Writing Check In: June 2016

I’ll be doing this once a month around the start of a new month as a quick check in on my progress with my first novel draft as a means of keeping me on track to deliver a decent word count.

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On returning to Post-Apocalipstick

For those in the audience not aware, Post-Apocalipstick was the novel I wrote for 2012’s National Novel Writing Month. I finished it around this time last year, but then the real trouble started. Despite my best intentions with the outline, the first draft was a mess. Character motivations changed on the fly, other characters were inserted or removed when I decided I did or didn’t need them. It was a continuity nightmare. Though I started editing work on the first three chapters, it ultimately felt more like rewriting than editing as huge swaths had to be deleted and new content written to fill the space. This was all, of course, okay. Post-Apocalipstick was the novel I wrote in order to teach myself how to write a novel. In a way, it was destined to fail.

But even after all this time, I can’t stop thinking about it. No matter what bad happened during the first attempt, I developed an attachment to these characters and this world. And I just can’t quite let it go, no matter how hard I try.

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On ‘strong female protagonists’

It’s just approaching the wrong side of ‘holy fuck look at the time I should be asleep’ as I start writing this. So, around 2 in the morning. But instead of settling down to sleep, I’m alternating between Mastodon’s Leviathan and Fleshgod Apocalypse’s Labyrinth trying to build up a mood for this pitch about, well, I’d rather not say. But that’s besides the point of this post, and likely something I won’t mention again for a good long while.

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What Does it Mean to be a Writer?

That’s quite a loaded question, isn’t it? It’s also a question I don’t have a definitive answer to, in case you’re someone who came looking for that. I don’t think anyone can answer it for anyone else; the best I can do here is tell you what it means to me and hope you take something from it, whether it’s enjoyment, inspiration, or something more useful.

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Please Don’t Give Me Your Ideas

A couple of things before I start properly. First of all, I’m going to start making some changes around here. Probably not in terms of content (unless there are any specific complaints or requests), but in terms of improving the user experience. As of yesterday (note: the 14th), I own the domain name to this place (yay me!) which I guess means I’ve planted my flag firmly in this little corner of the internet. I’m looking towards improving the site in various meaningful ways. A proper banner, rather than something I threw together in MS Paint, perhaps a better layout, and maybe more pages aside from the blog. We’ll see. Drop on down to the comments if you have any ideas, I’m open to suggestions for now (despite the title of this post, but I’ll get to that).

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On taking a step back in order to move forwards

Do you know what words terrify me most? Either ‘Prologue’ or ‘Chapter One’. True story. They just sit there for a while, all nice and bold in whatever header font I’ve selected, with the cursor blinking after, and a sea of white below.

They terrify me because after that, I need a first sentence. And it has to be good, doesn’t it? How many of you have read a book and just groaned at an awful first sentence? I know I have many times. And given that, beyond ‘prologue’ or ‘chapter one’ it’s the first thing the reader says. First impressions are everything.

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