This week, I have achieved what I set out to do: I finished the first draft of my short story! Those last few pages went by so quickly but that might have just been the sheer enjoyment of using my typewriter over actually writing fast, who knows? That little stack of typed pages with the tiny punctures from the viscous full stop sat proudly on my desk for the whole of one evening until I had it in my hands and jammed it through the scanner onto my laptop. I had to settle for a free, somewhat temperamental OCR program which didn’t scan quite as accurately as would have hoped but saved me time in the long run instead of copying out the manuscript word by word.
It was then out with the red pen and metaphorical scissors for the long awaited editing. Those pages are now covered with scribbles, spelling corrections, rephrased sentences, suggestions for alternative words and phrases to check for repetition. I was surprised to find very little adverbs as it happened but I did remove a lot of “that”s (which I suggest you do too: you’ll be surprised at how unnecessary they often are and how much they disturb the flow of your prose) which found there way in.
Once I had finished with the corrections and ticked said corrections off (admittedly, very satisfying), I slung it into Grammarly for one final check and read through. It’s now been given to my first trusted guinea pig for a test read so hopefully they’ll come back with some improvements for me to make before I send it off to my second guinea pig.
I’ve also settled for a pen name!
I am deeply ashamed. I started this blog with the hopes that it would bloom into an enjoyable, productive and social platform. In reality, however, it became a responsibility that, when missed, much like revision and exercise, was a soul-crushing guilt. My neglect was probably because I realised that it required around the clock attention and regular posting: something I am not good at. I also realised that I’m not as interesting as I first thought and was, by the sixth and seventh post, scraping the barrel for things to say. The honest truth is that writing is a very repetitive process in the mechanics of it all and once you’ve written about your day once, you’ve pretty much written a post that will cover your average day for months to come. On top of this, I balance writing alongside my studies so the days when I actually manage a decent amount of writing are few and far between. Anyway, having unloaded all this on you unsuspecting, lovely, lovely people, I am glad to say that having spent a few months away from here I am ready to come back even if for another month only to go away again. I’ve managed some writing so I’ve got that to talk about! Do you have any suggestions of things to talk about? It’d be great to hear from you again.
There’s something immensely satisfying about a growing stack of paper filled with your own words. I’m really getting into this short story business but then that could be because I’m writing this in 3rd person as opposed to 1st and that just comes easier to me. Anyway I’m half way through and the best bit’s to come…Eeeek!
In other news I passed my driving test today and I’m over the moon. Soooo…all in all I’ve been very productive. Nothing can slow me down now, nothing.
What have you been up to today? Do pray tell.
Anyhow I’ll be off. See ya.
I’ve started typing the first draft of my short story which at the moment has been given the title “A Bird’s Nest”. I’ve found it a lot easier than I thought it would be but then again it is only the first draft and I may look back on it and detest it. Anyway in terms of the actual writing I’m well on the way to getting it done in the next few days – in fact there is a chance I’ll exceed the word count! So far I’ve calculated that four pages per scene will be fine and I’m finding that I get through these quite quickly; that’s either a good thing or a bad thing. I’m really enjoying being able to start a story and have it develop rapidly instead of gradually like in a novel which brings me onto my next point.
Chapter two is finished! This was considerably longer than the first so I’m pretty happy it’s done. I can see that chapter three, mind you, is going to be a bit trickier to tackle. I’m still deciding on the character’s tone and story. I’m hoping that by the end of chapter four; when all the characters have had their say; I’ll have got this problem under my belt.
Any tips on overcoming this problem if all else fails?