Welcome to my writing update for July.
This is part of a series where I update you on my writing progress each month. This is one of those posts that are both a little bit for me (to help me keep track) and a little bit for you (in that I try to make it informative and give some tips).
You never know if you find some process in there that might also work for you, right?
Next to that, I also post links to other helpful articles I found on the world-wide-web, so if nothing else here is helpful, at least that should be.
You can find the past writing updates here.
What I worked on this month
As the title maybe already gave away: I’m halfway! I’ve actually made it halfway through my draft!
I’m so psyched about it.
I now have around 36k words written, 22 scenes total, and it’s such a bizarre feeling. Only 1.5 months to go, and I will have a finished first draft. Insane.
Anyway, let’s see what I’ve learned in this process, shall we?
- Having an outline helps so much. Knowing where you’re going is invaluable to make sure your scene fits the whole, and has the necessary details. Even more so is having the three major questions in the back of your mind (see this blogpost to get the idea of what I mean). Every time I felt a scene between certain characters was necessary, I always kept those questions in the back of my mind and made sure that enough happened to have it fit in the larger context as well.
Related: How to outline your story using SuperStructure
- It’s also okay to stray from your outline. While having an overall plan is great, sometimes the story just takes you down a slightly different road as you write—and that’s completely fine. There’s no need to hold yourself rigidly to the outline. Just write what happens, go back to the outline, and adjust where necessary; what impact does it have on the whole? What then needs to be different?
- It’s okay to go back and change a scene. When I was writing, sometimes I would write a scene that I thought was pretty good, and other times I’d write a scene that was kinda… ‘meh.’ It’s fine to then analyze that scene and rewrite it. Who knows, changing it might give you some new insight in how to continue the story. There’s no set rule that states you have to motor on (although I know that’s often the advice when you’re working on your first draft). I would say: make sure the scene feels okay to you: are you happy with the events taking place? Does it feel right? And if not, then just rewrite it until you are happy. It might mean putting in some extra hours to get back on track, but that’s not a problem.
Related: How to write a scene.
So, I’d say those are definitely my three tips: have an outline before you start, don’t go all rigid on the outline—flexibility is good—and if a scene feels wrong, it’s okay to edit it.
My Goals for August
Continue on! So, by the end of August, I should have another 12 scenes added, making a total of 34 scenes. Basically, I should at that point be nearing the climax of the book.
It’s going to be both daunting and exciting, as that second part of the book is also very important—you don’t want to loose the reader’s attention here—so, here the outline should also come in handy.
I know last month I also aimed to write a first draft for a short story, but I’ve found it hard to think up a different story when I’m so consumed by my book. I will give it another shot this month, as I do think it’ll be nice to be part of the anthology.
Helpful writing articles
🍁 On the blog, I posted an overview of my favorite creative writing resources. What software is great, which books helps, and what courses and workshops can you take to help you on your writing journey? It’s all in the article.
🍁 An interesting podcast episode on the power of point of view.
🍁 Something many writers do (myself included) is add too much information in their story. This article is a helpful guide to determine if the information you wrote is relevant or not.
🍁 Building a fantasy world can be tough. This article contains some tips to help you make it more realistic.
🍁 How can you practice your writing skills? You can find the answer in this article.
🍁 So, when talking about the three questions, this podcast episode explains the basic framework and idea behind it (though there are consequent episodes that go into more detail on each of the questions).
Tell me about your writing progress
That was it for my July writing update. Any project you’re working on? How’s your writing going? What are you struggling with, or what’s going really well?
Let me know in the comments!