Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Our Journey So Far #7: Where I Started And Where I'm Now

And now, it is back to me! It is almost NaNoWriMo, but that doesn't matter very much to me. I have one day to ignore the panic. And the anxiety. The eagerness. 

Breathe, breathe, breathe.

I didn't write a "Our Journey So Far" post like last, last week, because I was very busy with the Contract (which is here and longer than the U.S. Constitution). 


So this is where it all begins. NaNoWriMo. Last year, I joined NaNoWriMo. I was a bit late. Okay, maybe very late. I joined around November the 13th, so I had about half a month left. A bit over, yes. But I had to catch up. My aim was for a 75 thousand book in the genre, YA Science Fiction. I completed it, and boom! That was my first novel. A very messy novel.

It was easy for me to write it. After all, I had practice (which I will go into more detail in the next section). I wrote many short stories, and I did planning/outlining in my agenda (over the empty column of Saturday).

But that was the beginning of writing novels. Before that, there were short stories. Let's get into a little more detail.

Short Stories/Advanced Planning:

I started writing short stories when I was about thirteen years old. Right now, I feel confident enough to say that most of those stories were terrible. Off the top of my head, I can remember one Snow White/Snow Queen retelling (which evolved into The Lost Princess with some aspects of both tales), which I started outlining after I wrote a terrible story about my neighbor's dead cat (longer story). 

I believed I did start on that story (the retelling), with many characters of the same name. Andrea Frost is Alexandria Frost. Richard (Colton, in a later version) appeared much earlier than expected. Davidson is still Davidson. Ella is Ella. And a lot of the kingdoms in the book changed, too. But I gave up (which happened way before I started my 2013 NaNoWriMo). I didn't exactly like the way it turned out. Most of the world-building was there, but... There is this surprising lack of a spark that I never found in that book. I filled about two notebooks and countless other pages (and notebooks) developing that magical world. 

But it never flew.

And there were a few others before that one, too.

The Quest, which is not based on any fairy tale, has about 6,000 words, but I never spent the time to write the entire darn thing. And no, I do not plan to go back to that book any time soon.


So looking back into the many years I'd been writing, I think I'm safe to say that my writing has definitely improved over the years.

The secret to having good writing? Editing. Reading other people's works. Writing (which you should never ever stop). The three things. 

Remember this: Writing is about doing something, making art. It is not about "I think I should write a book" and never doing what you say you would do. 

Happy Writing!

-Penelope Grace

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