I don’t know about you, but February has been a fantastic month for me! I’ve spent the last two years physically and mentally drained and unable to dedicate what little energy I had towards writing. In all honesty, I worried I’d never be able to get back to it. Thankfully, I seem to have found my feet, turned a corner, climbed into the saddle and hit the road. Wow, that was a whole bunch of idioms… 😬
For the last four weeks, I’ve spent virtually every day researching and improving on the outline and setting for my novel. But beyond that, I began outlining an entirely new novel idea and took part in a Fantasy Writers Week hosted by ProWritingAid.
This new idea has been germinating for quite a while. I guess you could say that while I couldn’t write, my imagination was still firing, and an image evolved into a character which developed into a scene, and from there it went wild. I have been mulling it over and over in my mind, jotting down snippets of ideas and trying to decide what to do with it. I am after all 1/3 of my way through a novel I still want to finish and I can’t just shove that story aside in favour of a new one. Can I?
In comes the ProWritingAid Fantasy Writers Week, and the decision was made for me. I went in with every intention of listening to a few workshops and getting some advice from a few experts and then filing that into the drawer of “Later”. What I didn’t count on was being amazed by all the presentations and interviews and coming away motivated to world-build, character develop and outline like a pro!
One of the best speakers was Dave Farland. Some of you may recognise the name as a bestselling fantasy author, but I had no idea he also teaches creative writing and has had the likes of Brandon Sanderson and Stephenie Meyer as students. 🤩 I came away from his introduction to writing with “Wonder” amazed and desperate to learn more. Which is why I’ve now signed up for all of his courses online and plan to spend the next year learning everything I can about creative writing from an expert. His courses cover writing wonder, world building, writing enchanting prose, voice, plotting, character development, writing dialogue, self-editing and more, but there’s one course I’m especially looking forward to – Writing for MG and YA.
Why? Well, because my new idea is for an MG (Middle Grade) book series. I’m planning for it to be low fantasy – a story based in our world, but with magic and fantasy creatures – and written for tweens 9-12 years old. I’m seriously excited to get started! My son is a huge fan of fantasy and I want this story to knock his socks off!
But what will happen with Beth’s story? Well, after an initial burst of world-building and plotting for the MG fantasy, I’m going to see if I can split my time writing both stories. I can’t quite explain how, but I have both stories in me and I need to tell them both now – Beth’s story for me and the MG fantasy for my son. I’ll just have to figure out how to do both, I guess, because shelving either project isn’t an option!
So there you have it. A month of frenetic energy, researching, outlining and learning. I’ve established a daily routine for working on my novel, now novels, and I’m really looking forward to what March will bring!
Happy writing! S