Previously I have uploaded two blog posts talking about my process of writing and editing my WIP at the time. But a couple months ago (March) I decided to step away from that project. If you read those blog posts, you would have noticed how excited I was to get back into working on that novel. During April Camp Nanowrimo, I was planning on finishing the edit of the first draft. However, I was struck with two new novel ideas, and when this happened, I realised that I no longer had the passion or determination to continue working on that novel.
So the first new idea I came up with I loved and it came to me after I finished reading Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira (one of my favourite books of all time). So I sat down over a couple nights and wrote out a chapter outline thinking that I would start writing it after I finished editing my ex-WIP.
But… that’s not what happened.
After watching the 13 Reasons Why Netflix series, I was struck with another new novel idea. I was so excited to start writing this, that I decided to scrap the novel I had already written and push aside the outline I made (I do plan on writing the draft for that one during November Nanowrimo) to start working on this new WIP.
I am going to give a few points on what my new WIP is about;
- It is told from the perspective of four different characters (teenagers)
- It’s a YA contemporary (I honestly don’t think I could write anything else)
- It focuses on mental health with themes of suicide, depression and anxiety, along with issues of domestic violence, physical abuse, emotional abuse, eating disorders, bullying and rape
- Each character is completely different and are going through their own things (which evolve throughout the course of the novel). However, their stories all intertwine in a way (I’ll keep this a secret for now)
That’s all I’m going to share for now, but hopefully if I continue to write these blog posts then I will definitely be sharing more about it!
So, April Camp Nano came along, and I didn’t really have a large goal to write. I set my goal to 20000 words, but I wasn’t going to pressure myself into writing if I didn’t feel like it. I just wanted to get it started. I decided to write one character’s story/perspective at a time to make it less confusing for myself to have to switch between voices all the time. So my plan for April was to finish one characters perspective. I ended up writing the first character and half of the second character’s perspective which was so much better than I thought I was going to do.
I estimated to write about 20000 words for each character’s perspective, which would make the draft about 80000 words. The first character’s story ended up being around 25000, so I was already above the limit I set myself. I also wrote about 10000 words of the second character during April Nano. So you could say that April Camp Nano was a success.
After April, I had to go back to uni (I was on mid semester break for most of the month), so I was planning on taking it slow from there and just writing what I felt like. But then I discovered The Ampersand Prize where you submit a draft of your manuscript and the winner gets it published (long story short). The deadline is the end of July sometime, so I set myself a goal. I was going to finish this book at the end of June and edit during July and no matter how unedited it was, I was going to enter anyway because I had nothing to lose.
I aimed to write about 1000 words a day, so in May I finished the second and third characters’ perspective, and on June 15 I finished the first draft when I completed the fourth and final character’s perspective. My first draft ended up being 87000 words which is probably a bit too much for a YA contemporary, but that’s what editing is for! I wrote two first drafts for novels last year; the first being 40000 words and the second being 60000 words. Even though I really was only working on this draft for two and a half months as opposed to the one month that I spent on the other two, I put so much time and effort and love and passion into this story so when I finished (5 days ahead of schedule), it was the biggest relief.
But I finished it!
It was long and hard. And reading back on it now, it’s far from perfect and there’s a lot of work to do before I won’t cringe reading it. But I’m actually really happy with it overall. I think it’s a really important story that I am passionate about and WANT people to read. I decided last week that I’m probably not going to enter it in The Ampersand Prize. I’m going to see where the manuscript is at that point of the deadline, but I doubt it will even be readable by that point.
If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about my editing process (which I am starting during July Camp Nanowrimo) then comment below and I will be sure to keep up with posts like these.
*** Also if you are interested in being a Beta Reader for when I’m ready for someone to read it, then you can DM me on Twitter (please… I have no writing or reading friends!). Just keep in mind that there are trigger warnings for the topics I mentioned above!
Also something I didn’t mention above, each chapter is titled a name of a song which I think sets the mood for each chapter. So with each writing blog post, I’m going to share one of these songs/chapter titles and a character so you can get a better grasp on the novel.
Character of the day:
Aidan is probably my favourite side character from the book. He is loud, full of fun and laughter, and he’s a hip-hop dancer. I only wrote one romance (if you even want to call it that), and Aidan is one half of this couple.
Song of the day:
Chapter One: The Last Day on Earth by Kate Miller-Heidke