In April 2020, I wrote 40,000 in one month on my novel. In April 2022, I’ve written…about 2,000. But you know what? I’ve still written more valuable words, because they make sense.
And this, my friends, is the conundrum called editing.
I’ve been a religious users of wordcount trackers since about 2018, but recently I’ve fallen out of love with them. They’re a fantastic tool for starting a new project and putting words on the page, but they don’t show the whole picture when you’re trying to edit something. They miss out the hour of thinking that goes into the 100 word total, or the re-writing of existing scenes into new ones.
Recently, I’ve taken to try and use days I’ve written as a better goal. Just like going to the gym, I win by opening up the word document and sitting with the creative pursuit for half an hour instead of turning on Assassins Creed: Odyssey with the vague justification it is “research” because Kassandra is used as a basis of one of the characters. I’ve even gone back to writing in Microsoft word instead of my main Scrievener file, working on small scenes and snippets at a time to then copy and paste into the main document.
I’ll give more of a proper novel update in May, once I’ve collated my thoughts (and have made some progress to update about!).
In the meantime, April has been a month of gardening, with a number of seeds planted out and ready to start growing into vegetables and flowers. There is a great joy in gardening, it’s incredibly meditative and I especially love this time of year – spring is full of life and new regeneration, and it’s hard not to find some small semblance of peace in watching the flowers bloom.
Outside of gardening and writing, I’ve been trying to tackle my TBR list courtesy of my new train commute to work. I am sure that 14 year old me would be incredibly disappointed that adult me is not reading at every possible opportunity (and that I’ve lost the ability to read in a car), so I’m trying to carve out time to read a chapter here and there. At the moment, I’m finishing off The Licanius Triology, which I will no doubt write some thoughts down on in a blog post. It’s definitely a series that will get brought as a physical copy to complement my e-book version. I’m not sure where I will go next after this trilogy, I might dive back into The Poppy War world so I can finish off that trilogy, start reading some of Robin Hobb’s series (an author I’ve seen recommended but never tried), or I’ve been eyeing up Brent Week’s series (I really enjoyed his original assassins trilogy).
Writing on Caffeine
I have a monthly newsletter which talks about different writing techniques and tips that you can apply in your own fantasy writing. You can find out more about my newsletter or subscribe below! If you subscribe, you get free access to my fantasy short story The Gateway of Arieum.
Blogs this Month
Check out my posts from this month below!
If you’ve read anything about character building, you’ve probably heard about the term “antagonist” before. You might even know who in your book is going to be set up to be the antagonist, but you might not know where to start with building them. This is where understanding the purpose of an antagonist in your … More The Purpose of an Antagonist
Whether you’re new to fantasy writing or you’re an old hat, you’ve probably come across advice to use writing warmup exercises to get the creative juices flowing. I never used to use exercises before I started a writing session, but more recently I’ve found them really useful to not only try out new ideas, but … More Why Writing Warmups are Important
The Poppy War by R.F.Kuang is a book I first stumbled upon when meandering through the quiet bookshelves of Waterstones on a “just let’s have a look and not buy anything” book hunts. Whenever I go to bookstores, I like to try get a flavour of the book from the first few pages – it … More My thoughts on The Poppy War
“There is no way on this side of the eleven circles of afterlife I am eating that,” Tanker scrunched his nose up at the proffered sandwich. “Oh come on,” Flanks said next to him, her voice crackling over the comms unit, “why the hell not.” “I ain’t got any idea of what’s in it,” Tanker … More No way I’m eating that