If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you’ll know I’ve struggled with the direction I want to take my story. There have been several versions of the story I’m writing, with no full-length drafts to show for months and months of brainstorming. I can’t even begin to try and wonder at why I’ve had such a hard time, other than, you know, lack of confidence, commitment, and dedication. But I’m feeling closer than I’ve ever been before to being happy with the story I’m turning out and I thought I’d share a little bit about my most recent progress finally.
My progress started with a sketch.
I drew my protagonist’s childhood home, the place she’d be forced to leave, and all the while I was able to think about the place and the things that happened there and the things that could happen there. It was really inspiring.
Then I had a light bulb go off over my head. I don’t remember exactly how it came to me, but I finally had the kind of realization that I had been waiting for. It changed the magic system in my world, but also helped me learn what my protagonist would care deeply about and how it would relate to the antagonist and the state of affairs in their world.
So this weekend I figured out what my protagonist cares about and how it will lead to the story’s conflict and her consequent adventure. I also have finally committed the journey I want my protagonist to take. I think this new version of the story is a lot darker than previous iterations, which makes me a lot more excited to write it. I don’t read a lot of dark YA, yet alone have I ever tried my hand at writing it, so I feel like I’m charting new and exciting waters.
I don’t think I mentioned it in last week’s blog post, but I’m hoping to write a first draft of this whole story by March 13th, the beginning of my spring break. I want to be done by then so that I can read it and begin to think about revisions during that free time. I also am tired of procrastinating and letting myself off the hook. A month would be far to short a time, but about two months should be plenty. I don’t anticipate writing a very long draft, I just want to have the bare nuts and bolts of the story down.
One thing I’ve long considered is that it might be better for me to write a short story before I write a full-length book, so I’m still taking this in mind as I work on my story. I think it’d be a fun, more manageable challenge to write it in snippets that way, so I’ll let you know how this experiment goes. I wouldn’t want to write “the novel” in fewer than four short stories, so I need to work out how the divisions should work and the content of each unit. That’ll probably be next week’s post, if I haven’t changed my mind by then!
I hope you enjoyed this post and found it in some way useful for your own writing endeavors. It’s going to be a busy week for me (I’ve actually drafted this post about two days early), because I’m preparing to take the GRE, which is a graduate school entry exam similar to the SAT or ACT. I don’t really know why I’m taking it anymore, to be honest. I have no idea if I still truly want to go to grad school (this is a post that will be in the making soon), but I’ve paid for it so I might as well take it and do the best I can.