Writing A Novel… Kind Of

For years, I have worked on various projects that I hoped would develop into novels. I have participated in National Novel Writing Month without any real idea of the direction I wanted my piece to go. I have created countless character profiles in an effort to get to know my (frankly generic) characters. Over time, I let the projects sit, simmer and eventually trail off, and now they are in a folder that I labelled ‘Current Writing Projects’ maybe three years ago.

Well, the time for that is over.

One of the assessments for my creative writing course is completing a writing project of 8,000 words. It’s not much compared to an actual novel but for someone who’s primarily written short stories, it’s kind of a lot. I chose to write an extended fiction piece, possibly an excerpt of something that could go on to be a novel. In the beginning, I was very excited: I would finally get a proper chance to work at a longer project! I would finally take a step out of the short story/flash fiction world!

Now I’m realising I actually have to do it. I have to work on a longer project. I have to take a step out of the short story/flash fiction world.

giphy.gifWhat have I done… | © Disney, via Giphy

Of course, I’m still excited. And I wasn’t expecting this to be easy. But the realisation of the work I have to do is hitting me and it’s a little overwhelming. I started a few months ago with little idea where to start. I have progressed since then by doing some preliminary research and starting to write, but I still have a lot of work left.

As is tradition, I have been procrastinating because the tasks ahead are daunting. And as is tradition, I have decided to motivate myself by posting about my progress here! That way, I can keep track of how much work I do whilst also sharing my experiences of writing an extended piece of fiction, in case it helps anyone who is working on a longer project too.

And this time, there will be progress. There has to be progress, as this is not a self-imposed challenge like Resolutions Recap, Project X or Mission Extreme Writing (if you don’t know what those are… that’s probably best). This is something I not only want to do, but have to.

So look out for updates and let me know if you’re working on a longer piece of writing! We can cry share some tips and tricks. 🙂

For now, here is where I stand and what I need to do next:

Progress Report

  1. Words: 2,962/8,000
  2. To do next:
    1. More research (watch documentary; read one chapter out of key text)
    2. Edit the existing work (I got some feedback on it, so will probably be rewriting some a lot)

I will return with an update with what I have done/learnt next week!

Promise. 😉

Until next time!

Photo above is via Unsplash, by Lauren Mancke


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