September has been a month which I have barely registered. The combination of a new role at work, along with reaching some “crunch points” in our house DIY projects, have meant not only have I not had time for writing, I haven’t had time for anything apart from watching TV.
At the start of the lockdown period, I was churning out 45k words a month. This month I’ve barely hit 10k.
The ongoing Lockdown (and almost perpetual isolation at home) is starting to knaw away at my creativity. I think it’s mostly because each day has such a sameness to it, it’s hard to work out what time even is anymore. Even weekends don’t feel like a true weekend anymore, but just another weird day when I don’t have to turn on my work laptop.
I suppose I’m saying this as a reminder for anyone else whose also feeling the same. The world, right now, is in a state of flux. There are more important issues to debate, read and fight for than magical stories of made up places. So don’t be hard on yourself if, like me, you’re missing your writing goals. The very fact you’re still trying to create in a world as messy and stressful as the one we live in, is an achievement enough.
My ongoing WIP, “Assassins 1” is almost approaching its 2 year “working on it” birthday at the end of September. It is also a nice chance on how much I have progressed the story since its first draft back in 2018.
I’ve improved the plot a lot, and we now have a richer cast of characters and three POV instead of just the one. I’ve also now got the bones of the ‘evil’ plotline, what drivers the main cast of bad guys & gala have, and why they are the way they are. I’ve got a much more detailed world, and a magic system thats is incredibly complex in theory but also incredibly simple in its application.
My main problem so far with this draft has been cracking the drivers for the bad guys and the limits of the magic system. Throughout my original draft I kept coming up with cool “but what if I did /this/” ideas. They worked great in the fight scenes, but trying to tie it all together in a cohesive system has been a challenge. I suspect my rune system will need some more restrictions on it, as well as some more barriers for my powerful magic users so they don’t have a deus ex machina spell that can get them all out of trouble.
Another problem I’ve had with this draft is, well, working out what draft it is. I don’t write linearly at all, and my drafting process is very much organic “discovery” writer. I like to think I’m on draft 3, because it’s the third time I’ve gone back to the beginning to work out the plot. But that implies I also have an /end/, which at the moment is still the very first scene I wrote in 2018. One thing I’m going to work on is this current ‘draft 3’ process, is to focus my efforts to get to the end of the story so I have a cohesive beginning, middle and end.
In terms of hopes and dreams for this story, it’s still to get published. My rough goal is to get a workable manuscript by this time next year, something that’s had feedback but still might need some polishing. Any recommends for articles on how to get to that point are welcome – I’m all ears!
My Autumn Newsletter went live a few days ago! It’s so lovely to see my subscriber list grow bigger with each release – I hope those of you who subscribed found it useful!
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That’s it for this month!
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