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First draft done. Felt very liberating. Taking a break then going to edit this piece. I see sections that need to be fleshed out and some that need to be cut. Wordcount is at 2709.

Update: After I spewed the mess from my brain and had the first draft done, I took a break. The story kept bugging me in the back of my mind. I then discovered that I wasn’t happy about it and I knew why. I could tell a better story via another character’s viewpoint. The previous viewpoint was mundane, nothing interesting happened beside that this character died at the end.

With the other character, I could explore an exotic culture. I just finished a quick outline from this viewpoint and really fleshed out what I wanted to achieve. Not only that, this character has made me excited to tell this story. I am constantly thinking of different scenarios I can put him in to explore his background.

But first, time to rewrite the story and finish.

I don’t even feel like I’ve failed at all, that I’ve messed up or that I suck. What I do feel, without a doubt, is that my love for making stories when I was a child is still there. 

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Lupus

There’s no better way to start than by attempting a Flash Fiction challenge issued by Chuck Wendig. 100 words limit.

Lupus licks his lips. Just one more, goddammit. He wraps his left hand around the solid lever, places his right hand, palm upwards, fingers spread, on the metallic tray and pulls with a mighty effort. This is it, this is it, yes, this is it. He shivers, a tingle of excitement, that familiar feeling.

Lupus slams the lever, receives resistance and love. Triple clicks reward his efforts. Silence. Clank, clank, boop. He feels something drop onto his palm, heavy weight, smooth surface, circular.

“Lupus,  you did well. Give it to me.” she whispers.

He slips it inside his pocket.

“No.”

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A promise to myself

THE PLAN

Write a short story every day

  • Set a time to do this
  • Generate ideas, do a quick outline and write. Revise the next day
  • Why? To create a habit of writing and to hone your writing and editing skills
  • Publish this on a blog so you can see your progress and have a record and receive feedback and criticism

Work on your novel every day

  • Set a time to do this
  • This depends on you knowing what the novel is going to be about. You will have an outline. Therefore, have a plan for what you’re going to work on each day. You have the plan? Write.
  • If something bothers you — a story problem, grammar, spelling e.t.c, make a note of it for later. At this stage, you’re focused on writing, on getting that first draft.
  • Remember – One step at a time.

If you don’t yet have an outline for your novel, then it doesn’t matter. Keep doing the short stories from idea to outline and writing to editing. Meanwhile, think, think and always think about the novel.

Read a book every week

  • Set a time to do this
  • Read in a variety of genres both in your comfort zone and outside of your comfort zone
  • Why? Writing critically is important but so is reading critically. Develop your instinct
  • Write a review/break-down of a book every week. Why? To think about the book you read, to cultivate a way of thinking such as how did the author do this, structure, themes, sentences, style e.t.c

You care about writing? Get involved in writing and reading. For you, this is important time and anything else is secondary. Once you have done your work for the day, you’re free to do anything else that catches your attention.

P.S – If you write a short story every day, that means you have 7 stories for the week. Pick the best and submit to the relevant genre. When it gets accepted, you build a portfolio of published works. Potentially, in a month, you have 4 published short stories. In a year, that’s a total of 52 short stories!

P.P.S – When writing short stories, push yourself. Try new voices. See what works or what doesn’t.

As of this post, I am unemployed. I have all the time in the world to do whatever I want. I do not have an excuse to NOT write. I also know that it’s okay to fail, it’s okay to make mistakes because in doing so and recognising those, you will learn. And when you learn, you grow.

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