Monthly Writing Check In

“Plot is no more than footprints left in the snow after your characters have run by on their way to incredible destinations.”

-Ray Bradbury

This month’s writing update is one I’m excited to share. My March writing update felt pretty sad to me. I struggled with writing so much in March, I was so busy transitioning out of a company I’d worked at for 10 years, and it was bittersweet moving on, and my nerves were definitely frayed. But then April washed in on rain showers and flowers and the change was evident everywhere. 

In April, I started my new job and completed training. I don’t feel stressed about work for the first time in a decade which is amazing. I also worked on creating a dedicated writing space. I had to unhaul about 10 boxes of books to make room for this. I spent an entire weekend building a desk and dresser, but it is so nice. I finally have my own space to work and write, and I am loving it. 

I focused heavily on working through my first round of edits on my novel. This mainly was to identify major plot issues, issues with my world-building, magic system and so on. I rewrote some small sections, but my first pass is kind of a thoughtful process. I’m trying to put my head in editor mode. I try to look at the parts of the story that don’t click. I had a writer friend mention recently in regard to editing that you have to let go of the fact that you love any particular scene, and it’s true. You have to be ready to cut scenes out and rewrite them over and over again. You have to say goodbye to characters that don’t help the story even if you love them and are attached to them. That’s not to say you can’t save that character for a different world or story. It’s just not their time yet. 

So I got through 80% of my book. And then I had a breakthrough. And I haven’t been so excited about a piece of mine and what’s next for a long time. There were some major world building issues in my book. Some really big plot holes and some characters I have to cut. But part of the reason I’m going to have so much editing and rewriting to do is because I didn’t plot this story. I just started writing to see where it would go. The bones of the story are there, but I have a lot of work left. I’ve spent the past week diving into my characters more deeply, into world-building and I have constructed a new outline for the new version of my story. I am going to take another week or two to finish fleshing out my characters. I want to write some small scenes of their backstories, even if they never make it into the finished story. It will be a cool way for me to get to know them better which will help them breathe on the page for readers. I have a few non-fiction books picked out to read to help enhance my world-building and character development which I will share reviews for once I read them. I’ve been drawing maps (they’re awful right now). And I’ve been chatting the ear off my husband who keeps listening to my ideas, brainstorming with me and giving me new ideas to run with. 

I’m in pure creative chaos, and I am loving every minute of it. I’m so excited to rewrite this book, to develop it further. I am so excited about this story and the direction it’s taking in my head. I’m so excited to share it with readers one day! (Can you tell by how many times I used the word excited?) 

Outside of working on my novel, I wrote a few poems this month. They are so so AWFUL. I have seem to lost my ability to write a poem, but I think poetry needs to be practiced often to really improve at it. I feel out of practice, and that’s not to say the poems I wrote can’t be salvaged…it’s just going to take some work. I’m going to keep working at it in May, and I’m hoping I can pull a decent poem or two out of my head. 

I spent a good chunk of time jotting down new story ideas too. I have so many, it’s hard to not work on all of them at once (if I didn’t need and love sleep, I could get some more written). I even started a very short scene that I want to be in a romance novel I plan on writing just because it’s been in my head a lot. I think once I start rewriting my current book, I’ll dive deeper into these characters and their stories so I can dive into writing this book next. We will see where I get with it!

I also rewrote a short story in April. It’s a faerie connected story and I love it. I was lucky enough to be able to have it edited by Nicole Evans so now I have some work to do on that piece before it’s done, but I have been thinking on how I can fix the story to get it to where it needs to be. I have some new ideas on how to approach editing, so I’m excited to keep working on it, though I don’t know how productive I will be on it in May since I am so stoked about my book! 

April has been a great writing month for me, even if it didn’t always feel that way. I think there’s no one right way to approach writing. What works for me changes all the time as I learn more, chat with other writers and read more too. You can’t get better at writing if you don’t read often. I will always need stories of some kind rumbling around in my head. And that leads me into my last update for the month. I had the opportunity to beta read for a few other writers as well, including reading the first act of Nicole Evans‘ current novel which is brilliant so far. I’m looking forward to reading the rest some day! I am closing out the month rereading one of my favorite novels written by my good friend Meredith and a new first chapter of another book I love by the talented Reece. I’m excited to keep going and see where the rest of Spring takes me. 

2 thoughts on “Monthly Writing Check In

Add yours

  1. AHHHH I can practically feel your excitement coming off the page with your novel! I am SO excited for you!! And seriously can’t wait to see what you do with your novel, because I am already so taken with it from its earliest stages. 😍

    Liked by 1 person

  2. LOVE this update! Seconding Nicole above, I love that we can hear the excitement and joy you’re feeling, that’s fantastic! I can’t wait to read any or all of these projects you’re working on too!! 👀 (Also you’re gonna make me cry, thank you so much for rereading my novel!)

    Liked by 1 person

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