There is some part of me that does not quite believe it’s the end of July. It feels an almost surreal month, one which merges with June because it’s both a “J” month in my head (and June and July look so similar it’s easy to get them muddled – thanks dyslexia!)
July is a kind of in-between month for me. If June is the start of summer, and August is full blown summer then July has always occupied some kind of hybrid liminal space where it doesn’t quite exist apart from the fact I keep having to use the numbers “07” to denote the month and my husband needs another birthday card.
It’s also been a month of quietness. A chance to catch my breath from the intensity of June and a chance to start winding down at work before the summer holiday slump. The days are long, the skys are blue, and the heat is so damn intense right now. All I can think of is my geography class aged 12 where the teacher would go on about how “climate change could mean we have more extreme weather patterns”. Because, 21 degrees when I get to work at 7:20am in the UK is nothing short of extreme.
(yay climate change!)
Filling up the wordcount bucket
If July has felt like a liminal space in terms of time, then my writing has felt like some kind of empty bucket I keep trying to fill up with water only for it to dribble out of the many holes at the bottom. It’s not like I’ve lost enthusiasm for my current WIP, but I’m struggling to get the depth of worldbuilding I need to really do the story justice. I’ve had to build political systems, more in depth magic systems, and promoted a character from “one off namesake” to “buddy cop sidekick best friend” to my main character. Which has meant culling almost 30k words in the process and trying to re-write scenes that don’t quite work yet.
I think my main trouble is that I’m at the point of the first draft where it’s just starting to make sense and take shape, but at the same time you realise just how far you have to go to make a sensible book that people would want to engage with. It doesn’t help that I don’t write linearly, I jump around from scene to scene throughout the plot as it takes my fancy, building upon scenes I’ve already done and adding sections in as I think of them. I’ve never been one for outlining, but by god do I wish I was one of those outlining/architect type writers. It would be so much easier on the hard days to have something to work with, rather than starting with an almost-blank canvus each evening I sit down to write.
I had hoped to get the draft of my WIP finished by the end of the year. That’s still my goal, but I’ve got a long way to go. Maybe August might inspire me some, and once I’ve got some more worldbuilding I’ll be able to break the back of the start of the story and then get into the interesting juicy plotlines in the middle.
(Fancy keeping up with my WIP life? Check out my IG and my WIP highlights tab!)
What I’ve been writing this month
I’ve got some super fun Stories on a Theme that I’ve written over July!
I wrote a blog post about social media (because I really do have a strong love/hate relationship with it)
Read any more books Alex?
No, much to the disappointment of my 13 year old self. How did she read one book a week? How?
Stay in touch!
I’ve decided to make my Newsletter a quarterly one, so I don’t spam inboxes and so I can try and focus on doing some super awesome newsletter-only content. Having recently signed up to the Stranger than Fiction newsletter, I was really inspired by how in depth and interesting it was – all in my inbox! So stay tuned for some newsletter updates before the next one comes out in the Autumn!
I’ve also tweeted about the fact Marvel released more lady!heroes in Phase 4 (LADY THOR PEOPLE!) and also can we just dance about the fact Angelina Jolie and Rachel Weitz are both in a marvel film because YAS. Whilst I’m still learning how to use twitter and share thoughts with the internet at large, you can keep up to date here.
And that’s it! Check out more of my blog updates below and other opinion pieces. Leave a comment with your thoughts, give me a follow on your social media of your choice, and THANK YOU to every single person who likes and comments on my stories. I see your notifications pop up on my phone and they fill my writer heart with warm fuzzy joy.
- A Bit Too TiredThis month can be summarised with one phrase: I am so f**cking tired. I intended to use September as an achievement month. A time to set myself a ridiculous 30k … More A Bit Too Tired
- August ThoughtsAugust has been a lot like July in terms of creativity. A month to be outside, doing things rather than sitting at a desk writing. One thing I’ve been trying … More August Thoughts
- Stuck in the MiddleI’ve got pages and page and pages of notes trying to work out the sequence in the middle of the story. It’s the bridging piece between the beginning setup and … More Stuck in the Middle
- Writers Block can be a BlessingIt’s not just all about the negative when it comes to writer’s block. In fact, I think writer’s block can be a blessing in certain circumstances. We’re too hard on … More Writers Block can be a Blessing
- A time of Doing ThingsWhenever I look at the month of July on my writing wordcount spreadsheet, it is always a lower number, without fail, every year. Summertime, even with the hangover of the … More A time of Doing Things
- The Basics of a Fantasy StoryThe fantasy genre may be a vast, magical landscape, but there are always three core areas of any fantasy story that are key – worldbuilding, magic systems, and themes. If … More The Basics of a Fantasy Story