Welcome! A. E. here. I’m here to say… Vacation is over everybody! The last time I posted on this blog was July 26th, so two weeks ago. These past two weeks I’ve been doing anything but writing on Zippy Mae and the Seven Kingdoms. My brain felt sore and worn out, I couldn’t think of anything. And beating myself up for not writing made it worse. So I took a break.
And now the two weeks are over, and so is my vacation. So now that I’m about to get back on the horse and continuing riding (writing), I wanted to talk about the writing journey I’ve been on so far and a peek into where I’m hoping on ending.
In December of 2019, I had been working on a story with a young girl named Lilly Atterbury, and her magic cat Pipkin, a sidekick named Ashbrook Gellhorn and in a fantasy world in a town called Hattensburg.
By the new year, the story evolved into an adult novel with a woman named Tzipporah Atterbury with the nickname Tzi with a sidekick named Ezell Landon, and took place in our modern world.
Then by May 2020, Zipporah Mae Freedman appeared nearly in full-form. She was a mix of the two girls who came before her, and younger than both and her world is both modern day and fantasy world.
And for that matter, I am still in the very early stages of this novel. Most of the characters don’t have names and instead are placeholder names with Jill, Tim and Mike, though Ezell Landon did manage to make his way into this book so he’s still around, just younger and a bully instead of a friend.
Also, I haven’t completed the world-building of the Seven Kingdoms and in fact I don’t intend to.
You see, I don’t want to exhaustively world building BEFORE I start the first draft. I also don’t intend to write out the entire series before I start writing the first book. And yeah, I know that’s not recommended but there’s no official rules on how to write a series, let alone rules on how to write a book, so I’ll do it the best way I know how and how it best works for me.
Why? Because a surefire way to burn me out and bore me is planning out the entire story before I write the story in the first place.
Writing for me is about:
Finding out as I go along.
That’s what makes novels fun. I am more a pantser than I am a planner. I’ve found out these past two years that the more planning I do the less writing I do because by then I’m bored and tired of my story. I’ve lost all the adventure in writing by planning it out.
So I’ll write the first draft before doing anything else. I don’t want to fill out a character profile sheet when I haven’t even written a scene with my character. I don’t want to write out everything about one of the Seven Kingdoms when I haven’t been to that certain kingdom yet.
Write the story. Explore. Discover. Find out about this world as I go along.
Yes. That means the first draft is going to be a bloated mess of 250k words (that happened to The Other Side, draft seven. But that made the eighth draft my first completed draft). That works for me because I’m writing and exploring and discovering and NOT EDITING anything. I get the words down first and I’m having fun. I’m driving without a road map but I still get to my destination.
THEN I piece out what works, write out what I learned about the world, create character profiles based on what’s happened so far.
And then comes the second draft.
However I can say that I have figured out the ending of the last book (book 7 as of now), while I currently have no idea about the plot of the first book. What can I say? That’s how my brain works.
In conclusion, I discover the story by writing the story. I don’t plot first, I figure out the plot as I write, and take notes on it as I go, but continue to explore the world and the characters by writing. When the first draft is done, I carve out what works, dump what doesn’t work, fill out character profiles and world-building documents, then jump into the second draft.
I have seven separate scenes for the first draft, but nothing solid, and nothing connected. Still in the very beginning of the first draft.
I have a deadline.
The first draft of Zippy Mae and the Seven Kingdoms is due December 31, 2020. So I’ll definitely be updating on my Writing Journey series at that time! Can’t wait.
What are you guys writing on? What’s your writing journey so far? Let me know in the comments!
And as always, while I write my cat Aomine keeps me company by my side.