When Writing Becomes Work

January 17, 2011

I’ve always enjoyed creating. I’ve always enjoyed writing. When I was younger, I would write for fun. That’s why I’ve never really revised anything before.

But this revision is not fun. It’s starting to become work. Sometimes, I have to sit down and force myself to work on the revision.

Lately though, I’ve been working on a short story. It’s a little different from my usual work; my WIP, and what I usually read, are thrillers, while this short story is a murder mystery – a genre I haven’t written in (or read) for a while.

I’m having lots of fun writing this. I’ve had the idea for a while, but never really did anything about it until now. The details came as I wrote it. Originally I was going to have a team of detectives, but when I started writing, I decided on just one detective, plus her sidekick.

Tell me, in the comments: what do you do when writing becomes work?


Revision Blues

November 5, 2010
  • My chapters are too long. They need to be cut in half. This would also probably make me move quicker in my revision, as I think I’m much more likely to work if I can do it one chapter at a time.
  • Smaller chapters = less time needed to revise = able to find more time = done quicker
  • When I wrote the chapter I had NO idea on correct apostrophe use. GAH!
  • Oh-my-god-how-can-I-only-be-reading-chapter-nine-when-I-started-reading-over-in-july?
  • Exam Block begins today. There goes any chance of editing for the next week.

How are you going with your novel?

Now That I’m Finished

June 20, 2010

So, in case you missed my good news yesterday:

I FINISHED MY NOVEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It felt good great to have finished it (finally!) and I was in such a happy mood. What surprised me though, was that I wasn’t nearly as excited to have finished as I thought I would be. But nevertheless, I’m excited!

Poseidon’s Trident is finally complete, clocking in at a tad over 73K. Not as long as I had hoped; I was hoping to at least reach 80K. Nevertheless, stringing 73,000 words along to form a story is an accomplishment.

From here, I’m going to take a break from my novel, and work on some shorter stories. I have one which needs working on (it has been on hold for months), plus there are a few ideas I’d like to try out, including a set of three stories all revolving around I painting I saw recently, and a story about a pair of bounty hunters. I’d also like to try my hand at police procedurals again (my first ever ‘novel’ was a police procedural) and I also feel like writing a supernatural story about superhuman beings (kinda based on Stephanie Meyer’s vampires).

I’m eager to start work on the short stories because I feel I have so much free time not  being used to write. Perhaps it’s because all my exams and assignments for the semester are complete.

I’ve got to start formulating a plan for how I’m going to revise. Therefore, any links to websites/blog posts about making revision plans would be good. You can send me the links through Twitter or through the blog.

So, tell me. What did you do when you finished your first novel? And how long did you wait before editing?

Writing A Synopsis

May 15, 2010

The other day I was talking to a lady I know who’s also a writer. We were talking about my short story that’s getting published, when the topic moved onto synopsis writing (at the point, I realised I had been pronouncing synopsis all wrong…). She told me the synopsis was one of the most important aspects of writing. It doesn’t matter how good a novel is, if the synopsis sucks, you’ll never get published.

So  I did some research on synopsis writing, and decided I would share some of what I found out here. In the next post I’d like to share some tips, but in this post, I’d like to share with you how to write a synopsis.

What is a Synopsis?
A synopsis is an outline of your noel, designed to persuade the agent to take on your book for representation. The synopsis is written in first person, and can vary in length, depending on what the agent wants.

Writing the Synopsis:

Read your Novel:
Read through your novel once more to get the details in your head before you start.

Start the Synopsis with a Hook:
The synopsis should start with a paragraph or two that is similar to a blurb. Hook the agent in to wanting to read more.

Introduce the Characters:

Introduce the main characters in your novel. Tell their motivation and goals. Whenever you mention a character, use CAPITALS. Always refer to the character as the same name.

Summarise the Novel:
Re-read each chapter, taking note of the key points. Summarise the chapter into a paragraph, then do the same for the next chapter.

Use a Few Paragraphs to Write the Climax and Resolution:
Keep it simple. Detail the reactions of each character for every step of the action. Don’t make the agent have to guess what happens. Make sure you provide a resolution. Again, don’t make the agent have to guess.

I’ve seen people complain on Twitter that their synopsis’s are too big, so I’m guessing that now, yours will be too. Read through your synopsis, culling everything that isn’t needed. Keep doing it until you reach an appropriate length.

As I said earlier in the post, I’d like to have another post with some tips for writing synopsis’s. What are some of your tips?

Introducing: The Bookshelf

April 21, 2010

If you visited my blog within the last day or so, you may have noticed a new page at the top of my blog.

The Bookshelf is a new page which houses all of my writing. At the moment, I only have a few stories on the shelf, but will be adding more over the next few weeks. Most are short stories I wrote for school assignments, but a couple I wrote without prompting from teachers. When complete, I also hope to have a few sample chapters from my WIP, and my first novella An Inside Job posted up there.

Go on. Take a look!

A New Goal

April 17, 2010

Over my Easter holidays, I addressed a word count issue regarding my WIP. The WIP was estimated to be 105K, which is waaay too long. (Why I didn’t fix this problem a long time ago, I don’t know.)

So, I’ve trimmed down the plot, taking out everything that isn’t needed, and pulled the word count down to about 80K. Much better for a first novel. That cut in words should have brought the expected due date for my to complete the writing forward by a long time (previously September). But by slimming down the plot, I had to cut the latest chapters out. Chapters I just wrote. Which means that anything I wrote after mid February has to be scrapped. Not good.

Now I’ve estimated my novel should be complete by 30 June (using the assumption that I’ll be writing 250 words every day).

Wish me luck!

February Noticeboard

February 28, 2010

Poseidon’s Trident:
Current Chapter in First Draft Stage:
Current Chapter in Edit Stage: None

Goals for February:

  • Write 250 words/day. Equals to about 7,000 words – Hmmm, not sure about that one. I did miss quite a few days, so I’ll say no.

Goals for March:

  • Write 250 words a day
  • Complete NPI

This month, I’ll be participating in another Novel Push Initiative, hosted by Nick Enlowe. Participants have to write 250+ words everyday to complete the NPI. I completed one late last year, but its duration was only two weeks, so this should be a bit more of a challenge. If you’re interested in participating in the NPI, check out Nick’s blog. He may or may not still be taking participants.

Continuing with my aim for a new post every three days, I’ll be posting on ‘World Building 101’ this month. I’m  yet to decide what to post towards the end of the month.

My reading pace slowed over February. I usually read one book a week, but due to a saggy middle, reading Stephen King’s ‘Rose Madder’ took a lot longer. This month, I also read ‘Pirate Latitudes’, by Michael Critchon.
In January, I read a Clive Cussler novel, ‘The Wrecker’, and ‘Cross’, by James Patterson, before starting Rose Madder.

One last thing. ‘The Writer’s Christmas’, a Christmas story I posted in 14 installments last year has now been posted as one whole on my Writing.Com account. Click here to read it.

Have a great day!