Writing Update #3

Back at Room V and writing away

Word count: 79,051

Another month has flown by - doesn't it always when you're writing? Anyway, I'm so happy to have made some major progress with my first draft. If this is your first visit to my writing updates, I am writing a YA crime novel as part of my university dissertation (and beyond). I started off wondering where this project was going to take me and last month I had a major panic over structure. Since then, I've written the bulk of my first draft and I'm loving it.

This month I raised my daily word goal (well, I doubled it) because I became so immersed in the story that all I wanted to do was write all the time. I get up and write first thing in the morning and it leaves me feeling motivated for the rest of the day.

Obviously, writing isn't always feeling on top of the world. Every time I feel the seeds of panic creeping in, I remind myself of all the great feedback I've been getting so far. I've had around six or seven early readers looking over the first couple of chapters and I've got such an amazing response, better than I could have anticipated. So, I remind myself of the feedback I've already got to prove to myself that I can do this. 

This month I've been reading books that couldn't get further from the style I'm writing in. Last month was all about YA romance and capturing the voices of teen boys, but now I'm reading sci-fi, historical fiction and literary works. Anything to broaden my view of how to write because there's no 'one way'. You can put in a conversation via text messages, or make chapters extra long or short. I've realised that the possibilities of creativity are endless as long as it fits two major rules:

1. That is entertains
2. That it's suitable to the story

And I've been thinking even more about the essay that goes along with my novel. I re-wrote it entirely, on the feedback that it was too wooden before. This is where probably the best bit of advice I've got all month comes in. The power of the short sentence. I used to be nervous that short sentences, especially in essays, can seem overly simple. But actually, when used well, they can be powerful. 

Now that I'm coming up to the end of my first draft (only another few weeks of writing to go!) I'm planning the edits I want to make in my second draft, the strings of plot I need to work on, the characters I want to develop a little more and so on. I'm also beginning to look out for more people who would be interested in reading it after I've got a second draft. There's only so far a writer can go on their own, and I know I'm way too close to this work to spot the flaws. If you have the time and think you'd be a happy and helpful early reader, please email me: iamjessicarhope@gmail.com

See you next month! Love, Jess

Chat to me about all things writing and books on twitter: @JessikahHope and let me know if you have any questions you want me to answer in my next writing update!

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