Time to get back to recording my novel progress. The last post I did about my novel was January 13th, so going back to that, I have finally edited about 110 pages of my first draft and am starting to write through the second. The exposition has been really fun to read through again, but now it’s time to hone in the focus on clear settings, intriguing characters, and establishing solid plots and subplots. Though I am writing the second draft, I am still reviewing some old notes and tracking everything from timelines to character arcs…It’s a glorious nightmare and one day, I’d like to show how I organized it all for publishing.
I’ll stay in touch. Time to write, plot, and write more.
It’s strange that there are so many people out there who offer tips and tutorials about writing, myself included, and often forget that writing is an art and art is the language of the soul. Since no soul is perfect, there is a perseveration in the writing community over great writing techniques and all we wish to do is take that to heart and sharpen our craft, but I want to propose, or rather remind those who may have forgotten, that we never ignore our imperfections and remember that they are the guiding force to our artistic spirit. A writer’s vulnerability builds a successful career with ease.
I keep going quiet unintentionally, but it’s mostly because I’ve been busy. Writing articles has been a lot of fun along with working on my novel and working on a creative project every week. This week, I’m focusing on a short story that I aim to publish on Kindle Direct Publishing.
Making my creative content into more and more of a business has been an exhausting adventure, but I don’t mind it at all. It’s really testing me and the obstacles I’ve run into with each test has been more helpful than defeating (Yes, that was basically “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”.)
I was thinking about making my announcements with the novel an actual article, but whatever. I have finally read through the exposition of my novel, which truly was the first 100-110 pages and now I’m actually WRITING the second draft rather than just reading and making notes. It’s been really awesome to catch all the things in my story that made the beginning so plain and a bit predictable. I had to completely revamp my protagonist’s personality and weave the subplots into the main plot with a lot more finesse than before. So yeah, I’m thrilled about that!
For my short stories, I’ve been back and forth about how to present them, but I finally have a solid concept for the first story. My goal is to present short stories first to give you an idea of what my world and its dynamics are and then the novel. Many other authors I like have done that, and it’s been really fun so far. I have to admit, it’s sure making me a stickler about timelines (That’s a good thing though. A stressful, but good thing.)
That’s all I have to say. More research articles to come. I made a post on Instagram about the Kybalion which has been…a doozy, to say the least lol. It’s still going to take me a while to write about it because I need to have a solid foundation on Hermeticism first.
And just to reiterate, although I am pagan, my research/articles are done under a more objective or reflective intent for the sake of my creative projects and has zero intent to spread false information or be disrespectful of other belief systems.
I really hate it when I disappear for a week or so at a time and I am sorry for that. It really comes down to the way my energy has been distributed. The part-time job (which really is a measely 4-5 hours 3 times a week) drains me. And it’s not necessarily the job itself, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I have a high sensitivity to how and where I give my energy. I find it’s very similar to how introverts are drained by people and extroverts are drained by loneliness, but for me it’s being drained combined with a lack of fulfillment.
Yesterday, I gave myself a rest day. I decided to read more of The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova and came across a passage that reminded me of the major arcana “The World” in tarot, which then led to an idea about my own novel and that led to a quick study into Christian gnosticism, which then inspired a backstory for my antagonist and protragonist. I could spend an entire day diving into literature, history, religion, philosophy, and any other river of knowledge because it literally quenches the thirst I need for feeling fulfilled.
As I wrote on my tumblr, this is all I am. I consider my “art” basically anything I write, compose, sing, draw, or any creative project I get into. Everything else is self-explanatory. I can’t handle being caged in like it seems at the moment. But I’m not caged. I have plenty of resources that I am and should be using to build the life I want (and really, it’s a life I already have; I’m just building upon it every day). Just need to take my own advice from my article, “The ‘Lack Mentality’ is Killing Us” :
“None of us like being inconsiderate with our resources or insensitive to those who are trying to support us, but it just doesn’t seem to be enough. The lack mentality encourages the emptiness that no one asked for. It’s just there. One thing to remember is that the emptiness you struggle with developed over time. This means, decreasing that emptiness will happen over time…Stop expecting the resources and support given to provide instant gratification,”
So, each time I go to the part-time job and decide to work more and more hours there instead of trusting myself to provide my own income through my work, that emptiness expands a little more. The mental and emotional fatigue comes from feeling hollow and uninspired. I plan to change that and use every resource to do so. It will take patience, because it won’t be instant, but I’m so damn sure it’ll be worth it. Financial responsibility and dream building is a tough tug-of-war for many of us, but you certainly feel more alive when you let the dreams win. We forget sometimes that our dreams can manifest into a real lifestyle that monetizes itself.
For those who read and check up on me, thank you for the support. You’ll hear more of my work very, very soon.
So after some work and some rest, I’ve been able to progress in character development and the lore of my world. I’m stuck on vampires again, but temporarily. One of my characters is my vampire and an exorcist. I’m basing her spirit work skills on exorcism techniques they used in ancient Japan.
For the record, working on a novel isn’t doing the same thing every day, at least for me. To keep the mind active and the inspiration flowing, I think it’s okay to take different approaches to your work. It’s a great confidence booster too when you create a different way of developing your story and it leads to progress, but even when you don’t make the breakthrough you hoped for, taking in that experience is a progress in itself.
My struggles with anxiety have surprisingly inspired me to fight for a confident attitude towards my work and myself. Shadow work during this time (shadow work is a self-reflection process many pagans/witches do through divination or other means, in case you don’t know) has helped so much. I did start a daily Instagram posting of one of my shadow work methods, but now I’m behind because of some mental health issues on my end. I’m still trucking on though and wanted to say that things are still moving forward.
To end, a little advice from a teabag tassel I got yesterday: The purpose of life is to know yourself, love yourself, trust yourself, and be yourself.
Today I spent a part of the day keeping clarity with the exposition in mind. The importance of clarity really slapped me across the face today while editing. I do like it when the beginning of the story gives a good punch, but audiences get sour about the punch if they don’t have enough information as to why they were hit so hard (by the way, I don’t know why I’m using violence as a metaphor…maybe I just like it when stories make me feel something).
It reminds me of a time I tried to show a friend of mine an anime series that I thought was cool and she couldn’t get into it even with all of its action and mysterious characters because she said there was no one to care about. I was bitter at first thinking she just couldn’t keep track, but after discussing with it further, her points were based around the pacing of the first episode. Granted, with anime it’s a little different (we otaku have the rule of at least giving a show 2-3 episodes before you completely drop it), but if the pilot of a weekly anime series is airing, the writers and producers should be considerate of what will catch their audiences and keep them itching for more. That’s an important attribute of the exposition; there should be a character, an event, or some detail that makes you wonder about the bigger picture and persuade you to stay for the whole story.
I’ve sectioned off where the range of my exposition in my first draft and have decided to just read and edit it. Keeping it simple is helping me see the big picture of the novel series as a whole because the exposition is where the audience decides whether they want to invest time in the world and its characters or not. So I’m trying to read like a member of the audience, edit like a editor/publisher that wants the story to be enticing enough to sell, and that helps me brainstorm as an author that’s going to stick to their guns when it comes to themes of the story, yet flexible enough to make the changes needed. This is my mindset anyway. I even have a notebook set aside where I’m writing down my criticisms as an audience member. It’s helping a lot.
As for my article on the Hermetic Principles, I’ve realized that I want to do a literary analysis of all the principles and I know it’ll be fun, but I’m also afraid…because I keep leaning towards deconstructionism for my method of analysis…which is INSANE. They’re paradoxical enough. We’ll see. I’ll stay in touch.
I’m just glad I had the energy to work on both of these things today, even if it was for a short while. I’m so exhausted…