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October has ended, and boy, what a change it was. As you may or may not have read in my September writing update, I had my last day at my job in September. So, October marked my first month of unemployment, and I’ve actually quite enjoyed the slower pace.
But, naturally, I need money, and I can’t rely on my partner to pay for everything, so I looked and applied like crazy & I got a job as a part-time writer/editor for a company that creates educational material for healthcare! 🎉 I’m super stoked!
Next to that, I also started my own company to write the other half of my time for myself and potential clients. I already got a few jobs this month, so it’s all quite exciting!
And what’s even better is that I now actually have more time to focus on my writing, so that’s been really nice. I’m quite excited about the future at the moment.
But enough about that—you want to know more about my writing process & any tips I can bestow upon you. To that end, I also added a section to this recurring post with links to helpful resources and articles I came across last month. So I hope you find that helpful!
So, here we go: my writing update for October!
You can jump straight to:
What I worked on this month
So, as I said, I actually have more time to focus on my writing, which has paid off. I actually wrote 8k words for my project Ice Cold, which is 1k more than I set out for. I also rechecked my signpost scenes and adjusted the mirror moment (which is the middle moment of a novel & quite crucial). I’m quite pleased with it now and think it really showcases an important turning point for Nikki (my stories’ protagonist).
I did also say I’d analyze Nevernight… and I actually did put it in my agenda… but I still haven’t done it… I suppose when facing the task of either writing or analyzing I chose writing. 🤷♀️ So I need to figure out how I’ll get myself to actually do it.
So, for Half-bloods, I wanted to brainstorm the next 5 signpost scenes, which I did. I even came up with a whole new scene for my Pet the Dog moment. And with that, I also wanted to edit 7 of the signpost scenes. I don’t think I did badly in this regard, as I eventually edited 4.5. I’m still working on the Pet the Dog scene since it was completely new.
All in all, I’m quite happy with how it turned out.
My Goals for November
So, November is always a bit of a special month if you’re a writer. You know what I mean—it’s Nanowrimo! However, I can’t really see myself starting a new project, nor do I think I can spend 50.000 words on editing. So I don’t think I’m gonna officially sign up, but I do want to set a challenge for myself, to keep in the spirit of Nanowrimo.
I thought it’d be nice to challenge myself to write a short story each week. Reedsy sends me an email each week with their writing prompts for their weekly short story competition, so I figured I’ll write a short story based on one of the prompts each week and submit it for the contest. I don’t expect to win or anything, but it will be a good exercise I think. And having 4 additional short stories can’t hurt.
Are you going to participate in Nanowrimo?
Besides that, I’m gonna have my usual goals: add 7k words and analyze Nevernight for Ice Cold, and for Half-bloods, I want to attempt and finish editing the signpost scenes (which is a total of 6.5), which means I also have to brainstorm the final 4 signpost scenes as well.
Summing it up
For my own convenience, this is what the list then looks like
- Write one short story each week & submit it to Reedsy’s contest
- Write at least 7k words for Ice Cold
- Analyze Nevernight as my masterwork for Ice Cold
- Edit the next 6.5 signpost scenes for Half-bloods
- Brainstorm the last 4 signpost scenes for Half-bloods
Helpful writing articles
🍁 Of course I’ve also written some new posts with writing tips. One of these is a thorough explanation of the Mentor archetype within the Hero’s Journey framework. The other article features a review of Grammarly, my favorite grammar tool.
🍁 If you’re struggling with motivation, this article on Story Grid can help regain your motivation. It also lists some helpful books, such as Big Magic from Elizabeth Gilbert and The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.
🍁 Another great article on Story Grid is this one explaining Points of View. Especially when you’re struggling with what type of POV to use for your story, this article lays out the options and explains how the choice impacts your story.
🍁 Most stories we write involve a romantic subplot. But how do you actually write a compelling one? This article on the write practice gives you three ways to create romantic tension.
🍁 If you write fantasy as well, then this article on the write practice is also quite interesting. It talks about writing a short piece of lore and using it to introduce readers to your created world without adding too many boring details, backgrounds, and extensive dialogue.
🍁 Did you read my bit about Nanowrimo and have no idea what it is? Or you do, but are a bit late to the party, or you just want some additional tips for preparing the best you can? Then check out this post by Madeline @ thestorysoul with some tips & tricks for you (including some great spotify playlist suggestions)
🍁 I’ve talked about the importance of value shifts before, and also that each Genre revolves around a certain value. This article by Savannah Gilbo explains perfectly what value shifts are. I highly recommend reading it.
🍁 Secondary characters are not often discussed, let alone how to craft good ones that support the main character. So I was quite happy to come across this article by Emily on Golden May Editing, explaining how you can craft great secondary characters, along with some helpful examples from several well-known books.
Tell me about your writing progress
That was it for my October writing update. Do you have some writing projects going? Where in the process are you? And do you have more than one project?