’m traveling Tuesday and I hope I’m conscious enough to write, read, and study on the plane and thereafter.
Words Written Today: 2726 words Total Word Count: 95,059 words
No research. Just writing today.
Research I probably should do:
How to make a language for your fantasy world
Additional Work: More plot organization, cause we’re wrapping this first one up pretty soon. <3
I am definitely rethinking the ending for this first novel. In my notebooks, I had an ending that’s a bit too obscure. Like I said in my previous post when I was critiquing the Game of Thrones show, endings are hard, but the last thing you want to do is make it look like you’re saying “Sorry guys, I don’t know what the hell I’m doing! Lol bye!”. You also don’t want to do the opposite. You don’t want the ending to be so ambiguous that your audience is not only dissatisfied, but also not even wondering, let alone caring, about the story’s next installment. I want my ending to punch my readers in the gut and I want them to ask me to punch them again.
So, I’ll be thinking with punches in mind.
Here’s some of the music I listened to while writing today.