Journal

A Trail of Crumbs…

I think this list is better than a progress bar, but be warned, this is the stuff that actually goes on in my head.

Well here goes, I’m going to write a novel!

  1. OH what a shiny new idea! No one’s ever thought of this before. I have to write it!
  2. Hrm, this is harder than I thought. I’m halfway into this story and I have no idea what comes next.
  3. Am I done yet? *soft whimpering* This is taking a lot longer than I expected.
  4. OK still not done. Dear God, am I ever going to finish?
  5. I’m DONE. Really? Done??
  6. *super silly happy dancing*
  7. Holy crap that was bad (now that I’ve re-read it). What a mess!
  8. Edit. I think it’s a little better.
  9. Edit. I really hope it’s better.
  10. Edit. I have no idea if it’s better. P.S. I’m really getting sick of this story.
  11. Beta readers please do your magic! *idly daydreaming that they’ll all love it and gush over it*
  12. Daydreams trampled into unidentifiable brown sludge. OK maybe it was as bad as I secretly worried.
  13. But some people liked it? AHHH I’m so confused! Now what?
  14. That settles it. I’m not going to look at you for a while, you soul crushing, time eating, waste of paper.
  15. But I miss you. Damned if all that work was for nothing. I need to do one more round.
  16. The feedback kinda makes sense now. I’m so embarrassed I sent that out. What was I thinking? It wasn’t anywhere near ready.
  17. Am I done yet? No? *resigned sigh*
  18. Still not done. I’m really getting sick of you.
  19. Done… for now. This time I’m not dancing. I just want to move on to the next thing, please?

Oh no, you foolish child, you’re not really done yet.

  1. Wait, that’s right. I need to try and sell it now? I suppose that means I need to figure out what a query letter is, figure out proper formatting, how submissions work, and all that jazz. This is not exactly the kind of thing I’ve ever done before.
  2. Apparently I have no idea how to write a query. The query letter is supposed to give an idea of the quality of your writing? AHHH *cries* that means I’m the worst writer ever!
  3. I have no idea anymore. *insert increasing paranoia* Let me try another version. No one’s even looked at the story yet.
  4. Good. Bad. I am not going to worry about it. I have achieved zen. Keeping at it.

So I don’t really have many writing updates for you these days. I’ve been doing a ton of beta reading and I’ll have a bit more to say about that when I’m done.

What have you been up to writing wise? Any of this sound familiar?

18 Comments

    1. Finding the right beta readers can be tough. I’m a bit full in the beta reading department for the moment, but I might have some time later in December. Feel free to let me know if you need another, if it’s not time sensitive 😉

  1. Quick question: what’s a beta reader?

    I guess I’m at stage 4 and 11 (that will be 12 later on today – meeting with my tutor and then I’m being workshopped on thursday – good times!) Thanks to nano it’s going pretty well, though. Managed to push through the ‘oh god this is all terrible’ by using the ‘it doesn’t matter. You just need 50,000 words’ mantra, although I did experience a lot of ‘oh god, why am I doing this to myself? I can’t sleep, I can’t eat. This novel’s going to kill me!’ And I really think it would if this intensity went on for much longer – I’m in a perpetual state of sleep-deprived queasiness and I’ve definitely lost weight (not a good thing for me – I don’t have that much to lose). But hey, so what if I’m slowly killing myself, it’s fun. That’s what’s important, right?

    1. OH I know that feeling! When I’m in the thick of it, I can’t sleep, and don’t remember to eat. We must be suckers for punishment?

      Good luck with the nano! “It doesn’t matter” has gotten me through many a first draft. I think it’s the only way (at least for me) to get through to the end.

      And P.S. Anthony answered your question below!

  2. I’m glad I’m not the only one who does the super silly happy dance.

    I’m deep in revisions (going through the whole book, going through each individual story, going through the whole book again). Not yet ready for beta readers (though of course the whole thing is online already anyway). Not sick of it yet. I’m still planning the “stick it in a drawer for a while” stage, but I’m not sure where that should come in the overall process.

    Louise, you lose weight through all of this? I’ll just say that this side-effect does not seem to be universally true. 🙂

    Oh, and “beta reader” comes from “beta tester” in software, somebody who tests a program to see if it works correctly. So, beta readers read your book or story in advance of publication, to give feedback on what works and what doesn’t. Ideally a beta reader won’t know anything about the book in advance, so they’ll be approaching it with no preconceptions, as a regular reader would.

    1. The ‘stick it in the drawer’ phase is probably one of the most useful. It really opens your eyes after being so close to the writing.

      Though I wish mental exercise burned as many calories as going to the gym. lol Being sedentary really isn’t great for most people’s waistlines. (mine included)

  3. Well… I’m still basically at #1 on my current project. (Or maybe 1.5, which for me goes “Well, if I’m going to write about this, I simply must know everything about the world it takes place in!”) But I’ve been at #7 before (with the currently-trunked novel-I’ve-been-writing-since-forever). And I’ve had 11 & 12 (which relates at least in part to the aforementioned trunking of said novel-I’ve-been-writing-since-forever). I’ve never had a 13 – not on novel-length work, yet – all of which is why that particular work of words has been sitting at 14 for a good long while now. I don’t expect it will fully emerge from stage 14 for many years to come, and when it does it’ll only be to go back to #1.

    For the current project, I’m still excited and looking forward to #s 5 and 6.

    1. 5 and 6 are the best! And you will get there, er… as long as you finish your research sometime this decade (just teasing!!).

      Also sometimes, starting from 1 again, is easier than jumping into edits of an old work.

  4. You forgot the last point: “Agh! I’m getting super-sick of this novel!!! It’s not taking me anywhere…I’m going to think about something else for a month or so! *Pushes novel to the edge of woods where a Disney-like boy-vs-tame-animal-that’s-supposed-to-be-wild confrontation happens.* Go away! Go back to nature, where you belong! GOOOO!!! I HAATE YOUUU!!!!”

      1. Ha ha! Did it work?

        I’ve not pushed it into the woods yet. Shoved into a closet? Yes. Definitely. Don’t we all have to do that from time to time?

        “Absence makes the heart grow fonder. So shove your novel in closet yonder.” We should make that a new writing chant.

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