I just started the third draft of my longest story yet. It’s 200 pages or 124,000 words long! I wrote this story in late 2016, did the second edit in mid-2017 and now here I am again. I remember that I really loved writing this book. I had a rough outline in my head and mostly knew where it was heading, but I pantsed the entire writing process. Which is strange, because I mostly plan my other books to some degree.
I think it was a good thing that I did it this way because it created a sense of urgency to write before I forgot. I was also writing about 2,000 words a day around my splits shifts. Morning, lunch and night. It was a massive achievement to get something like this done because all my other writing marathons have always been under 50,000, most averaging around 30,000.
The split shifts helped because I’d write for a few hours and then go to work and it’d make me plan out what would happen next. Though the process is not without fault. One of the minor characters seems to have gone missing with no explanation. And the main character is a bit unrealistic. Eekk, my bad. I’ll have to work something out.
Currently, I’m a minimalist and it has come about after years of living a poor uni student lifestyle on Youth Allowance and then afterward I was on either the doll or when working I was saving as much money as possible so I could get my UK visa. I left Australia with only a large suitcase and backpack.
Then when I was in the UK I was fortunate to get a flat with my husband that had furniture supplied. WIN! I’ve grown accustomed to not having a flashy lifestyle, in fact, I think I’ve got a good thing going. I don’t drink alcohol (it tastes nasty and in Australia, its expensive as fuk) and I’m a pretty quiet person (husband recently said I was a lone wolf). I don’t need that much to live on. So having a simple waitressing job is enough for me to financially support myself.
In terms of writing, I agree with the writing advice that say to remove all superfluous words or use only one word if it gets the message across. I had a friend who mentioned something along the lines of that every word I wrote had a place or that there were no unnecessary words. And I was like, yes, that is what I want in terms of my writing.
Why have a hundred words when only fifty will do just as fine? Yeah, it might mean my stories are in the novella range, but I don’t want to be wasteful. If I can write my stories with fewer words then I will.
I may be a week into February but I’ve decided that my goal for this month will be to finish the first draft of Calico. So far I’m 12,000 words in and on chapter 6. I still don’t quite know how this book will end either. But I’m having fun writing it, even though it’s only a few hundred words at a time (because of split shifts at work). But since it’s going to be a novella I should have it done by then 🙂
I really am cheap, I could try and dress it up as frugal, but that would be wrong. If I can do something myself, write, edit and design, whatever, instead of pay someone else then I’m going to have a crack at it. But they’re professionals you say, they’ve got more experience and talent. Well, I say that they got there by practicing and working on their craft. Which is what I can do too.
I write in my spare time as both a form of entertainment and low expense hobby. I’ve been doing it seriously for at least five years now.
I edit all on my own stories. I have yet to hire a professional to do what I can do for free. And for the record, I’m a pretty decent self-editor. Turns out that editors are not some mystical being that all writers absolutely need. I’m also full of a crippling fear that drives me to be a bit of a perfectionist.
I source all my cover photos from stock websites. I spend hours mulling over what image I should buy because for the last few years I’ve been living with the aftereffects of having a budget and sticking to it. I die a little when I waste money now.
I do all the photoshopping/editing when it comes to my book covers. Here is where I admit that I do not have much experience with that skill. That is why I keep things simple. I pick an image that I think represents the story as a whole and I keep the text over it simple.
My god, this rehash edit of Calico took forever. I had to do so much for it. But I didn’t feel that my writing quality was poor 🙂 In fact, I think that it shows me how far I’ve come. I thought what I had written was pretty decent actually.
If you want to know what I call a rehash edit is, it’s a term I’ve come up with to describe going over an old story that I’ve mostly forgotten about. I just can’t help but edit as I try to get back into the groove. This is chapters 2-5 🙂 The text after that is dot points in what I think I should add to the story.