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Unfinished Drafts

My greatest “sin” as a writer, is never finishing my stories. I have plenty of drafts that I think have a solid foundation, and with the right plot arcs, characters, and strong ending, could become novels I would be more than happy to publish. The issue, as always, is the brick laying of the story that will eventually build a solid house. Much like the first two piggies in the Three Little Pigs tale most of us know so well, it’s much easier and quicker to build a house of straw or wood. But we all know how those ended up.

This is good gif I got nothing

The Process

As a writer, and you’re reading this, perhaps you’re in the same boat. Being a creative type means it’s easy to visualize amazing scenes, fully constructed characters, and a story that is absolutely amazing. In theory. The next step, of course, is to bring that story to life but it’s not as easy or as complete as your mind makes it seem. It requires:

  • Strong introduction (to keep people – and yourself – reading.)
  • Building characters (who aren’t as complete as you thought they were after all. And they don’t listen.)
  • Fully constructed worlds (that are more than just the interior of a house, or a sunlit meadow.)
  • Plots! (Because it’s a story and that’s how they work – mostly.)
  • Strong middle (that one scene where everything was epic! And then someone dies *Gasp*)
  • Wrapping up of story arcs (nothing worse than wondering what happened to everybody else.)
  • Strong finish (Leaving you satisfied both with the story, the direction it went and the epic-ness of it all.)

Only all of these aren’t simple. You have to also consider point of view, setting, world, timeline, sequence of events, dialogue, writing style, if it makes sense, and is it believable (yes even in fiction). And then there’s the process of writing it all out too. Setting time aside dedicated to stringing the words together. Then editing, beta reading, re-writing if necessary, re-editing and then finally bringing it to life in its published format. It’s not easy. It’s not quick. It’s not for the weak.

The Struggle

I am pretending to write something down gif

Most of the time, even before half the book is written, my mind does that flee or fight thing. I either find the whole process tedious, find that the story in my head is not as exciting as I thought it would be, or the the idea in my head and the story I’m writing are not even the same anymore. So I move on to the next idea that pops into my head. Flee.

Other times I push through and write a couple more pages, plot it out again and try to keep the idea going until I have a semblance of what I want. Fight.

A lot of the time, something else pops up and whatever inspiration was fueling my story ebbs and I no longer have an idea where I was was going or what I was trying to achieve with it. Even with research points, story arcs, character interviews and everything else. This is because I’m an emotive writer and if what I’m writing doesn’t “light my fire” well then off to the drafts folder it goes.

The Cheat

Short stories allow me to write that epic scene without the baggage. By that I mean, I don’t have to explain the origins nor the final conclusions of the story. The short story serves a particular purpose and only requires readers to know as much as I need them to know. And it doesn’t have to take 50 000 words or more to do that.

Of course with this, I hurt myself more than I gain. My story is never fully realized and all I have is one scene. More than once I’ve considered expanding a short story into a fully realized novel only for the above mentioned symptoms to take over.


I struggle to keep one idea going. Camp NaNoWriMo has proved that it’s possible, but after I reach my goal it’s like my brain shuts down and even the mere thought of the story (let alone editing it *gasp*) mentally tires me out.

Have you completed a novel? What kept you going through all the ups and downs? What motivates you past boredom, doubt and fear? Because you know what…

writing is hard gif

PS: Rachel, you’re not helping with this: Top Ten Ways to Avoid Writing


NaNo 2015 Update

NaNoWrimo: Winner!

With 8 days still to go before the end of Novemeber, I managed to hit my 50K target last night at around 11:30PM. This was after a grueling battle with procrastination, discipline and life, where I attempted to use as many excuses as I could manage, to put it all off for another day. I still had 8 days left in the week to finish anyway right? And during those couple of hours, writing 5000 words seemed a mammoth of a task to undertake, regardless of the previous days when I managed 5000 words in a couple of hours thanks to writing sprints.


The last 2500 words were the hardest, and for some reason I could not see how I was going to put more story into my story to fill it up. At the same time, my phone kept going off as messages streamed in from the local NaNos WhatsApp group we created, of all the people who were still doing sprints and encouraging one another onward. Also fellow rivals were competing to see who would hit 50K first and so I decided I might as well go for it and go for it I did.


Looking back, I must say that the Write-Ins and fellow NaNo-ians were my best encouragement in pushing me so far. On my own it’s easy to talk myself out of writing but with so much encouragement from an outside source, how could I fail.

Novel Completion

Now I can cruise forward with my novel and get all the story out and use my new copy of Scrinever to sort out my characters, scenes, locations and story properly in preparation for all the editing in December/January. Fun times!

Book Reading

I am almost done with reading Terry Pratchet’s Colour of Magic, the first book in the Discworld series and therefore will have accomplished my reading goal for the month. I know one book (less than 200 pages) in a month is an underachievement but with NaNo and life happening, I knew reading wouldn’t be high on my list. Nonetheless I have thoroughly enjoyed reading it and am definitely looking to get the rest of the series.

Reading List

I stumbled into a bookstore (dragged by a pining heart) and left with an addition to my list of books to read:

The Well by Catherin Chanter

The Harvest Man by Alex Grecian

The City and 77 Shadow Street by Dean Koontz

ALL BOOKS by Brandon Sanderson

Endgame and The Calling by James Frey

And so much more.

Onward Forth

To all of you still trudging through the NaNo snow, keep on keeping on and know that victory is attainable by sitting down and writing.

Monday Motivation

Happy Monday!

Are you happy it’s Monday? Why not? Did you know that Attitude determines Altitude? If you are down in the dumps and your attitude displays that then the day will be like that too, and how hard you are willing to work will reflect that attitude. So let’s turn it up!

So now that we’ve got that out of the way I will move forward to the post itself.

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