editing inspiration learning Novel 1 Work in Progress

Novel 1, inching step-by-step.

Another week down, another week closer to rewriting Novel 1.

I refer to my first novel as simply “Novel 1” not because I don’t have a title for it, but more because it’s just easier. The working title is “Writing the Past” but something about the simplicity of the title bothers me; I’m not sure if that’s the kind of title I want the public to use.

Anyway, aside from that tangent–there was some shuffling of cards/plot (see previous post’s picture) and I think I have decided upon a new, re-structured plot to work with for revision. There are still many plot holes to fill in and also some character development to work on; throughout this process over the past three weeks, I have noticed some areas I need to improve upon regarding my writing.

One area I know I need to improve upon is how to end stories with a resolved, (relatively) satisfied feeling. I have been practicing writing some short stories/flash prose and, even though everything starts out with a huge force of momentum, the speed slows down by the end and suddenly things just stop. That, or they flop down in a lackluster fashion. Is the only way to improve in this area just through practice, practice, practice?

I finished reading How NOT to Write a Novel on Thursday; it was an easy, hilarious read, but it also gave me a lot of insight into what I have been doing wrong with my manuscripts and writing in general. I can’t expect to be perfect from the beginning, so I feel very grateful to have been able to secure a copy of this book early on in my career. A lot of the mistakes pointed out in the book were quite eye-opening to me: although I already knew I had horrible plot holes and strange characters in Novels 2 & 3, the advice given in How NOT to Write a Novel helped me figure out what I can do to improve on those aspects in my novels.

My beta readers gave me some feedback on my plot synopsis for Novel 1, so that helped me figure out which areas to expand upon for revision. The next tasks I have in mind are to do some research on certain topics mentioned in the novel, and to also just decide on how to develop the characters more.

This weekend and the next may not give me as much time as the previous weekends (due to Chinese New Year and birthday plans), so I will have to try my best to get some writing/revision time in during weekday mornings. So far, the journey has been very enjoyable, and I hope for the most part it stays that way.