How did I do on this month’s creative challenge?
I worked on one of my two original goals.
I set out at the beginning of the month to either:
- Revise two chapters of the same piece—OR
- —revise the same chapter for two different pieces.
I’m breaking my original novel into two different books (romance and thriller). I have a fun idea for a sort of Gillian Flynn-esque book. And I want to write a cotton candy fluffy romance where the characters are fun and likable, fall in love, and live happily ever after. Both of these stories are based on pieces of the story I originally wrote last November for NaNoWriMo.
I revised two chapters and ended up with one.
I revised two chapters from the second draft of my original story to go with the suspense/thriller plotline. I ended up condensing two chapters into one and adding new action to show how shitty my main character is. Some things aren’t working, but I at least have a clear plot so I can adjust to make the characters and setting more believable, interesting, and likable enough for people to keep reading. I left some romance in the story to distract the reader (and at least one of the characters) from what’s really happening.
I shared with my writing group for review.
I’ve never shared fiction for critique. I shared my fiction many times for others to read for fun. I’ve shared my non-fiction for critique countless times (only recently with people who are actually good at writing). I was a little worried that this story wasn’t as good as I hoped it would be, but it seems like (based on a sample size of three) people have some interest in it with some tweaking.
One critique was about not wanting to read more unless there was a bigger hint of something weird happening later. Another was that the main character isn’t likable enough to keep reading and that we need to know more about her to invest in her story. And another was that we need to know more about the creepy/weird hotel. All of these are pretty easy to address, but I’ll have to move some of my reveals to the front end of the book.
Where to go now?
- I need to revise this chapter again before moving forward with the rest of the story. Some of the things I’d planned for later probably need to be in this first chapter to keep people interested in reading.
- I need to learn more about setting up a first chapter. I’m taking some online writing classes and plan to take at least one in-person workshop.
- I need to research. I’m reading a book written by a sociopath about sociopathy to help with my main character’s inner dialogue. Both my characters fall somewhere on the spectrum of sociopathy. I will never say that the characters have a mental illness because they’re going to exhibit the most stereotypically negative traits of untreated cases and I don’t want my book to increase the stigma of mental illness. I guess the research is for me to use to keep the characters’ actions believable and in line with what a sociopathic person might do.
- I need to rewrite my character sketches. My characters are different from the original characters I wrote.
Do you write? If so, what’s your process?