January Writing Update

As a New Years’ Resolution of-sorts, I decided that 2017 would be the year I get really serious about my writing. So at the beginning of this month, I set myself monthly writing goals for all of 2017, which focus on editing my fantasy novel The Secrets The Dead Keep.

This month’s writing goal was to read through my completed 2016 draft making notes on what I want to change, and to start working on better characterisation.

It sounds like a relatively easy goal, especially compared to some of the others I’ve set myself for this year! All I have to do is read a book and make notes on it! Oh, and to think about my characters a bit. So I was really hoping to get this one done quickly and get ahead of myself.

I started off pretty well, and had gotten through 40% of my novel (according to the PC Kindle app) within just a day or two by mid-January. But then I got bogged down making decisions about my degree and my year abroad, and then sorting out those decisions, so I didn’t get chance to look at my novel at all for over a week.

This means I did most of my read-through in the last few days of January. But, I did it! By the end, I had 12 pages (almost 7,000 words) of notes on changes I wanted to make.

I decided it would be easier for me to edit my novel if I split my notes into various categories, eg. new scenes, chapter boundaries to move, characterisation, etc… However, deciding which category some of my notes should go into turned out to be more difficult than expected.

So, I split my notes into just two categories instead: things which affect the overall plot, and details which affect only the scene they are included in. The first category involves things which I consider to be a higher priority, such as plot decisions I haven’t made yet and extra bits that I need to write. The second category involves things of less importance, such as a sentence or description that needs to be changed.

Sketches of Saffie,
my protagonist

This still didn’t always make splitting them easy; sometimes I noted something small I wanted to change, and then within the same bullet point went on to discuss related big-picture changes.

As for the other part of my January goal, I unfortunately didn’t get very much character building done. There are at least eight characters I need to refine, but only did character sketches for two of them.

But, it’s still a start.

My writing goal for February is: start my own edits, and start finding critique partners. I will, of course, have to add making more character notes to this goal as well.

Come back next month to for my next writing update! And don’t forget you can follow me on Google+ or by email to be notified whenever I post something new 🙂

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