Writing Update: Halfway Done With Camp!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Hey hey!

It's been a minute since my last update, but I come with great news. As of the middle of last week, I am officially halfway done with my novella!

I wanted to take time in this post to tell y'all how it's been going, what I've learned writing a novella as opposed to a novel, and my plan for finishing this thing.

So, how's it going?

Today's progress. TEN THOUSAND WORDS LEFT. (Insert confetti here)

Long story short (...ha!): Writing a novella is fun!

It's different from writing a novel not just in the length, but how I'm writing it. I've outlined this novella in almost the same way I outlined my novel (more on that in a little bit). And my word count per day is way shorter than what it was when I was writing my novel, too (834 words, give or take, versus 1,333 words) so I can meet my final goal of 25k words.

And, y'all, I love this story. I love where the plot is going, and I can't wait to tell you guys about it!

...I may disclose the synopsis once the novella is done. ;) But what I can tell you is that my novella is called Do Life. It'll make more sense once I tell you what it's about.

What have I learned writing a novella?

Well, here are a few things:
  • Just because it's shorter doesn't immediately make it easier. I'm still having to find ways to add length to this novella because I'm finding myself reaching my main plot points super quickly. In high school, I was taught not to be so wordy, and while that's great for academia, it's not for novels (or, in my case, novellas). 
  • Make your outline detailed, no matter how short your project is. My novel was detailed down to the letter, because for NaNoWriMo, I wanted to make sure I was intentional with my writing. For a novella, I've learned that I have to do the same thing, or else I just flounder and pad the chapters with text that I'm afraid might be unnecessary. But, hey, the joy is in the journey, right?
  • No matter the length of a project, you still have to budget time to get it done. I set goals for myself. For example, if I write 1000 words (as opposed to my required 800-something), I can play Fallout 4. Or something like that. Also, if you only have a limited amount of time, try timing yourself to write as much as you can within ten, twenty, or thirty minutes. The NaNo Word Sprint twitter page is great for this, but if you're not able to catch their sprints in real time, check out Fighter's Block.
  • Figure out what time is best for you to write and stick to it. Even with the shorter word count, some days, I've felt less motivated to write. But I've figured out that I write best in the mornings, so I do my best to write before lunch. Or, if that can't be helped, because life doesn't operate by a set schedule all the time, I do my best to either allocate time at the library or just write when I can.
  • Speaking of motivation, it's okay to take a break. 
  • At the same time, do not be afraid to write ahead. I took a day in the first half of my novella to write 3,000 words. I wound up getting to the halfway mark two days early, and that was the best.

How am I going to finish this novella?

I'm determined to finish this thing strong. And early!

I finished my novel a day early last year, and I feel like I can do that this year, too. What I'm going to do is make my outline way more detailed going forward, and then, just go in swinging, so to speak.

I'm excited to get this thing done, and I'm so thrilled and thankful that you guys have followed me in my writing adventures thus far. :)