60 days into 2020 – on writing

Hello all!

So there are a couple on my mind today, as quite a bit has happened. Let’s see:

  • What I wrote in February
  • Status update: Book 1
  • Status update: Book 2
  • Writing and reading goals 2020 – check in!

What I wrote in February

Between my daily writing routine, the challenge to write 500 word story every month, and my writing coaching assignments, something was going to have to give.

Don’t get me wrong, I love writing and I write daily, but there are only so many hours in a day I can spend on this. Coming to terms with that was difficult, because I still like to think I can make time for everything, but there are only so many hours in a week.

The 500 word stories are on hold for now. Book 2 is progressing well, I am very happy with what I have so far, and, believe it or not, I am thoroughly enjoying my writing coaching. This week’s assignment might make it onto the site a story, to make up for missing the 500 word story in January and February. Beware, it is not a fantasy story, but it is fiction.

Status update: Book 1

Still on the shelf. By putting all my efforts into coaching assignments and writing book 2, I intend to improve my craft to the point where I can pick up this 8th draft, take what is good there, and transform it into a great story. Right now I feel I lack the tools to take it where I want to. More on this in a month or so.

Status update: Book 2

Mowlymalowny! The first act of this book came together very nicely. Rather than diving straight into Act II, I’m taking my time toe scribble and brainstorm and plot, filling the vat with wine and letting it age, before serving it.

For my own peace of mind, I’ve cut Act II into two parts. Right now I am putting all my effort into creating a interesting progression towards the midpoint and the twist I want to have there. It is proving harder than I thought, but I am convinced that if I get that part right, the last third of the story becomes a lot easier to write.

What I find really hard: not editing the first draft of Act I as it lays on my desk, with notes. I know, I know, that is part of the fun! One of the major lessons for me from Book 1 however, is that it pays off to edit the structure of the story first. I ended up with so many different drafts last time because I was adding and subtracting in every rewrite. A bit of method to the madness, so to speak.

Writing and reading goals 2020 – check in!

So I haven’t touched James Joyce’s Ulysses in February. Ouch. I’ll have to start again, once more. What did I read:

  • How to Write a Damn Good Novel, by James N. Frey (book)
  • The Moral Landscape, by Sam Harris (audiobook)
  • Hills Like White Elephants, by Ernest Hemingway (short story)
  • Elantris, by Brandon Sanderson (audiobook, not done)
  • The Day of the Jackal, by Frederick Forsyth (book, did not finish)

Beyond that I’ve developed a new hobby: reading first chapters of books. What makes me want to read more and what turns me off on page one? It is really hard to put into words, because to me it seems like some sort of feeling. At a certain point, about 500 to 1000 words in, my mind tells me one of two things:: I want to know what’s going to happen or What the hell is this about?

I’ll let you decide which books I keep reading.

That’s it for now. All is going well, and the writing continues. Another update at the end of March friends!

T.G. Ellis

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