It’s been much too long since I’ve done a writing update, and if you’ve been keeping up with my Instagram and my Twitter, then you know some exciting things have been happening. But before I get into my current progress, don’t forget to check out my first update and my latest update.
Before I get into my current word count, I must share a few extras I’ve added to my writing life. Some of you may have seen my gorgeous black book with gold scrolls over the front in some pictures. If not, here it is:
This book was used to hold my character diaries–the general back story and makeup of my characters. But it was becoming a mess and a few of the characters pasts changed since then, so I decided to scrap it and start fresh. Here’s a sneak peek on the inside:
Alright, so it’s still kind of a mess if you look up close because there’s tape and old writing showing through, but I’ve realized that’s the beauty of it. The book is beautiful on the outside and messy on the inside, just like all of us.
I’m also slightly behind. This novel has a total of twelve named characters and I’m only on the fourth’s back story, which as you can see I haven’t even finished yet. OOPS.
You may or may not recognize some of the faces in the book, and you’re probably wondering why they’re there. Well, I like to use actors, actresses, singers, models–someone who I can watch walk and talk and live–as character stencils. My mind is able to form the base physical characteristics for each character, but it’s difficult to sketch out certain qualities. I can’t even begin to describe how helpful it is using a real person as a stencil for a character. They help me describe little details that I normally wouldn’t have thought of and assist in building their personality and traits. But no, I’m not copying that person’s real life nature or their look down to each detail. They’re only inspiration.
NOW BACK TO MY ACTUAL WRITING. As of now, I’ve been working on my second book since mid-June of 2016. After inserting the last chapter of what was supposed to be my first book, I edited the 48k+ words I had down, which took up all of my August. I finished the last of my edits and tying in aspects of the first book into my new standalone by the beginning of September. Then it was time to get back to writing the story.
It’s currently the 21st and my novel is up to 72k words. I originally thought this standalone was going to end at about 100k, but as the words kept unraveling from my fingers, certain scenes began to meld together while I realized others were unnecessary and cut them out completely. I now only have about 2-3 chapters left to write. But keep in mind, each chapter is between 20-30. Still, with the pace I’ve sustained over the last few weeks (1-2k words a day), I’ll probably be done with my second book by the end of this month. Which means I’ll be able to say I’ve written TWO books before adulthood.
That’s quite an achievement, and though I don’t often realize it, this is an accomplishment I should be proud of. Just because my first book didn’t work out (and this may not either) doesn’t mean it’s any less of a reward. Each of these books have changed me for the better, especially my current WIP.
This book has brought many emotions out of me. I see pieces of myself in each and every character, feel their pain and understand their fears. Watching them grow and overcome their issues has helped me in my own life, especially recently.
I’ll admit that these last few days have been rocky from my own fears. When I start nearing the end of a book, it’s always bittersweet. I’m excited to start sending it out to my lovely beta-readers, but then I’m scared that they won’t enjoy it. I’m anxious to get it out to agents, but I’m scared I’ll get rejected by each and every person.
I understand and accept that everyone may not like my story, but I always fear that no one (other than me) will fall in love with it. The whole reason why I want to craft stories is to inspire people, to make them think and understand themselves or others better. I want to make people feel. I also wouldn’t mind breaking some hearts and string out some tears.
I mean, I want to make people smile and laugh because everything goes great in my stories. There’s no pain or heartache whatsoever. HAHAHA … *clears throat*
But anyways, I need to remember that I will reach that goal one day. But even if it isn’t with this book, that’s okay. My first novel changed me into an independent girl who realized she could make a living for herself, that I should be confident with who I am and not try to be like others. It helped me develop my writing style and a better understanding of what I want to write about. What topics I want to project and expand on, to not shy away even if it’s intimidating.
And now this novel has taught me more than I can imagine. It’s opened up my mind and softened my heart towards others. It’s made me a stronger, braver, and more understandable person. It made me remember what’s important and who I should value. And it’s those sort of feelings that are priceless.
I do hope that people will fall in love with this novel as much as me and end up on shelves and maybe be turned into a movie, because I already have the cast and music picked out. JUST THROWING IT OUT THERE, GUYS. But you know, it might not and that’s okay. My sister has helped me realize that, and though it’s not always easy to accept, it’s true.
Just remember to keep writing and keep believing. Fall in love with your stories and your characters and someday, others will, too.