May Summary

I spent the first half of May completely and miserably stuck on my novel. There was something fundamentally wrong with it, and I couldn’t figure out what that something was. So for the first week of May, I tried to push through and continue writing. The words came slowly, and they were awful. Then, on the suggestion of tinaconnolly I spent several days not writing. This had a much better result, in that I figured out what was wrong with my novel:

It isn’t actually a novel. It is a collection of stories centered around a common theme. What I thought of as ‘the novel’ will become a central novella, but it’s still only one part among many.

With this new knowledge in hand, I set the not-really-a-novel aside (I have some ideas for later on how to rework it into a novella), and dove into writing one of the short stories. I finished the first draft yesterday. It felt really good to be making forward progress again.

Total wordcount for May: ~ 9K
Total usable wordcount: ~ 6.5K

New badges:

(the first day working on the new short story)

(yesterday, in a final push to finish the short story)

(Thanks tinaconnolly!)


  1. Cool, Caroline. I’d been wondering how the WIP was coming along. You could call it an “episodic” novel, ya know. ;)

    • Not a bad idea, but I’m better off calling it a collection of short stories (at least in my head). I still find novel-writing a bit intimidating.

      • Don’t be intimidated by the novel. Not that I’ve ever sold one, but I have written seven of them. Mostly for practice, and one summer I wrote a 175K one to help me quit smoking, if that makes sense. But here’s a couple of ideas I picked up that helped me.

        To use painting as an analogy, the novel is a lose, baggy monster and you can afford to step back from time to time and throw paint on the canvas. Personally, I find the short story intimidating, especially if you compare it to a Japanese painter who applies brush to canvas in between heartbeats.

        Silverberg said that with a novel you can get off the subject from time to time and meander and the reader will admire you for the breadth of your vision. With a short story, even an inexperienced reader will know when something is off track.

        This probably doesn’t apply to what your doing with this WIP, but thought I’d mention these fave nuggets I gleaned. Keep us apprised! :)

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