new moon writing goals

Okay, so TECHNICALLY the new moon of March was Wednesday, but I wanted to do a WWW Wednesday post, so I am writing a new moon-themed post today instead and counting it as still the new moon. Witches often practice different aspects of their craft based on the phase of the moon, because different phases are good for different types of magic. The new moon tends to be a good time to set new goals and intentions, so I’m playing around with the idea of setting goals around the new moon instead of at the beginning of the month to go with my witchy themed blog and make my goal-setting more powerful.

This month, I also have some writing goals I want to try out, and since I haven’t had much luck with writing for the past over-a-year, I figured adding some new moon power to them wouldn’t be a bad idea. Plus, next month is Camp NaNoWriMo, which I’ve had very good luck with in the past when I’ve participated. So, here are some of my writing goals for Camp NaNo and Camp NaNo prep:

  • Reread my book on outlining. I keep meaning to do this and not doing it, but I remember it having a bunch of tips for making a useful outline and I want to reread it and take notes so I can actually…
  • OUTLINE A DRAFT. In the past, I’ve been a “pantser” or someone who doesn’t outline, but I’m not sure that’s the best route for me. I always get stuck once I reach my goal and don’t have any clue where the story is going to go thereafter. I think having an outline would help me get unstuck when I don’t know where to go.
  • Research. The idea I want to go with would involve a lot of research, mostly about Italian, Iranian, and Israeli cuisine. The general idea behind it is two chefs who fall in love (oh and they’re both bi girls). I’d also have to research the setting because I want it to be set somewhere completely unlike anywhere I’ve ever lived.
  • Name my characters. Names are always the hardest part for me. I have one of their names picked out but not the second character. I know I could just call them ‘character A” or “MC” or whatever for a first draft, but I feel like names help me flesh out and build my characters. So I need a name, darn it.
  • Write 10,000 words during Camp NaNo. This probably seems like a pitifully small goal to most writers, but since I’ve had such terrible luck getting myself motivated to write, I figured starting small might not be such a bad idea. In the past, I’ve aimed for 25,000 words, which I may still shoot for if I make 10,000, but for now, I’m going to stick with 10,000.

Tell me in the comments if you’re participating in Camp NaNoWriMo, and if you have any tips for getting back into writing after a LONG time away.

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a compilation of my writing fears

So, lately, a weird thing has happening that has been very uncharacteristic of me for the past few years: I have a million writing ideas. I’ve been wanting to write more for quite a few years, but one of the (many) reasons it’s been hard to motivate myself is that I feel like I’ve been lacking in ideas. But, suddenly, I am inspired by literally everything and have a bunch of WIP ideas that I really want to start.

The problem is, I’ve been letting myself get bogged down in all the numerous fears I have about writing and have been procrastinating HEAVILY on getting started with a writing process. I am hoping that sharing some of my writing fears will help get them out of my brain and, hopefully people will have advice on how to overcome them. Without further ado, here are my many fears about trying to write:

  • What if I can’t write anymore? I haven’t written for over a year, since last year’s NaNoWriMo failure. What if I sit down and try to write and…no words come out? Like, not even bad words? Just…no words? What if all my words are gone and I can’t make any come out? What if the reason I haven’t written is that I just…can’t anymore?
  • What if I stop halfway through again? I’ve gotten stuck at the halfway points of both novels I started over the past few years. I get stuck in exactly the same spot, tell myself I’ll take a short break, and end up shelving the half-novel I’ve written and feeling bad about myself for failing.
  • What if I fail again? What if I’m cursed only to write half-novels? What if I start something, then end up shelving it again? What if I’m incapable of finishing a novel at all? I’ll feel like a failure, and not want to write for another entire over a year.
  • What if my ideas are bad? I don’t think my ideas are bad and I’m excited about them, but what if they’re actually terrible and nobody wants to read it?
  • What if I do finish? I think I might also be afraid of what happens when I do finish a novel, if that ever happens. Then I would have a lot of work ahead of me, aka revising, aka something I’ve never had to do before because I’ve never finished anything, and I have no idea where to start.
  • What if I can’t get into a writing schedule? I feel like I need a “schedule” since most writers seem to talk about having one? But I also have a full-time job and am really tired and stressed a lot of the time. I don’t think I would be able to schedule in long writing sessions. I know in theory they could be short, and don’t have to follow a certain rule, but for some reason I’m worried I wouldn’t be a “real” writer if I didn’t have a schedule of times where I would write A LOT all the time.
  • How do I motivate myself to sit down and write? This is currently my biggest problem. I just can’t motivate myself to get over my fears and anxiety enough to actually sit down and do the thing I really want to do, aka write. I just think up lots of ideas and procrastinate on starting them.

 

Do you deal with any of these writing fears? How do you try to overcome them?

 

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The Writer’s Tag

I was tagged by Rebecca for the Writer’s Tag, and we all know I can’t resist a good tag, or a chance to talk about writing even if I’m not writing. This tag was created by Lorraine and Ari. I’m breaking the rules a bit because I’m not answering all the questions. I also feel like a little bit of an impostor doing this because even though I tried to write at the beginning of the month, I broke up with my WIP pretty quickly and am now back to not writing and therefore feeling like I am not really a writer 🙁

 

Name one novel that inspired you to write

When I was little, all I wanted to write was fantasy, mainly because of this book called THE TWO PRINCESSES OF BAMARRE by Gail Carson Levine, the lady who wrote ELLA ENCHANTED. I loved this book so much and basically wrote a TTPOB and GOLDEN COMPASS combo 50-page novel that I was very proud of when I was younger.

 

What’s your favorite genre to write and read?

I…don’t know the answer to either of these questions?? I’m having a bit of an identity crisis with this question. At the moment, I’m more in the mood for fantasy, and all of this year, I’ve been mostly liking either fantasy or fluffy contemporaries, even though dark and depressing and lyrical contemporaries used to be my jam. I have also only tried to write dark and depressing contemporaries, but neither of them have worked out, and I’ve been debating trying a new genre. I’d love to be able to write something magical and/or fantasy-y, but I don’t know if I have the writing chops yet to do it well, or ever.

 

Do you prefer to write standalones or series?

I’ve only ever tried to write standalones, and I can’t see myself ever writing a series. I can’t see myself being interested in an idea long enough to write a series. I also don’t even like reading series, so it wouldn’t really make sense for me to write one.

 

Use 3 words to describe yourself

BOOKISH |COTTON CANDY

 

Reveal your WIP aesthetics or an image that represents your MC or setting

I am currently debating plotting a Southern Gothic/horror Jane Eyre retelling, even though I’ve never attempted to write horror in my life and am very much doubting my ability to do so. But here is an aesthetic for it:

southerngjane (1)

 

Who is your author idol?

Jandy Nelson. She is the essence of the type of book (at least in the contemporary genre) that I would like to write. Her books speak to me so much, and both have been over the top excellent even though I was scared nothing could match up to the greatness of THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE, and I hope to one day own my contemporary genre darkness and write books as good as hers that make the book world go nuts.

 

Share the hardest part about being a writer and how you overcame it

The hardest part about writing is motivating myself to sit down and write. I think about my ideas a lot, but actually putting them to paper, whether it’s outlining or simply starting to write, is weirdly difficult. I always feel accomplished and proud when I do write, so you would think this would motivate me, but it is hard to motivate myself, especially when I haven’t written for as long as I have this time.

 

What’s your favorite social media and why?

I am currently getting back into Tumblr. I like it because it’s a good mixture of words and images, and you can really make it your own. It’s a very casual way to blog, and I like reblogging cool things that fit my desired aesthetic and theme better than any photos I could ever take. My booklr is Cotton Candy Book Witch.

I also love Instagram, even though I am very bad at it. I am trying to get better though.

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NaNoWriMo: Week 1 Update

I almost titled this post “NaNoWriMo: How I’m Doing” but then did not because I realized I’d have to subtitle it “How I’m NOT Doing” because I’ve basically quit. How am I doing? Well, after approximately only two whole days of writing Queer Bookish WIP, I decided to break up with it.

I have written a lot about this WIP and have gotten lots of encouragement from other bloggers and writers, so I feel a little bad about breaking up with it. But I’ve been debating whether or not I really want to continue it for a long time and decided I just don’t want to write it anymore, at least in its current form.

Why?

  • It’s really depressing. The only two things I’ve tried to write have both been really depressing, which is fine and good, but I don’t feel like I want to write something really depressing.
  • I feel like it might want to be fluffy? I started a fluffy version of the same WIP a little while ago, and I think I might like that direction better, but I got bored writing it within a chapter and didn’t know what to do with it. But if I did end up coming back to this, I think I’d want it to be significantly fluffier.
  • It’s too based on my own life. My WIP was largely inspired by my experience of a friend dying after I graduated college, and honestly I just don’t want to keep revisiting that. It’s too emotionally difficult and since I’ve been doing so much better mental health-wise the past couple months, I don’t want to do anything that could encourage a relapse.
  • I have other ideas. For things that I’m maybe more excited about? And aren’t based so heavily on my life that I would have to be feeling a certain way in order to feel like I could write it.

 

What have I done since breaking up with my WIP for NaNo?

  • Procrastinated on starting something else
  • Debated whether I should just jump right into another WIP or do outlining (I feel like I’m an outlining type of writer; I always get stuck halfway through when I don’t have a plan)
  • Thought a lot about rereading my useful book on outlining
  • Thought a lot about outlining something new
  • Not actually doing either of those things
  • Feeling bad about quitting NaNo so early
  • Feeling like a fraud for even wanting to be a writer because I’m not writing so how can I be a writer?
  • Doing NaNo and writing related tags even though I don’t feel like I can call myself a writer
  • Thought a lot about which new shiny idea I want to start outlining
  • No actual writing
  • Feeling like a failure in general

 

Basically, this first week and a half of NaNo has not been successful for me, unless deciding officially to break up with my WIP is successful because now I could focus on other writing things if I really put my mind to it?? Please, tell me how your NaNo is going in the comments, and if you have any advice on how to motivate myself to start exploring my shiny new ideas, feel free to share.

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NaNoWriMo: I’m doing it, and also a tag

I should’ve actually titled this post “NaNoWriMo: I’m maybe tentatively doing it, but super worried I’m going to fail, plus idk what to write, and also, a tag” but that is kind of a mouthful and way too long to fit onto a featured image graphic. However, it is true! I am tentatively participating in NaNoWriMo yet again! For today’s post, I’m doing a tag that I’m borrowing from Sophie’s Corner.

What is your NaNoWriMo WIP?

This is…probably more complicated of a question than it should be. I’m still not totally sure if I want to write what I’ve started to write. Last year for NaNo, I started a novel that on the blog I’ve been calling Queer Bookish Novel, about a girl whose friend dies by suicide, there’s a book con where she meets her favorite writer and they possibly have a romance, and she enters a writing contest to distract herself from her grief. I was really passionate about this WIP when I first started it, and looking back, the writing is not actually as terrible as I thought, but I feel like this book could also be fluffier and not have death and grief. However, I’m also thinking about just writing the depressing version for myself to deal with some *things* like the death of one of my own friends a few years ago, and then write the fluffy version later.

However, I also have two other shiny new ideas that I’m more excited about and want to write and plan. If I’d decided sooner to do NaNo and committed to it sooner, I probably would’ve spent October outlining one or both ideas. So I may also try doing that if I give up on Queer Bookish Novel.

Oh, and here’s the very bisexual colored aesthetic for Queer Bookish Novel:

novel aesthetic (1).png

I’m also debating making all the characters non-cis males. But that would probably come in a later draft.

I’m also debating completely abandoning this WIP but I feel like it’s a story that I have to write whether I want to or not. So we’ll see.

 

WHAT STAGE IS YOUR WIP IN? (FIRST DRAFT, SECOND DRAFT, THIRD DRAFT, EDITING, BETAS, ETC.)

Technically I’m still in first draft stage, though I am rewriting the first half before I go on to the second 25,000 words.

 

WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS? (MONTHLY, WORD COUNT GOALS, ETC)

Since I still feel like I haven’t decided if I’m sticking with this WIP, I’m not sure. I guess my main goal is to write more, and then maybe plan/play with/explore my two other novel ideas. If I stick with this WIP, I’d like to get to 50,000 words, even though I think my actual novel will be longer than that.

DO YOU HAVE REWARDS FOR MEETING CERTAIN NANOWRIMO GOALS?

I feel like I should, because I am a person who responds well to positive reinforcement, but I am also trying to budget better and spend significantly less this month. So I may plan my rewards out but actually reward myself when I am in a better financial state.

 

ARE YOU IN A NANOWRIMO CABIN OR HAVE NANOWRIMO BUDDIES?

Not officially, but at least two people have said that they will cheer me on, which is lovely! Thank you Aurora Libralis and Marie of Drizzle & Hurricane Books!!

 

HAVE YOU DONE NANOWRIMO IN THE PAST (NOVEMBER AND OTHERWISE)? HOW DID IT GO?

Yes. In 2016, I did Camp NaNoWriMo with a goal of 25,000 words and met the goal. Last November, I did regular WriMo and got to 25,000 words as well. It seems like my pattern is getting halfway through a novel and then abandoning it because I don’t know where it goes.

 

WHAT ARE YOU MOST EXCITED ABOUT FOR THIS YEAR’S NANOWRIMO?

  • Actually writing again–I haven’t written in a whole year
  • Potentially exploring exciting new ideas
  • Writing enough that I can write blog posts about writing
  • Being creative on a daily basis
  • Using my bullet journal to help my writing (there will be future posts on this!)

 

WHAT IS YOUR #1 ADVICE FOR PEOPLE DOING NANOWRIMO?

Um…I probably shouldn’t be giving advice about NaNoWriMo because I’ve never won official NaNo. But…I guess I’d say to just write as much as you can and have fun and not stress too much about the actual word count. I feel like the main goal of NaNo is just writing a lot and getting into the habit of writing a lot, so even if you don’t win the word count goal, you still win!

 

 

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should i do nanowrimo??

This is the question writers face every November: to NaNo or not to NaNo? NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, can be a time of great stress, since the idea is to write 50,000 words in just one month, but can also be a time of great productivity. I have done a couple NaNo events. I did Camp NaNo in April 2016 and met my word count goal of 25,000, and last year I did regular NaNo and wrote 25,000 words but gave up after that because I was so behind. Now it is getting down to time to decide if I’m doing NaNo again, so I am today going to dissect some pros and cons of doing NaNo.

I have multiple project ideas.

I actually?? Have ideas?? For once?? I have about 3 different ideas floating around in my head, including the one that I started last year. I could pick any one of them, or I guess do multiples if I wanted to be really crazy, though perhaps NaNo isn’t the time for that.

 

I don’t *have* to do 50,000 words.

I know that’s the goal of NaNo, but I could stop pressuring myself to do NaNo the “right” way and just use it as a time to plan out a novel or write a number of words I choose for myself. I don’t have to put immense amounts of pressure on myself like I do all the time and try to do it the “right” way, because nobody is going to put a gun to my head and demand that I write all 50,000 words for NaNo. I can do it however I want.

 

I recently dreamed up an idea that I feel very inspired by currently.

I literally had a dream about a writing idea, which honestly happens to me often, but this time I actually remembered it? And, as I have been thinking about it since then, it has gotten more and more fleshed out in my head.

 

I know I’ll put too much pressure on myself.

Recently, I’ve been doing this thing to myself where I put so much pressure on myself to do things perfectly that I end up not doing them because I know nothing can be perfect. This can be as simple as watching movies until late at night and reading and not doing it because I know my bedtime is earlier than it used to be because I have no energy anymore. For NaNo, I’m really worried and already stressed about not being able to do a full 50,000 words and still counting it as NaNo.

 

I could rewrite and finish my queer bookish WIP.

You know, that QUEENS OF GEEK x INKHEART story I’m always talking about on here that I haven’t actually written any of since last November? Yeah, that one. I could use NaNo to rewrite the first half because it’s a mess and work on that specific book, because I do think I’m meant to write that story.

 

I’m worried about making time for writing.

I know in my head I do have time I could make for writing, but I’m still worried about not getting to do other things, even though outside of work I honestly don’t do that much. However, since I always get up early, I know I could make time in the morning to write, since that is my preferred writing time anyway.

 

I’m worried about actually writing.

Like…what if I can’t do it anymore? Or don’t like it as much anymore? I know these things probably aren’t true, but I’ve psyched myself out of writing for so long (almost a year, to be exact) that I’m scared I’m just not a writer anymore. I mean, I already feel like I’m not a writer anymore because I feel like I’ve given up on writing at all since last November. I’m just worried I’m a fraud and I can’t really do it.

 

So…still not sure if I should do NaNo. I kinda want to do it, am kinda stressed about it already, but also kinda want to use it to just explore some of my writing ideas and see which ones are viable. I’m mostly worried that I’m a fraud who won’t be able to write anymore after so long, and that my ideas are stupid. So you may see a post soon of some of my ideas for NaNo asking if they are stupid because apparently I need validation. Anyway. –end ramble post–

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do I want to continue my WIP??

I’ve talked a bit about my WIP on here, aka Queer Bookish Novel, aka QUEENS OF GEEK meets INKHEART. I started working on it last November for NaNoWriMo and got halfway through, then dropped it until basically this summer, when I tried to get myself to work on it again. I wrote a little bit, but most of my “working on the novel” has been planning and reading about how to outline and trying to outline but not really outlining. All of the struggle that I’ve had with this WIP has made me start to wonder if I really want to continue working on it or if I should just shelve it. This post is basically a compilation of my thought process about this damned novel that I’ve been trying to write in a lame attempt to figure out if I should keep working on it or shelve it.

 

I can’t decide: happy queers or sad queers?

Obviously if my queer characters are sad, it isn’t going to be because they’re sad about being queer. But still, I feel weird and kind of guilty about writing sad queers because there’s so many books of sad queers and not enough fluffy queers. I feel kind of obligated to write fluffy queers, and the new outline-ish thing I wrote of act I of the book is based on the story being fluffy. However, I initially envisioned the book as being sad and I’m having a hard time letting go of it because it was partially based on emotions that really happened to me after my friend died. I think I’m holding onto that so much because I haven’t had anywhere to write or anyone important other than therapists to tell about how I felt when that happened, and I feel like it needs to be told.

 

Thinking about writing it fills me with dread.

I don’t know if this is because I’m afraid of actually writing, which makes no sense because I KNOW that when I write I feel like I’m doing “the right thing” (no pun intended). Things just fall into place and feel right when I am writing, no matter what it is. It feels like something I’m supposed to do. But right now, when I think about continuing this WIP, I’m filled with a sense of dread because I’ve attached so many hopes and pressures onto it that I can’t let go of and just let myself write it because I simply want to write.

 

I have other ideas

I also have a couple other ideas for books that don’t fill me with dread because they’re not based on real life and I don’t have any pressures attached to them. I just want to try them for fun. I’m worried I’m wasting time on something that fills me with somewhat despair when I could be working on something that brings me joy and allows me to experiment with writing something not tied to my own life.

 

I’m afraid of finishing something

I’ve written only two half novels so far, and ended up shelving the first one, and am now thinking of shelving the second. My therapist once asked me if I’m afraid of finishing a novel, and I think she actually hit on something correct there. I’m afraid of what happens when I finish and all the work that I’ll have to put in when I finish a draft. I’m afraid of not knowing really what happens when I finish. I’m afraid of committing to something that much creatively when it might not work out or take me anywhere I want it to take me. I’m not totally sure why I’m afraid of finishing a novel, but those are some of the reasons that come to mind.

 

I’m kind of afraid I can’t do it.

I’m also getting worried that maybe I can’t actually finish a novel. Maybe I’m cursed to write half novels forever and ever. I’ve never finished a book that I started writing before because I haven’t been able to discipline myself into doing so, because I’m afraid of what happens after. This makes me wonder if maybe I should force myself to work on this idea, even though it’s starting to stress me out to think about it, just so I can convince myself that I can finish a book.

 

Basically, this novel is starting to fill me with dread and stress and anxiety. Thinking about it makes me so stressed and I feel bogged down with worries about it that are keeping me from writing it at all. I feel guilty shelving another novel, but it seems like that might be the right thing to do. I don’t know. Have any of you struggled with these things? Did you overcome them? Do you have any sage writerly advice for me?

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my writing process so far

Friends, it. Has. Happened. I kind of started writing a second draft of the half-novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo last year! I’ve talked about it a bit on the blog before as Queer Bookish Novel, as it is very queer and VERY bookish (the MC is a book blogger who is also a writer, and goes to what is essentially Book Expo).

After reading a lot of posts with writing advice on starting a novel and motivating yourself to do it, one of the first things I did was to make a spreadsheet of word count milestones with rewards that I would give myself when I reached them. One of my main issues with writing this novel has been motivation and discipline–I have ideas now, but it’s hard for me to make myself sit and actually write. I SO want to be able to call myself a writer, but even that doesn’t always motivate me enough to sit down and do it. Thus, the rewards sheet has been born. I’ve already reached my 1,000 word goal, too! Next stop, 5,000!

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My biggest struggle so far has been deciding whether or not to make this a grief story or just a bookish romance. I wanted to write about my own experience of having a friend die and putting that in the book, but with that, it feels like too much is going on. I’m also trying to prove to myself that not everything in my life has to be about her death, even though it still feels like it is sometimes. Still, I don’t want something in the story that just doesn’t go there or make it better.

I’m also worried that it’s too wish-fulfillment-y and not a real story. But that’s for another post and probably something I should try to put aside while I’m actually writing it.

I have also written a very basic outline of what I want to happen in my first ten chapters, which I’m considering the first act. The way I’m structuring it, based on some other people’s posts, is that one disaster happens at the end of act 2 and another happens at the end of act 3. Act 1 sets everything up, basically, and act 4 is the ending. I’m also guestimating word counts for each act to give me something to shoot for.

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Another thing I am having trouble with are character names. I can’t decide what to name the protagonist, and had trouble with the best friend love interest as well. Right now I’m debating changing the MC’s name from Lyle (yes, I know it’s an odd name for a girl), because one of the other love interest’s names also starts with L, and I don’t want it to be annoying to read or keep track of.

Honestly I’m at the stage where I don’t even know if I want to write this book. I don’t think anything can come of it since the audience would be so niche, and my first chapter is just horrible. I also still can’t decide whether I want to write the friend death or not. Basically, I am at a stage of extreme self doubt and am finding things hard. I have other novel ideas that I want to work on equally or more, but I’ve wanted to write this one for so long and have been ruminating on it for months so I feel like I have to see it through.

If you relate to any of these problems or have any comments or advice, please tell me because I probably could use it.

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It’s Pride! queer YA wishlist

As I’ve discussed on some other posts, I myself am a sometimes-writer (aka I write a lot and very diligently for a month, give up halfway through, and don’t write again for another year. Anyway). This means I think even more about what I want in books than if I didn’t write, or at least I think I do. I have a lot of things I’d like to see in queer YA novels, and though I could write some of them if I really set my mind to it in all likelihood, there are certainly others I don’t feel I would be the best fit for. Today, I’m going to share a general list of some of the things I’d like to see in queer YA.

  • a bi person who dates someone of the opposite gender
  • more LGBT stories that don’t revolve around them coming out
  • more trans, nonbinary, and agender stories
  • more queer characters in fantasy and other speculative fiction stories
  • more mentally ill queer characters
  • more groups of queer friends (it’s true; we travel in packs)
  • stories about queer people being happy
  • a stereotypical ya story but the characters are all queer
  • queer love triangles
  • queer insta-love
  • queer witches and mermaids
  • books in unique formats about queer characters
  • more historical novels featuring queer people
  • more queer characters of color
  • more disabled queer people
  • queer people as the “chosen one”

 

What do you want to see in queer YA?

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should i outline my novel and possibly scream

Last week I wrote about why I haven’t been writing. I also did the rising author tag, even though I’d hardly call myself a rising author at this point given that I haven’t worked on a WIP since last NaNoWriMo. Still, it was somewhat motivational, and I at least emailed myself my last WIP so I can perhaps work on it when the library is slow. I’m feeling a little more motivated to write, but also a little uncertain of how to proceed. I still feel like I need to read Elizabeth Gilbert’s BIG MAGIC to really motivate myself and help myself deal with creativity fears, and also perhaps make an outline of my novel to help it along. So, I think it’s time to go through some of the pros and cons of making an outline before I dive back into my WIP…

PROS

  • Increased confidence going in. One of the reasons I always stop at about 25,000 words is because I get serious creative blockage. I tend to lose where the story is going around then, and I can’t figure out where to go and it gets hard to sit down and write when I don’t know WHAT to write. I think having an outline of what’s going to happen in the story could help alleviate some of those worries.
  • Better draft. So far, the two drafts I have are super messy, because I keep changing the character goals throughout the writing process because I need to move the story along. If I have an outline, I’ll know what the character goals are going in, and maybe it won’t be so hard to edit or have people read when I want that.
  • Help with writer’s block. If I have actual writer’s block and have no clue what to write, the outline will help guide me. I can pick and choose scenes to work on even out of order, and work on what I feel most confident writing about in the moment that I’m writing.

 

CONS

  • It’s just another thing to wait for. Writing an outline will obviously take time, and take time away from what could be actual time spent writing. It’s yet another way I might be waiting for perfect conditions, in this case, knowing exactly where the story will go before I start.
  • I really have no idea where I want the story to go still. I keep waiting to figure out where I want this story to go and how it will end and what the characters want and if they’ll get those things, but nothing comes. Sometimes it does help to just write even when you have no idea where the story is headed, and in that case I wouldn’t really need an outline.

 

Ultimately, I’m still just not sure whether I’m a pantser or a plotter. I’ve pantsed two half-novels thus far, and it kind of worked for the first one, but didn’t really go that well for Queer Bookish Novel. I think I need to ruminate on that one more, but I’m worried that it’s just another way that I’m avoiding writing. I just want to work on Queer Bookish Novel in some way, and maybe I can count things like outlining and reading BIG MAGIC for creative inspiration and affirmation as working on the novel. Hopefully, doing those things will eventually lead to actually writing the novel. Plus, there’s nothing that says I can’t write and outline at the same time. I guess I just have to find something that works for me, and realize that “working on the novel” can mean more things than sitting down and writing until I’m ready to write again. I have to get over my fears and doubts first, so small steps that work towards the ultimate goal of Writing the Novel might be a good place to start.

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