Getting Back In the Groove

Hello, strangers! It has been some time since I got to write on this blog and I’m not going to lie–I missed it, as well as all of you. I’ve spent the past couple days trying to get caught up reading all the awesome posts I missed from the past two weeks and now I finally have time to write on. And while I do plan to write one talking about some highlights from my most recent vacation, today, I want to talk about something else.

About writing.

About getting excited about writing.

As you may have read in a previous post, I decided to revamp and completely rewrite my science fiction tragedy, once titled THE RESISTANCE. I have no idea what it’s going to be titled now. This revamp includes majorly altering the plot, changing not only the gender of my main character, but the personality, as well, not to mention a shit-ton of research I should have already done for the first draft and changing the POV from third person to first. Not only will this be my first novel writing featuring a female protagonist (I know, I know, way overdue), but it’s also my first novel-length work I’m going to attempt to write in first person.

When I first decided to make this change–that this change was necessary, in order for this story to ever work–I won’t lie: I was dreading the work involved. I was dreading the idea of completely throwing out an entire manuscript and starting over. But I knew I was making the right call and decided, once I got back from vacation, I’d tackle this massive revision project.

It took me a couple days to gather the guts to get started, but this afternoon, I worked on an outline for two hours.

And friends, it felt amazing.

Image result for dancing groot GIF

I only wrote out the backstory, the history, of the world and what happened before the story I want to tell takes place. And in doing that, I came up with a list of about half a dozen things I need to research–things that are completely out of my realm of expertise and I think are going to take a bit more than your average Google search to understand; not to mention I also discovered another dozen+ questions that I need to figure out the answers to, before I even think of trying to write out my conflict and map out my plot, beat by beat.

Even though I only worked on it for two hours, I already felt the daunting overwhelming feeling start to creep up; the feeling that I’m in over my head, that what I’m setting to achieve is impossible.

Yet even that feeling couldn’t mask my excitement.

Yes, there is a lot of work to do ahead of me. Yes, there are a lot of questions I don’t have answers to yet and aspects I need to research. Yes, it’s going to suck to, in a sense, rewrite completely a story I’ve already written. But the first draft sucked. It wasn’t what I wanted and it wasn’t what that story deserved. And I still want to tell that story. And the more I brainstorm and the more I research, the more excited I get about this story’s potential.

And damn, it just feels good to write again.

Cheers.

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Quest for Happiness: Week Thirty Five

Now wait a second, you might be thinking. There’s something missing

You’d be right. If you follow this Resolutions Series regularly, you’ll have noticed that the last time I posted was on week Thirty Two. You might also remember that I went out of town and disappeared entirely from every avenue, including this blog. Hence why we’re suddenly at Week 35 (also, how is it September already??). It’s also the reason why all of the “Last Week’s Goals” portions are blank this time around, because honestly, I can’t remember whether I completed those goals or not.

Jetlag does that to you.

But now that I’m back, I’m eager and ready to get back into the swing of things, which most definitely includes both kicking ass and struggling to achieve these goals.

Fitness:

  • Long-term Goal: Shape the body I want and become healthier.
  • Last Week’s Goal: N/A.
    • Status: So while on vacation and eating out for every meal for two weeks, I was prepared to gain back some weight and have some work to do when I got home. Luckily, London involves a lot of walking, so even though I was the ultimate pastry taster, I still managed to lose a pound over those two weeks and am right on track to keep up my fitness goals. Now to get back into the working out routine.
  • This Week’s Goal: Workout 4x, log food, meet target calorie count and look up some different exercises to start toning the muscles.

Writing:

  • Long-term Goal: Edit all previously written works. Query one.
  • Last Week’s Goal: N/A.
    • Status: Obviously didn’t do any writing, but I did think about the novel I want to rewrite a lot while I was gone. Now that summer is over and I’ve gone on vacation, my schedule should be pretty regular for the rest of the year. Which means my writing should be, too.
  • This Week’s Goal: Recreating writing routine and start drafting outline for the new RESISTANCE rework.

Reading:

  • Long-term Goal: Read 60 books.
  • Last Week’s Goal: N/A.
    • Status: I did have a streak there for a while of reading much more consistently than I have been of late, even before I went out of town. I’d read during meals and during lulls, even if it was only 10 minutes here and there. Which would add up and let me read a lot more books than I am now. I miss that. So I hope to get back into the routine of reading more often.
  • This Week’s Goal: Finish Red Seas Under Red Skies.

Relaxation:

  • Long-term Goal: Create and maintain a mindset that taking care of yourself is just as important as everything else.
  • Last Week’s Goal: N/A.
    • Status: Now that I’m in the mood to hunker down on my workout and writing goals, I also have to remember to fit in some time to relax, which for me, mainly comes in the form of video games. And considering Destiny 2 came out while I was abroad and all my friends are way ahead of me in levels, I have some catching up to do.
  • This Week’s Goal: Reach Level 15 with my Awoken Hunter.

Blogging:

  • Long-term Goal: Increase output over all three blogs, i.e., post more consistently.
  • Last Week’s Goal: N/A.
    • Status: I definitely missed reading blogs and writing my own. I hope to keep up some of the productivity I had on my better weeks over the summer as the semester gets underway, as well as increasing my interaction with the community.
  • This Week’s Goal: Catch up on all the awesome posts I missed, plus perhaps write a few of my own.  

Financial:

  • Long-term Goal: Manage money with more awareness, start retirement fund and build savings.
  • Last Week’s Goal: N/A.
    • Status: After spending so much money on vacation, I’m ready to get back into the frugal mindset–especially because I also want to finish my sleeve by the end of the year and that’s a bit pricey. Time to go back to the drawing board and figure out a game plan.
  • This Week’s Goal: Recalculate budget and get back to being frugal.  

Time to chase after goals and achieve dreams. It’s good to be back, friends.

Cheers.


So You Didn’t Make It Into Pitch Wars

If you are a part of or follow the writing community on Twitter–especially if you follow writing contests hosted on Twitter–then you know that today, August 24th, is a pretty big day.

It’s the day Pitch Wars mentors announce who they’ve chosen as their mentees.

I was one of the hopefuls this year. That status didn’t change to a mentee.

Obviously, there’s a lot of emotions resulting from that. Sadness. Disappointment. Confusion. Hurt. Anger. Discouragement. Jealousy. And if you’re one of the many–one of the majority–who also didn’t go from hopeful to mentee in the span of an announcement blog post (a blog post that reflected weeks and weeks of hard work and even harder choices by the entire Pitch War staff), you might be feeling any combination of those emotions, too, amongst others.

You may, like me, be feeling a little like Hiccup.

Hiccup. The son of Stoick, the leader of the Vikings. Hiccup, who by his own father, not to mention everyone else in the clan, was labeled as scrawny, weak and a nuisance. Everything the Vikings stood for and valued and exhibited, Hiccup seemed to lack. He was the first Viking who refused to kill a dragon, something that was sacred to their customs and necessary for their survival.

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When you think about the Hiccup in that story, you could easily feel discouraged or sad or angry. How can the clan be so against one of their own? How could they discriminate so? How does Hiccup keep going and keep fighting, staying positive, when he seems to not fit into the world that surrounds him?

But you can’t forget that Hiccup (^^) is the same Viking who was the first to ride a dragon.

Toothless. A Nightfury, the most dangerous dragon to exist and the most mysterious. Hiccup not only took down a Nightfury with a device he created himself, but he also befriended one, created a device to help Toothless fly, discovered the real reason why the dragons targeted the Vikings and their settlement, put a stop to that reason and then completely reversed the Viking culture, including dragons within their every day life, thus improving that every day life.

When you look at this side of Hiccup, you can’t help but cheer for him and feel elated, excited, inspired. Here is someone who is capable of doing great things, of taking charge, rising above challenges and creating new paths that were unbeknownst before.

Here’s the thing, though: that Hiccup is one and the same.

 hiccup GIF

The Hiccup that everyone got annoyed with because he spent more time tinkering with experiments and less time swinging a sword is the same Hiccup that showed mercy to a dragon when killing Toothless would have erased all the negative things his people said about him. The Hiccup that set the Viking settlement on fire during a dragon attack is the same Hiccup that earned the trust of a dragon to ride one.

The Hiccup that failed is the same Hiccup that succeeded.

So…how does this possibly tie in with getting rejected in Pitch Wars?

Because we’re all Hiccups.

As writers, we all have days where we feel like the black sheep amongst the village, where we feel like we don’t fit in. How could my story about droids taking over the world and annihilating the human race make it onto the NYT #1 Bestseller List, when all of those books exhibit X trait and Y qualities, and I’m not even published yet? We all have days where we doubt what we are (writers) and question why we’re even trying when we’ve failed so many times before. Can I really claim to be a good writer when I still confuse when it’s appropriate to use “who’s” and “whose”? Or when I can never spell “virtuous” right the first time, even though it’s in the title of my manuscript? We all have days and moments when what we write is shit, our stories aren’t flowing, we misspell a word in a query to our dream agent, we vent our frustrations online, we doubt every sentence we write, we feel like claiming to be a writer is a fraud.

We all have days when we don’t get chosen as mentors.

 hiccup GIF

So right now, you may be feeling like Hiccup before he meet Toothless, when he questioned how he could even claim to be Viking when he had so many strikes against him. Right now, it’s easy to focus on those negative emotions that bubble up after a rejection.

I want to remind you that while you feel like this, the other aspect of Hiccup is still very much a core part of you.

You know, post-Toothless Hiccup. The writer who crushes 7,000 words in one day because the words wouldn’t stop flowing–or perhaps writes one sentence even though they felt completely crummy and didn’t think they could get anything written that day. The writer who comes up with a new plot idea that sends chills of excitement down to their toes. The writer who gets giddy talking with their writing group, getting (and sending) feedback notes from (to) their CP/betas, who gets a partial request from an agent–or even a personalized rejection.

The writer who doesn’t give up, despite.

Because here’s the thing: yes, not getting chosen as a mentee sucks, because we feel like we’re missing out on the chance to get our writing noticed and learning from such amazing people. We feel that getting into Pitch Wars is a validation that our writing is good enough and now that we haven’t, how is anything we write any good? Or, we feel like we’ve missed our one chance in achieving our dreams. I, for one, am definitely getting a hot fudge sundae after work, eating healthy be damned. Because yeah, I’m bummed.

But here’s the other thing, the more important thing: the only way you’ve lost your chance; the only way that your stories don’t get told; the only way your writing isn’t good enough; the only way the door closes on your dreams, is if you stop. If you let rejection halt your tracks. If you stop believing in your stories.

And why would you do that?

How many dragons would have been killed if Hiccup gave up after Toothless was taken by his father, wrongly accused of hurting Hiccup and being dangerous? How long would the Vikings have lived in ignorance if Hiccup had given into his own despair and didn’t believe in himself–or Toothless?

So do you what you need to, Pitch Wars hopefuls, to help heal from rejection. Because it hurts and it does suck. Eat ice cream. Watch your favorite movie. Hang out with friends that make you laugh. Hug puppies. And then get back to work, whether it’s sending the manuscript you submitted into Pitch Wars to betas for feedback, brainstorming a new idea, plotting out a novel, writing character sheets, beta reading for someone else, reading a book from your genre, reading your mentors books in support of their dreams, or a plethora of other options to get back into the routine of writing.

 httyd how to train your dragon hiccup GIF

Because you are just as much a writer as Hiccup is a Viking.

 

Now it’s time for you to figure out exactly what that looks like.

Cheers.


Musings over “Ama Te Ipsum”

I had a very different experience writing the latest short story for the Muses, which can be read here, if you’re curious (also, if you do want to read this but don’t want any elements spoiled, perhaps don’t read this post). Usually, after a prompt is chosen, I write the story pretty soon after that and then have a few weeks in-between writing it and when my story is due to edit and wait, since I’m the last person to post in our rotation.

This time, I wrote the story two days before.

I had every intention to write it earlier. I even had an idea right out the gate, as it was the month I got to pick the prompt, and I had–what was in my mind–a really cool idea regarding a sci-fi setting and a main character with cybernetics who, in a society where their soulmate was determined by a time written on their wrist, discovers that her soulmate is herself when she stumbles upon a mirror (which is also forbidden in said society). I thought it could be a really fun piece that hinted at the importance of self love that would also enable me to dabble in the science fiction genre a little bit more, which I wanted to do. I was so excited to write this piece.

But time got away from me. Life got busy. And when I initially looked at the deadline (which was the middle of August and we were starting these stories in early July), I thought I had plenty of time.

And then Friday was no longer on the horizon, but instead, within the same week, only days away, and I hadn’t written a word.

I panicked and one afternoon, I sat down and forced myself to write, because I knew if I didn’t finish it that afternoon, my story wouldn’t get done. And I really didn’t want to do that. It took a couple of times leaving the computer, only to come back to it and force the words out, before I had a draft down. I had enough time the next day to do a few little edits, but overall, that first draft was what I was stuck with.

I wasn’t happy with it.

I was concerned that my worldbuilding wasn’t ingrained well enough and that readers wouldn’t understand the nature of the world I was trying to convey. I was concerned that my readers wouldn’t connect with my main character enough, that she didn’t have a distinct personality. I was concerned whether or not my readers would understand the ending and that I didn’t set it up properly. I was concerned that the message I wanted to convey–that self-love is just as important as romantic love–wasn’t clear enough (so I resorted to cheating with putting the message as the title in a different language).

Basically, I had this idea I was so excited about yet I felt I completely ruined in my execution, thanks to not taking the proper time to write this story and instead being rushed by my deadline.

And then I read this comment.

I’ve sat here for the last ten minutes after finishing this trying to find a way to distill my thoughts in a way that will make sense, and I find it to be a far harder task than I’d have imagined. I admit, I’d guessed at the twist a few paragraphs before reaching it, but I still find it a wonderful way to subvert such a classic trope.

I also very much enjoyed how thoroughly you built out this world in so short a time, using single words or phrases within paragraphs describing otherwise average things. It gives all the advanced technology a feeling of everyday normality that does wonders for making such an otherwise alien world feel just as average and routine as ours. This is amplified by the fact that this technology seems to revolve around a kind of future-gen social networking. Like Facebook taken to a ridiculous, yet still believable, extreme. That is to say, in a world where hyper-advanced cybernetics are commonplace, it seems only natural that the world’s social networking software would have evolved in kind.

Finally, I find the thing that really ties all this together and makes it all really work is your main character’s voice. It walks this fine line between human and robotic, emotional and clinical, and seems to perfectly encapsulate the apparent dual nature of the world and society Cora lives in. I find that it’s this element that takes your story from a cool and exciting concept, brings it up to the next level, and turns it into a story a reader like myself can actually connect with.

Well done and bravo. 🙂 — Zach of Quills and Controllers

I was absolutely floored.

The first reader to comment on this story and every single element I was so worried about, they enjoyed. Which happened to be the same trend from two other readers who reached out to me and gave me feedback on that story felt. Granted, I know three people isn’t a very big pool to reach a conclusion from, yet it was still three more people than I’d thought I’d find who enjoyed the story and understood what I was trying to do.

That was…a really neat feeling.

I may, ever slowly, be figuring out this short story thing, friends. Just maybe.

Cheers.


Quest for Happiness: Week Thirty Two

Fitness:

  • Long-term Goal: Shape the body I want and become healthier.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Maintain weight.
    • Status: Yes…I think. I haven’t weight myself yet (I weigh on Monday mornings), so I’m tentatively saying that I’m still okay and haven’t lost or gained anything. But I never went crazy, eating wise, and I averaged roughly 7,000 steps a day, so I’m hopeful.
  • This Week’s Goal: Maintain weight. Try and run.

Writing:

  • Long-term Goal: Edit all previously written works. Query one.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Do something creative, writing wise, and stop focusing on publishing so much, but instead, writing stories that I love.
    • Status: Yes! I finally got the courage to read through the beta feedback over THE RESISTANCE and made a game plan over how to, basically, completely rewrite this book. But I’m actually excited about it, which is a great start.
  • This Week’s Goal: Figure out THE RESISTANCE plot holes and narrative mechanics.

Reading:

  • Long-term Goal: Read 60 books.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Actually finish book and post review.
    • Status: Success! 
  • This Week’s Goal: Read another book. Choose which books to take on vacation.

Relaxation:

  • Long-term Goal: Create and maintain a mindset that taking care of yourself is just as important as everything else.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Enjoy the last week of summer.
    • Status: Yes. Though my weekend was shorted to only last a day, it was a lovely one.
  • This Week’s Goal: Watch Season 3 of The Musketeers. 

Blogging:

  • Long-term Goal: Increase output over all three blogs, i.e., post more consistently.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Post once on each blog.
    • Status: Killed it. I posted twice on the personal blog and three times on the book blog. Yeah, last week was good for blogging.
  • This Week’s Goal: Keep up awesome streak and clean up blogs.

Financial:

  • Long-term Goal: Manage money with more awareness, start retirement fund and build savings.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Don’t go crazy when going shopping this weekend.
    • Status: Eh? I didn’t go mental and spend a shit-ton of money, but some things (like a suitcase) were a bit more expensive than I thought. We’re still doing okay, though.
  • This Week’s Goal: Double check all bills are paid.  

So, I’m feeling pretty good about the strides I made last week. I’m also really jazzed because this week is the last week before I go on vacation! Which means a couple of things: one, after this week, all my blogs are going to go silent for two weeks, but I promise I’ll be back soon. Two, I may struggle really hard with actually accomplishing any other goals this week because I’ll be too busy looking up places in London. So…might have to be a little forgiving when I come back. But we’ll see!

Cheers!


The Silence of Meekness

I’m self-described as meek. Or perhaps timid is more apt, because looking at some of the definitions of meek, a lot of people seem to associate it with the idea that you are humble, gentle and kind, rather than being prone to violence or aggression. That definition reads being meek in a very position way–and you can label yourself meek and not take it negatively.

In my case, however, being meek is something I want to change, because I think that quality–the way that I exhibit meekness, also known as timidness or being shy–actually inhibits me from becoming the kind of woman I actually want to be. And I’m tired of being the only one standing in my way.

An example, if you will.

I got a new tattoo two weeks ago. A couple people knew about it beforehand, including my group of friends. When I went to play D&D with them last Friday, I really wanted to show them my tattoo, even though I was slightly embarrassed it was still in the healing stages (and my skin hates tattoos, so my healing process always looks worse than everyone else’s), so it didn’t look exactly great. Yet I never spoke up about it. I never said, “Hey guys, remember that ink I went to get last Saturday? Check it out.” I just stayed quiet throughout the evening and still, none of them have seen it.

Let’s do another example.

Family wants to go out to dinner and they suggest going to X restaurant. Yet I either a) don’t like said restaurant or b) really don’t feel like eating there. Yet instead of speaking up and saying anything, I kept my mouth shut. Same case when we’re trying to figure out what to cook at home.

Or I want to text my best friend and tell her a story, but I haven’t heard from her in a while, so I don’t want to interrupt her day, so I don’t say anything. Or I want to hang out with her but I don’t bring it up.

Or I really want to tell my love interest about how my day was, yet I don’t say anything until he asks. Or I’m really horny, but I won’t say or do anything unless he makes the first move.

Or.
Or.
Or.

Writing this out, I’ve discovered a trend, the aspect of my meekness that I don’t like and want to change. Because I’m meek and timid, it makes me quiet. It silences my voice, pushes back my wants, sacrifices my needs.

And I don’t like it.

I’m not saying that I suddenly want to become outspoken or the center of attention. I like being quiet, more reserved. I just want to stop being so scared to use my voice, because I think that’s what fuels my timidness, my meek-mindedness. Fear, complemented by me being a people pleaser and perhaps just a dash of introvertedness.

When I didn’t say anything about my tattoo to my friends, it was because I didn’t want to draw attention to myself, even if it was an important subject to me. When it comes to making decisions, I stay quiet because I never want to suggest the wrong one and then, in doing so, upset the other persons involved. When it comes to reaching out to friends and talking with them, I become timid in not wanting to interrupt their day or feel like I’m being needy. With my love interest, sometimes I don’t tell him my desires because I don’t want to come off as pushy or sex-crazed, so instead, I let him take the lead. I think I also fear getting rejected by him.

Obviously, this isn’t okay.

I may be introverted and I may be meek, but one of my most basic needs–that I really wish could be fulfilled daily–is communication, talking. I’m a storyteller. I really love to talk with the people I care about, whether it’s giving over-detailed stories about my day, ranting about something that’s bothering me, obsessing over the latest epic love or just trading stories. I need that communication to be happy, plain and simple. And it can come in different forms. In person is the best, but texting or emails are just as great, especially with people I don’t get to see daily.

And then there’s the opinion stuff, which can be as simple as telling someone what I want to eat for dinner to how I felt about a particular movie to how I feel about a certain topic I’m actually passionate about. So many times, I’ll hold back what I’m actually feeling or thinking, instead of speaking my mind and speaking candidly. I’ll submit to the other person’s desires or opinions.

Why? Why do I rob myself of not only the conversations that I need daily, but even the opportunity to have them? Why do I hesitate to be the person who actively starts a conversation or initiates an invite, instead waiting for someone else to take charge and follow suit? Why do I hold back my opinions, even when they aren’t controversial? Because I’m scared of rejection? Because I’m scared of interrupting someone else’s day and being labeled as a burden or needy or invasive?

Yeah, that’s not a worthy excuse.

I think this all stems from me hating myself for so long. I don’t hate myself any more, but old habits are hard to break, apparently. And I’m not saying I want to become this rambunctious, loud individual who always fights to get her way. Because I am genuinely happiest when those around me are happiest, so if that means eating a place that isn’t my favorite and sneaking in a bowl of cereal later, then by all means, of course I’m willing to do that. But I shouldn’t be afraid to at least offer my opinion. I shouldn’t be afraid to tell those I care about most what I’m thinking or how I feel about a certain subject or asking them to hang out. I shouldn’t be afraid to, hell, talk to those I love, whether it’s just about my day, my writing, the weather, whathaveyou.

I know this is a work-in-progress, for me. I know I’m not suddenly going to become confident overnight and find my voice where it’s always been lacking. But I’d like to promise to try. And for a first step, I think that’s a pretty damn good one.

Cheers.


Two Steps Back, A Million Steps Forward

Oh boy, do I have work ahead of me.

Remember reading this post, where I described my revelation of recognizing when you send a manuscript out too early to be read, because it’s still at the “this-book-is-shit” stage? Yeah, so I read through all of that beta feedback referenced in that post this afternoon and that status still stands.

As it sits right now, as a draft, THE RESISTANCE is, indeed, shit.

When I wrote that post, I felt really disheartened about that fact (and also embarrassed that I sent out such an shoddy example of my work). Knowing that mindset, I purposefully didn’t read through any of the feedback in-depth, because I knew it would either a) tear me apart or b) I’d feel really defensive and want to argue every criticism they made, becoming irrational and doing my betas a disservice.

Reading it today, in a much better mindset, having already accepted that my story is in its earliest stage and what my betas are claiming is most likely the truth, I could actually see the merit of my betas insight without taking it as a personal attack. I also realized another important thing.

So.much.revision.ahead.

I have a two page document filled with notes of things that I need to focus on. Namely plot, character and exposition. My main character was so passive, it drove my readers crazy and made them not care about him or his struggles in the slightest. They had no idea about his motivations or his drives and got tired of him being dragged around and forced to do things by other characters, instead of initiating anything himself. And there was no character arc, no growth, so by the ending, readers were left unsatisfied–not to mention that this was a straight-up tragedy, with no happy ending in sight.

Speaking of the ending, the dissatisfaction with the ending was also tied into my second main flaw: the plot. While I had the basic idea and conflict, the execution and finer details were desperately lacking. And the questions that my beta readers brought up, I couldn’t answer (hint: that’s a warning flag if I’ve ever seen one). Not to mention the specifics of the science and the magic system within it were…not present. A lot of plot holes. A lot.

Finally, there was the writing itself, which reflected my uncertainty of the plot and my unfamiliarity with the main character because it was overrun with exposition, constantly barraging my readers with info dumps and explanations instead of showing them what I wanted them to know and putting them in-scene. Not to mention I had two betas out of four who thought switching from third person to first person might be the better option.

I have so much to fix, so much to understand and so much to heighten that I got overwhelmed and wrote this blog post instead of getting started. However, I think writing this helped me get a better sense of direction.

First, I need to understand the plot. I need to understand the world, the mechanics, the conflict, the rationale, the stakes. I need to understand every angle and figure out what I’m trying to say with this book. Because that ending that everyone hated? I want that to stay. I really want to write a book where the ending that I have fits. But in order to do that, I need to make it still feel complete and rewarding while also heartbreaking.

But once I understand the plot, I can figure out the character that’s stuck within it. Figure out their past, their history, their quirks, their attitudes, their beliefs, their situation and then I’ll understand what they’ll do when I throw them into an apocalypse where 5% of the population is all that remains of the human race.

Once I understand the plot and the character and how they interact, I’ll map out the story. The beats. How we get from start to finish.

And then I’ll write it, which will be an interesting process, because I’ll mostly be starting out with a new draft–especially since I’m considering not only changing the POV, but also the gender of the protagonist–but I’ll also be salvaging scenes from the old one.

Plot. Character. Beats. Words.

A lot of revision ahead and lessons learned from this story, friends. Let’s hope I stay up to the task, hm?

Cheers.