Over this past year, I've been revising and starting different projects, including a round of edits on Not Today Satan, which was accepted by Scarsdale, but none of the new projects have stuck around for long. Of course, part of this is because I tend to naturally rotate between projects and interests, and I often return to these stories eventually.
At the same time, it can be frustrating when you just want to finish something. This is the downside to writing novels compared to the short stories, poems, and even novellas I've done; it can be hard to say, "Oh, great, another project that must be at least 70,000 words that I haven't finished yet!"
The good news is that with so many different stories, eventually, I should have a ton of new characters and worlds to share with y'all. However, in the meantime, they're in the drafting stage.
Thankfully, I'm happy to say I'm working on a fun novel that just may be The One. All I'll say is that fans of Bryan Fuller's Hannibal, Killing Eve, and Gillian Flynn thrillers will dig this one. After all, nothing says hello to fall like a nice horror romance. Right now, I'm not worrying so much about the word count, and though I have an outline, I'm trying to let the characters surprise me.
And oh, they have!
This year, I'm happy that I've had new experiences. I've tried to be more present and spend less time online. For example, this summer, I went to a Bigfoot Festival (personally, I'm a Mothman person, but I'm supportive of all cryptids) and a Scottish Festival. I had haggis for the first time, and I liked it!
Last week, though, was one of the best experiences I've ever had. Because of my position as the social media person for Doubleback Press, I was able to find out about and go to a weeklong writing residency hosted by SAFTA at Firefly Farms. It was there that I got my new idea that I'm excited to draft.
I was thrilled to see new places and meet fellow writers! It was a good place to relax, read, and write. Also, I learned new recipes and tried pho for the first time, which I've wanted to try for a long while. The farm was gorgeous, and Knoxville is a beautiful city. There's nothing quite like eating fresh eggs from a chicken coop while listening to the Wuthering Heights audiobook.
National Novel Writing Month is coming up. For the past two events, I actually did 50K, rather than continuing an existing work. Right now, I've decided to work on my horror romance, and honestly, I'm looking forward to autumn and spooky vibes. I already have my pumpkin spice coffee creamer and brown sugar.
Here's to writing and living life!
A short update: I've received the first round of edits back from my Scarsdale editor and am working through them! I'm making good progress, and I've started getting emotional about my disaster characters all over again. Especially Sib. She feels things so intensely and reminds me of how I was when I was in English undergrad or when I first began grad school.
Admittedly, I faced a sort of creative slump in January, but working on revisions has reinvigorated me. I've been slowly working on having a healthier relationship with my writing and internal shame over a lack of motivation, and taking the time to do this has helped me immensely.
Hey, all! Hope 2021 is treating you well enough. I haven't been as active online as I usually am because I'm working on multiple projects at once!
1. I'm writing a YA fantasy novella for the Open Novella Contest (ONC) on Wattpad. Luckily, I made it through the first round, and I'm working to get the story to 20K words. Right now, it's at 12K.
2. I'm revising the mystery novel I finished in NaNoWriMo 2020, which is a rewrite of a story I've been trying to get to work since 2017. It's not the finishing the novel part that's been hard, but it's making a story that works on all levels! I let the concept get in the way of character arcs. Thankfully, this rewrite feels like how I always wanted the story to be, but I'm going through each chapter and polishing it.
3. I need to revise a completed novel and submit it to a publisher for a contract deadline. Already have a list of what to add and change, but I haven't gotten too far in this process yet. I tentatively feel like this revision might be easier than the others I've done because I'm so sure of where the story goes.
4. I've reached 40K on a speculative fiction romance; my goal is 70K. This is very exciting because I've struggled to get this story to work in multiple formats, such as a short story or screenplay, but this novel feels like the right go at it. I'm in love with the softness and "feel" of this story.
Generally, I try not to have so many writing projects going at once, but I'm happy to say I've been feeling more energetic and creative compared to where I was last year. I hope everyone is making progress on their projects. If not, I hope you get the rest and time you need to recharge.
I finished my first Inktober challenge, just before NaNoWriMo, too. I'm a hobby writer still learning different techniques, but I decided to try my hand at doing art regularly. Writing's taught me forming a habit is pretty important.
The most important lesson I learned for Inktober is to keep it simple. The obligation of doing at every day is stressful. I dealt with balancing my writing while also contending with real life obligations and surprises. A few days ago, for example, during the hurricane, part of my house flooded and the stress occupied a lot of my time.
Unfortunately, I didn't always try the simplest of designs, but I learned early on to drop some of the more elaborate color schemes. The top thing is to finish and ink the sketch; it's not a finished product. I feel lucky to have completed thirty-one pieces, and I did by focusing on what I enjoy alongside sticking to black and white for the time being. Like NaNoWriMo, it's about having something to go back to and revise later.
Here are some of my favorite pieces I did: