Back in January, I set myself monthly writing goals to help speed up and keep track of the progress of my fantasy novel, The Secrets The Dead Keep. So far this year, I’ve completed a third draft, gotten feedback to help me further improve my manuscript, and planned my sequel!
This month’s goal was to write the first 50,000 words of Book Two during Camp NaNoWriMo and continue critique partner edits.
So, how did I do?
As usual, terribly.
July has been a really busy month for me (including a lot of daytrips and travelling), plus I got distracted by writing a short story halfway through the month and I’ve had some bad mental health days too. These are all just excuses, I know, but they do mean that getting those 50,000 words written did not go too well. I did manage to write just over 11,000 words, so all is not lost, but it’s nowhere near as much as I wanted to get done.
I’ve also come to the decision that I’m not ready to write this sequel yet. I haven’t fleshed out the plot or the characters – both new and old – enough to make writing it or reading the resulting product enjoyable. So for now I’m going to keep focusing on editing what I already have.
Speaking of editing what I already have, how did that go? Well, unfortunately, no better than writing those 50,000 words. I still don’t really have enough feedback to start editing, but at this point it’s going to have to be enough, and when I get more feedback – well, I’ll just have to go back and do another round of editing, which is what I was hoping to avoid in the name of efficiency and time saving.
In other news, something which I have actually done this month. I decided I needed to improve my worldbuilding if my settings are going to be as believable as I want them to be, so I started writing a long Word document of comprehensive notes on my setting, until my boyfriend Alex suggested that making a wiki might be easier. I would be able to group topics into categories, and create links between them, and find specific topics much easier than scrolling through one fifty-page Word document.
So I made a wiki all about the world my book is set in. It’s on private and will probably remain that way forever (or at least until my books are published) and is still very much in-progress. It’s made me realise just how much of my world – such as the government, military, and legal system – I still need to work on.
And that, folks, just about sums up my writing in July.
My original writing goal for August was to continue writing Book Two until the first draft is finished, continue critique partner edits, and start finding beta readers. However, since I’m putting Book Two on hold for now, and since it’s a bit early to think about beta readers when I haven’t got all the feedback I want from my critique partners yet, my goals for August will instead be to edit Draft Three and work on worldbuilding by building my world’s wiki.
I’d also like to work on that short story I mentioned earlier; I’d like to submit it to a writing competition which closes at the end of this month. But we’ll see how that goes.
How are your writing projects going? Let me know in the comments below!