A Bit of a Writing Update

Ever since I dropped Advanced Composition at the beginning of November, I have been immersed in the wonderful world of world creation.

With the release of some of the pressure in my schedule, I have plunged myself into the outline for my current fantasy novel. With the help from several online friends who are helping me develop my characters, and the creation of rigid goals for each week, I have made tremendous progress. I hope to finish my world development and outlining by late January and start drafting by February at the latest.

Now that I have set my goals, it’s time to fulfill them. For me, that means locking myself in my room with a space heater and tea for two hours three times a week. It means digging deep into the hard and confusing questions every author has to work through to make each story work. It means asking fellow writers to torture me with questions about my world, making me think through every detail, floundering until I come up with the right answer.

The world creation process is fascinating. It’s one of the most exciting and thrilling parts of the writing process.

But it’s also hard. Very hard. To write a good story, you have to have a good foundation. No matter how much editing you do in your sixth or eighth draft, you can’t revise a weak foundation. You have to make good decisions on the outset of the writing process so that you won’t create endless problems for yourself down the road.

But all in all, I’m thoroughly enjoying this process right now.

In other news, the results from the OYAN novel competition will be announced Monday (I submitted True Identity in August). There are a lot of people who are nervously awaiting the results. Honestly, I’m not really one of them.

I know that True Identity was not a very strong book. It had some major flaws that I brushed over in the beginning and thus had to live with for the duration of the process. It didn’t have nearly enough editing time and even with more editing, there were simply too many innate mistakes.

Ergo, I really am not expecting positive results from the contest. I’m not saying that to put myself down or to say that all the hours I put into the book are worthless. True Identity was a huge step for me and I learned SO much in the process. Submitting it was one of the greatest accomplishments in my writing life thus far.

I have simply accepted the fact that I’m still learning. I am grateful for every bit of the process of writing True Identity. And I hope to take what I have learned from it and apply those lessons to my next book.

On the flip side, being placed as a Semi-finalist (for instance) would be a great encouragement for me and boost my energy in writing. But I am not going to let my writing life hang on this one competition. God knows what is best for me. If He were to grant me success, then I would be grateful for it and use it to further my writing skills.

But if not, then I will continue in my learning, knowing that God gave success to the ones who needed it.

I will still be attending the Contest Winner Announcement webinar to cheer on my many friends who entered and I’m wishing everyone the best of luck.

I’m holding this competition in an open hand, knowing that God is omniscient, sovereign, and perfectly good. What happens will be best for me and my writing. So I’m not going to waste time worrying over it or pouting about results. I’m going to take whatever comes as a gift from God and plunge back into work for my next book.

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