Writing Lessons – 2016

With my NaNoWriMo project completed it’s time to start wrapping up the year, and what better way than by reviewing all the things I did right and wrong in regards to writing this year?

While writing is by its very nature a solitary craft, I’ve discovered that the lessons learned by other, more prominent writers, can sometimes help me improve. So with that in mind I’ll go ahead and share with you, dear reader, the lessens that 2016 has taught me.

#1) Novelettes are fun. 

In fact, I’d never even heard of a novelette until I started writing Torven. The little story was too big to be considered a short story but too small to be a novella. While it might look a little silly in paperback form because … I mean … it’s barely a pamphlet … There is the potential of combining many of these little stories into one volume. Which I might do in the years to come, I just have to write more.

#2) Thorough Outlines Work

… Sometimes.

OK, it depends on the story. And it might not work for some authors but it certainly seems to work for me. All the agonizing that I tend to do during the second and third drafts gets dumped into the month-long construction of the Outline, which allows me to tackle the plot from many different vantages until I come up with some really good twists and such.

#3) Collaborations Work

For my NaNoWriMo project I had help making the outline. And in fact I intend to keep using that help when it comes to the male POV because … I’m a girl and while I do tend to stick close to my characters to help me flesh them out on the page, I’m still … you know … a girl.

#4) I enjoy writing Fantasy

Given that my career started with a fantasy novel (Sedition) this shouldn’t come as much of a shocker, but still … I’ve been writing other genres for so long now that when I sat down to write Torven it was a real joy to write. That’s not to say I will stop writing in the other genres, just that I know I delight in these sorts of books so I will be making an effort to focus on them a bit more.

#5) I really can write a first draft in 2 months

It’s hard, but I can do it. So I’ll be fixing my writing schedule to push myself that direction. Editing will take longer, of course, but I can get the skeleton of a story down in 2-3 months and that’s not bad. So long as I have the skeleton to work with, I’m good.

And that’s it. That’s what I learned in 2016.

Apart from … you know … the stuff my 8-year-old taught me such as Pokemon (Holy Hannah, why is that so popular?) and Minecraft (again, I do not understand the appeal) and how to dodge a kitten who seems intent on ambushing us around any given corner.



5 thoughts on “Writing Lessons – 2016

  1. Thanks for your love and friendship. Keep up the good work. Dan and I wish you and have a Merry Christmas a prosperous new year. Hugs

  2. I am somewhat moderately confused, AJ. I tried to leave a comment about prologues and epilogues, and ended up here.
    My experience is similar to yours. Most of my drafts have prologues, and many lose them in the way a tadpole loses its tail when it becomes a frog.

    1. lol, the comments for the current blog conversation is up at the top of the blog instead of the bottom. It confused me at first too.

      Tadpole tails are a good way to describe that, lol

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