Current Writing Projects

This week’s entry is all about me. I couldn’t think of anything useful or instructive to write, so I thought I’d just share a little about my own current writing projects.

Besides writing this fabulous blog, I am also working on two novels. They’re both part of the fantasy trilogy that has been my main creative focus for the better part of the past two years. The trilogy is entitled The Light-Whisperers of Kalevala. I’m about half-way (okay, maybe one third of the way) done with the first draft of book two.

I really enjoy writing a first draft, even when I find myself deviating from my original outline. Or when I get to that trouble spot of my outline where I just had a big question mark and now I’ve got to come up with something.

First draft writing is pure creation, pure exploration. I’m learning about the characters and having adventures right along with them. It’s fun and it’s freeing.

Editing, revising, and rewriting are not quite as fun. This is where I am with book one. Yes, editing, revising, and rewriting are all different processes, but I’m currently engaged in all of them. Mostly that last one.

I have rewritten many scenes in the first two chapters—more than once. And each time a scene is rewritten, I know it’s better—the plot flows smoother, the clunky boring parts are trimmed or gone, the characters become more three-dimensional and consistent. The total word count is going down, which is a good thing (the first draft clocked in at 175,000 words, which is a tad long, even for a fantasy tome). I’m excited about the end result of a more streamlined and readable novel, but I’m becoming less and less excited about the process to get said result.

I’m sure all writers (or artists of any sort) experience this feeling of being so tired of a piece of work that you just want to give up on it and call it done so you can forget about the thing. Yes, there will come a point when I have to call it done—without doing that, it will never be published. But I know that time is not yet.

My critique group has been very helpful by providing feedback. They have pointed out the slow spots (there are lots of those), the places where characters seem to fall flat, and those little inaccuracies that aren’t a big thing but could trip me up later. Of course I don’t automatically make every suggested change, but when multiple people point out the same things—repeatedly—it’s probably important.

Hence, the rewriting. And more rewriting. My goal is to have the rewrites and revisions of the entire first book done by the end of May. That’s a little over a week away, for anyone who’s counting. And how close am I to accomplishing that goal? I’d rather not talk about that…

Well, sooner or later, I will finish this revision of book one. As sick of it as I am right now, I’ve worked too hard on it to just quit. And besides, since I’m industriously writing book two (and sketching ideas for book three), that kind of makes book one necessary.

So now it’s back to the rewriting/revising board again (with the occasional hop over to first draft creative freedom on book two, when I just can’t stand it anymore). Oh yeah, and cranking out a blog entry of some sort every week.

So what sort of projects are you working on?

Keep the purpose in mind

I’m a firm believer in writing just for the sake of writing. Writing what’s on your heart. Writing for yourself first and foremost, and never mind if anyone ever reads it or likes it.

These are all valid reasons to write and should never be ignored or abandoned. But if you want to move on to the next step—like getting published, entering a contest, or writing a blog—you need to have a goal in mind.

I’m hardly an expert in any of these areas—though I do have a few months’ worth of blogging under my belt now, at least. But all of my current writing endeavors have a purpose behind them.

I’m still writing what’s in my mind and my heart. I’m still writing for myself and writing what I want to read. But now, I’m starting to write for others, as well.

I started this blog with the intent of it serving a two-fold purpose—to share my (limited) writing knowledge and experience with other budding writers, and to share my own personal writing journey and ideas and inspirations.

Even if your blog is truly nothing more than a personal journal that you’re willing to share with the world, chronicling your hopes and fears and daily activities, that’s fine. If that’s your purpose and that’s what you’re doing, then you’re walking the path you set for yourself and accomplishing your goal.

If you want to get a story published one day, then whenever you work on that story, keep that goal in mind. If you’re still working on your first draft, there’s no need to worry about tight sentences, correctly-spelled words, and such—that will come in the editing phase. And if your goal is to get published, then yes, there needs to be an editing phase. Probably more than one. Keep that goal in mind as you write and as you edit.

If you’re writing a story for a contest, or for entry into an anthology or e-zine or something similar, remember that as you write. What is the plot/content supposed to be, or what’s the maximum word count? Again, some of these details can be hammered out during editing, but keeping the goal in mind during the first draft can make the whole process more streamlined.

Write for fun, and write what you love. But if you dream of sharing your work, selling your work, growing as a writer—don’t forget that as you write. Focusing on your purpose will keep you on that road.

What’s your purpose with your writing?

Work In Progress #Blog Hop – The Next Big Thing

I found this post on friend and author Tina Glasneck‘s blog, so I’m giving her props for this, and copying it to try myself. It’s not a real interview, in the sense that there is some famous interviewer asking me questions (that will come one day soon, I hope!) But this is a nice set of questions that can shed some light on what I’m working on, for anyone interested in the novels that I’m writing.

Rules:

~Answer the ten questions about your current WIP (Work In Progress) on your blog

~Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them.

 

TEN INTERVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE NEXT BIG THING:

 

What is the working title of your book?
I’m working on book two of a trilogy called The Light-Whisperers of Kalevala. This particular book doesn’t have a title yet.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
I finished the first draft of book one, and decided that the story needed a continuation. As for ideas for the story in general, several of my other blog entries refer to my sources of inspiration.

What genre does your book fall under?
Fantasy. More specifically, cross-world fantasy (where the characters travel from this world to another realm), with perhaps a few elements of urban fantasy.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I don’t have any specific actors in mind at the moment, but if a movie were to be made of this trilogy, I would want actors native to the area where the book takes place (northern Scandinavia).

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? 
It’s still very early in the story-telling process and I’m creating a lot as I go, so this will change soon—but right now, my one-sentence synopsis would be: War is brewing—war that threatens not only Pohjola, but Earth, as well. Yeah, I need to work on that one-line synopsis a little bit more…

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Haven’t decided yet.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Book one took me almost two years to write the first draft—I’m now in the editing phase of that one. Book two I’ve been working on for a month or two, and I’ve got about 10,000 words so far.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I’d say The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, and Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?
So many things are sources of inspiration for me. For this trilogy, my love of Finnish mythology and folk music were big parts of my brainstorming sessions.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? 
For lovers of fantasy series, this will be a trilogy with possible companion books, as well. For those who prefer a stand-alone tale, each of the three books is being written as a single story. I think it would appeal to anyone who likes a fantasy story with real-world elements, or anyone who likes a story with an exotic setting. Basically, I’m writing the sort of story that I would love to read, and I hope others will, too!

And now I’m tagging some other writers! Check out their blogs–whether they do this little questionnaire or not. You know you want to!

Writability blog

Kim Murphy

Bonnie Watson