What am I going to do for the rest of the year?

I’ve taken a break from writing since November ended, and I plan to start writing again today. I’ve given myself a goal of 200 words per day for the rest of the month, which is a pretty easy goal to reach. It won’t get me anywhere near close to finishing the novel, but it should get me the next few chapters.

I think I’m first going to go back to chapter 1 and break it into three chapters. Once that’s done, I can continue from where I left off. Or maybe I’ll add in some of those in-between chapters I talked about previously. I guess it doesn’t really matter where I start from, so long as I actually end up finishing this novel.

I actually plan on leaving the original chapter 1 in the chapters folder and and naming the new ones chapter 1.1, 1.2, and 1.3. For the inbetween chapters, I’ll probably have stuff like chapter 6.5, 7.5, 7.6, and so on. That may make it a little less annoying when I’m done with the first draft – instead of having to relabel early chapters as I finish them, I can simply have them in order and rename them in the second draft. Or maybe it won’t. I have no idea. I’ve never had to add chapters in the second draft.

Okay, that covers writing, but I’m not just going to write for the rest of the year. I also plan on doing some reading; I want to finish at least one more physical book before December 31st. That would bring my total books read this year up to 5, which sounds pitiful. It’s still better than last year. I’ve spent most of my reading time reading short fiction, and I want to see if I can reach 500 things read by the end of the year. I’m at 462 at the moment.

I was going to do Lexember, but December started and I hadn’t picked a conlang to work on. I still haven’t. Unfortunately, I don’t think I have time for it this year. There are simply way too many other things on my list.

I won’t be blogging as much this month as I did in November. I have nothing planned or scheduled, so posts will be posted as I think of them, which might not happen at all.

It’s December. It’s almost 2023. I gotta start thinking about my goals for the new year, don’t I?

NaNoWriMo 2022 Results

Unsurprisingly, I won NaNoWriMo! I ended up writing 50,029 words overall and got a pretty good start to a new novel. Since I already went through my writing in Monday’s blog post, I won’t do that here.

What I didn’t mention in that post is that my writing this year was actually pretty irregular. There were two days where I didn’t write at all, one day where I wrote something like 20 words, and eleven where I wrote over 2k. There was even one day where I wrote 3797 words.

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Above is the graph of my writing progress per day, from the NaNoWriMo website. You can sort of see the days where I attended write-ins, because they typically are the days when I write the most.

Writing Update: November 2022

Writing has gone incredibly well this month. After not having written regularly for almost an entire year, I thought that getting back into it would be difficult. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case. If anything, it’s been easy.

So easy, in fact, that I ran into the first moment where I was stumped and didn’t know to start the next chapter yesterday. It didn’t take me very long to figure out a solution to the problem – switching perspective to a different character a few chapters earlier than I had planned.

The quality of my prose, on the other hand, is actually pretty bad, since I’ve been focusing on getting the words down instead of trying to make anything look nice. It’s not really much of a problem since my writing style is pretty plain to begin with. I’ll just have to vary my word choice in future revisions so it isn’t obvious that I’m repeating certain phrases. Because that’s what I’ve been doing.

Even though it’s NaNoWriMo, I’ve come to the realization that I’ve written less than I could have. Not with regards to the typical NaNo filler or anything like that, but actual plot, worldbuilding, and character development. There’s an entire main character whose perspective I’ve completely ignored. Going back and adding in chapters from her point of view would actually help flesh out the world more. Things also happen too quickly in the first chapter, and expanding it into three chapters would help introduce the characters and their personalities a little better. That was my plan before NaNoWriMo started, but then I got impatient and wanted to jump right into the action.

The month isn’t quite over yet and I haven’t reached 50k yet, but it’s been great so far. I am actually having fun writing this story.

And no, I still haven’t managed to come up with a working title for it yet.

Why am I blogging so much, anyway?

I genuinely can’t remember if I made a post like this before. Maybe I did in 2021? Who knows. I’ve written so much on this blog that 2021 was basically centuries ago.

I originally decided to get back into blogging because I thought it would help my writing skills. Writing is writing, right? Writing blog pots should totally help with writing fiction, right?

It definitely has helped…my ability to write blog posts. It has not helped my fiction writing skills, of course, because writing fiction is what improves your fiction writing skills.

Despite that, it hasn’t been a waste of time. I get a lot more traffic to this blog than I did before. More people visiting means more followers, which means more people potentially reading my actual fiction and comics. It’s the kind of attention I like!

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Why did I decide to use Kishotenketsu this year?

When I first started planning the story I’m writing for NaNoWriMo, I didn’t set out to use a particular story structure. It isn’t something I’ve ever done. I’ve never outlined in a way that uses a particular story structure before, unless you include the creative writing I did during English classes in school a very long time ago. I don’t.

I’ve never set out to use the typical Western three-act story structure. It genuinely isn’t something I’ve ever thought of doing – and I’ve been writing seriously since 2008. Picking any kind of story structure and actually following it is very new to me.

Sometime in October, I remembered reading that the kishotenketsu structure has four parts: introduction, development, twist, and resolution, with the “twist” part recontextualizing everything that happened so far in the story. That was actually very similar to what I already had planned for the story, so I thought: why not? It certainly wouldn’t hurt to try out an actual story structure this time, especially since it wouldn’t require much (if any) extra work.

So that’s the whole reason I’m using kishotenketsu this month: basically, a coincidence.