Saturday, May 12, 2012

Summer Goals and Plans

With summer break in full swing, I've been gradually settling myself into focusing on my writing. I must say it's almost a little odd because I keep expecting homework to rear its ugly head and shout, haha! here I am! thought you'd get rid of me did you? But seriously though, knowing my time outside of work is free to do as I wish is a gift I love about summer break. With some of this time, I've established some goals and wanted to share them with you so I can hold myself accountable and make sure I accomplish them.

My most important goal is to finish my horror novel. I wrote the first draft last summer and it has been an on/off working experience since. However, I've been working steadily on it for the past two weeks and I'm about to reach the climax. But there is still much work to be done. The novel isn't terribly long, but the subject matter covers several subjects and I'm still learning how to get all them together.

I suppose, as an added bonus, I should say that looking for an editor once I feel the novel is ready should be on my goal list too, but I've been focused on just trying to get the damn thing done. Working on a novel is truly difficult work. I always thought it was just writing the first draft, but nooooooo, it's the revision that gets you.

Another goal of mine was to wrap up a novella I wrote in March of last year. I haven't looked at it since the end of last summer and feel it could use a good clean up. I'm trying to get what I've written done so I can get them out on the market, but novellas are like the Twilight Zone of stories. Too long to be short stories, too short to be novels, and with few places to submit for a home, it'll be interesting to see what happens when I turn my attention to it later in the summer. Still though, it'll be fun to work on it, as writing is, even if the work is difficult (sometimes like shoveling shit from the sitting position).

The last goal, which I've partially finished, is to wrap up two short stories that have received much feedback from fellow writers (thank you! you know who you are) and get them submitted. I've already done that with one, the other needs another look over as I think the subject matter still isn't quite where I want it. The story could also use a better title, something a little more specific than "Night".

In other news, I've been keeping up with my reading, which is always a plus. Currently rereading Stephen King's On Writing and it's been great. My understanding of writing has grown since I last read the book and I'm able to better understand some of the things he talks about. Also, as a personal/independent study, I'm reading The Elements of Style by E.B White and William Strunk Jr. If you haven't read the book, I recommend it. At only eighty-five pages, you'll find the book to be straight to the point and extremely helpful, regardless if you've been writing for a year or fifteen.

Before I wrap this up, there is just one more thing I want to add, I'll be brief too. Do you think: "Good God, what was I thinking?" when you go back and read the first draft of your story? It happens to me a lot, but something I read in On Writing struck me like a hammer and I had to read the line three or four times. It goes something like this, "The first time you write a story, you're telling yourself the story. The second time around, you are removing what isn't needed so you can tell others the story."

By the way, who else is excited about the new Batman movie? It's a comic book movie sure, but Christopher Nolan sure is a hell of a story teller.

Let me wrap this up with a video. Enjoy!

Keep Writing folks!



  1. Revising is the worst part of writing, but also the best. Those moments when you read what you've written and go "Wow! I never knew I could write such amazing things!" are wonderful, and those moments where you go "Oh my. What on earth possessed me to do this are the worst. I have a lot of those latter moments. :P At the same time, the whole editing process can be really satisfying when you see the story and writing get so much better right before your eyes. Watching it all come together is very nice. :)

    Novellas are very weird things, but I love them so. With the two I've been working on, I'm throwing them in a collection with short stories I've written (and you have edited, good sir :) ), for a change of pace within the collection.

    Good luck with the novel, and keep away from homework! I haven't managed to escape from it - got to start work on my thesis this summer. May your time be filled with writing. :)

  2. Good luck on your summer plans!! And congrats on finishing two novels!!