Blog Post #27: How to Write a Gripping Prologue Without Killing the Pacing!

Despite the fact that prologues are a staple among fantasy writers, prologues are often rejected in queries because they tend to slow the pace to a halt. Here’s how to write a killer prologue without killing the pacing!

A writer posted in a FB group I’m in about how to edit a prologue they had written. Their friend is an artist who did beautiful artwork for the scenes depicted in the prologue, but the writer also was told to keep the prologue less than five pages, per the current trend. She was at a loss of how to achieve keeping all of her scene while also keeping it to five pages.

In my response I feel I had the makings for a wonderful article on prologues, so here we are. And here we go.

Per Penguin’s Reference Library’s Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory (2013), a prologue is: The opening section of a work; a kind of introduction which is part of the work and not prefatory. It was common in drama in the 17th and 18th century, when it was often in prose. Occasionally found in novels. In plays the prologue is usually a chorus.

In most stories I’ve read the prologue is a scene that takes place either in the past or in the future of the main story’s timeline.

In the best instances a prologue can be a strong hook which keeps the reader reeled into the story. In the worst instances, it’s a boring mess that halts a reader’s interest entirely!

So, what makes the difference?

1) LIMITED Purpose.
Here’s the true “meat and potatoes” of the conversation: what are you trying to achieve with this prologue? Are you giving the audience a cliff hanger in the beginning of the manuscript to get them hooked? That, in reality, is really the only reason you should use a prologue. A prologue should be used as a HOOK for the reader to latch on to your story, there is basically no other reason to have one.

If you planned on using your prologue as an information dump: DON’T!
If you planned on using your prologue just to show how cool your main character is: DON’T!
If your prologue is just an exercise in how detailed you can describe things that don’t matter to your plot: DON’T!

These are cheap tricks that your audience will see through. You are not the first author that has tried to include a prologue of droning purple prose and waxing poetic about how misunderstood your character is, thousands of books start that way, and they’re all bad.

The prologue should be used to drive the plot, period. It’s a tool to get your reader hooked on the story, so make it dramatic and DEFINITELY have something happen that is FUNDAMENTAL to your story. It needs to be fundamental to both the plot of the story and, for extra credit, vital to your main character’s (or villian’s) wound.

2) The Stakes.
Following up with the need for drama, your story’s stakes are the entire reason your audience is here! They want DRAMA, but the specific flair of drama that comes from your genre, of course! Your prologue should be carving out at least a few of the stakes while also dropping minimal information. If your audience doesn’t catch at least a whiff of conflict, they won’t stay. We’re here for the fireworks. We’re here for the conflict!

Let’s look at some examples, specifically with fantasy:

Robert Jordan’s The Eye of the World did start with a prologue called Dragonsmount (I have a newer copy now that added an additional scene called “Ravens” but the old one from the 90’s did not have this, it started with Dragonsmount).

Dragonmount is a scene depicting two characters: the villain Elan Morin, who claims he is reveling in his moniker “Betrayer of Hope” and Lews Therin, a powerful warrior mage now known as The Dragon. Lews Therin realizes he’s been possessed by madness and in that fugue state he killed off his lover and their family. The villain, Elan Morin, Betrayer of Hope, tells Lews that the madness which overtook him was a curse from the Dark Lord as retribution for Lews’s service to the light. Then Elan Morin begins to torture Lews with lightening magic. Lews essentially goes Super Saiyan, turning into a burning ball of fire and melting down the entire castle until only the mountain remained. Elan Morin, Betrayer of Hope, watches this and says that the Dragon cannot escape him for long, and that their time is still to come.

In this scene alone we get the villain, tastes of how the magic system works, a taste of the mythology, a dash of trauma and despair, and a heroic character promised to return. Now that’s a prologue, and arguably the MC of the first book ISN’T EVEN IN THIS SCENE.

Another beloved example would be the opener to the Harry Potter series. The first chapter in The Sorcerer’s Stone is called The Boy Who Lived, where three magical beings (McGonagall, Hagrid and Dumbledore) leave a baby boy on his aunt’s doorstep because she’s the only family he has left and a psychopathic wizard just killed his parents (and tried to kill him, too). The boy must stay in hiding, so that he may live. So that his parent’s sacrifice wasn’t for nothing.

In this scene we get: the villain’s impending danger, the protagonist, three major characters who play major roles throughout the entire story, the knowledge that Harry is famously known as “The Boy who Lived” to an entire group of people, the backstory of why the Dudley’s don’t see Harry as their own, and the promise of something more to come with this main character.
(We even get a shout out to Sirius Black on page 14 ((where Hagrid borrowed the motorcycle)), a character who doesn’t arrive until the third book and is fundamental to the story overall!)

By comparing these two prologues we can see what a prologue should deliver: relevant characters who will return later, major discussion of/outright showing the major conflict, trauma/drama/intrigue, and some small world building tidbits. This is the formula for your prologue. If the prologue is short of this in anyway, it’s not really an intriguing prologue, it’s a random scene in the beginning of your manuscript!

So, if you’re thinking about adding in a prologue, I implore you to ask yourself why, and to ensure you make it a powerful punch! Thank you for reading! I’m escaping to the beach for the weekend! I’ll be back Monday with more writing advice!


Blog Post #25: My Schedule Working from Home for Myself

How I utilize time blocking to get things done and keep myself from spiraling into anxious chaos. 

I need routines, now that I’ve entered my 30’s I can admit that to myself.  In my teens and 20’s my schedule was all over the place. Even after getting married and living with my very conscientious husband, who often lectured me on how I wasn’t helping myself by staying up late into the night and waking up at eleven, I couldn’t manage to get myself on a decent routine.

With the tragedy of the new year, I realized how deeply I needed a routine to pull me out of my depression, and now that I’m working on fine tuning that routine, I’m returning to the concept of time blocking.

Time blocking is something that I’ve tried to do multiple times but always failed due to burn out. When I was working fulltime, clearly my job “blocked” a huge amount of my day. Staying up late into the night was the only way I was able to get any writing done because my husband would go to bed at a decent time, unlike me. I would stay up until 1AM, 2AM, sometimes even 3AM if it was a Friday or Saturday night. No longer do I push myself into the wee hours, mostly because I realized how counter productive it was to wake up half way through the day. 

I get to bed every night at 10PM. I do not set an alarm, I let myself sleep as long as I need. Sometimes I wake up at 6:30-7:00, other times I wake up at 8:00-9:00. After waking up I try to go for a walk/jog as soon as possible, otherwise I will talk myself out of it. I’m focusing on weight loss these days, as I am a matron of honor for a wedding and I challenged myself by ordering a dress two sizes smaller than I am… The wedding is Oct 2… Five weeks from now.  So, five weeks to lose two dress sizes… what could go wrong? Heh… 

With the approaching wedding and a HUGE need to get into this dress no matter what, since last week I’ve cut out my carbs again and started walking/jogging and cycling. I was already weight training with my female friends two days a week, so adding cardio + yoga the remaining five days, and reducing my sugar/carbs should do the trick. Hopefully. Otherwise I’m going to have to resort to some insane K-POP idol crash diets in the remaining weeks.

Once I’m done with my hour long walk/jog I make my husband and I some breakfast. This is also the time I’ll have my iced coffee with a sugar-free vanilla pump and a quarter cup whole milk. Then I’ll jump on the stationary cycle down stairs for 25 minutes. After that it’s time for some yoga, about 20 minutes. Then it’s time for a shower. 

After I’m showered I get ready for the day: do something with my hair and face; at least apply sunscreen. Do a little eye make up, throw on a sun dress for the summer (and because my man likes to see me in dresses throughout his work-from-home day). Then it’s time to write, baby. Weirdly enough, being all spiffed up makes me more excited to write romances, as if feeling sexy translates to my writing. Go figure. 

My writing time block is roughly 6-8 hours a day, and will consist of a few sprint sessions (30-45 minutes at a time) followed up by whatever else I need to work on that day, whether its blog posts, brainstorming story plotlines, or working on future projects. I break this time up by taking breaks to clean the house and cook. An example of this would be doing a load of dishes in between writing sprints, something I’m literally gonna go do once I’m done with this blog post. 

My goal everyday is to have the following completed before my husband is off work: 

1) house cleaned
2) dinner cooked
3) writing/project tasks for the day and next day’s tasks planned
4) workout
5) showered/looking beautiful/smelling good

Then we spend quality time together until we go to bed at 10PM to do it all over again. The weekends get crazy because social obligations arise, but my goals for the weekends are to maintain the house enough that I can wake up on Monday morning and not have a stack of dirty dishes, a disgusting bathroom, and four loads of laundry looking at me in the face before I’ve even had coffee. 

Besides, I have to get my cardio in. 

Thank you for reading! See you all Monday!

image credit: getty images, pulled from “How to make running a habit for longer than the lockdown” by Andrea Gaini for Runner’s World 

Blog Post #24: Finishing Rough Drafts and The Last Fifty Pages

Goals for the rest of the week and my thoughts on James Scott Bell’s The Last Fifty Pages.

The past week I celebrated completing the first draft of my dark fantasy romance book Silver Blood. Now it’s on to writing additional scenes for pacing.

Finishing my fourth manuscript felt a little surreal. It’s the first completed manuscript of 2022, and as happy as I am with the draft, sadly, nothing feels good enough when it comes to self-publishing. It’s definitely the most clean of my manuscripts, requiring only minor additional scenes and no major changes to the plot, but I still can’t help but feel like I’m behind the 8-ball. Always behind.

The newest addition to my writing book collection is James Scott Bell’s The Last Fifty Pages, a book very pertinent to my current project. James’s books are very straight forward, a major plus of his craft books because he doesn’t waste time (or pages) being overly verbose; he just tells you exactly what to do. That isn’t to say that you can’t be creative; the entire purpose of writing is to be creative, right? The succinctness of his style just means you’ll be on to writing your manuscript that much quicker. This book is marketed as a writer’s guide to perfect endings, and I hope to utilize the advice in my own revisions.

I’ve made a list of about 19 scenes to add to Silver Blood. If I can write 1,000 words for each scene, that will be 19K words added, bumping me up to (hopefully) 65K words. Then it’s just line edits and proofreading.

Keep an eye out in the coming weeks for a special announcement! Thank you, each and everyone of you, for reading my blog! I promise, I am not going to keep you guys hanging!

Blog Post #20: Through the Fire and Flames: Going from Full-Time Admin & Part-Time Author to Job Hunter and Author

Becoming a full-time author is a lot of people’s dream, but I don’t think this was part of the plan.

Unfortunately, on St. Patty’s Day and during the CoronaVirus outbreak, my job let me go. I have no hard feelings, I have many reasons to see this as a blessing, but while this has opened up a lot of opportunity for writing, finding a new job ASAP is a must now.

Currently I’m making lists of goals, and getting back to work on a short story this morning as well, but not going to lie, it feels a little overwhelming, and maybe I’m just suffering from the emotional whiplash, but I’m trying to fight the mental urge to mull over getting fired. Mulling, sulking, any of that is essentially a waste of time, I know this, Dune reinforces it with it’s infamous quote “Fear is the mind killer, it is the little death that brings total obliteration”. Mulling, sulking, forcing yourself to wallow in the misery of the unknown is just self-sabotage bred out of fear.

So, instead, my goal is to use all of this free time to finish my copy-editing certification and begin posting this short story I’m working on. I’ll post episodic chunks every few days, first one will go up today. I’m still working on my full sized novels, but I want to start putting content out without worrying about how much is going to change once it’s published. Short stories will be easier in that regard.

Please stay safe everyone during this outbreak, if you’re able to stay home and if you aren’t, make sure to keep yourself healthy. Drink water, take some vitamins, get enough sleep, eat as well as you can, and be a hermit (as much as you can).

Blog Post #16: Merging Notes into a Book Bible, Fleshing Out Character Stories, and Filling the Creativity Well

Hey everyone!

I spent today going through my story notes and organizing them into a book bible for my current horror story (first of a series). It’s been a little exhausting, but it’s making me feel more in tune with my story. I had spent about a month avoiding the project at the end of November, so burnt out from failing Nano and feeling the holes of my story as I tried to craft it, and now that I’m coming back to it and re-working it from the ground up, it’s feeling more cohesive, giving me more to elaborate on.

I’m a giant plotter, if you couldn’t tell, and while I don’t plot every aspect of my chapters, I need an outline of what I’ll be writing or I’ll lose focus, lose interest, or blow off writing all together. Yay, self-sabotage and laziness!

My original idea was to write this story from an omniscient point of view, focusing on a single protagonist mixed with a few side character chapters, but now I’ve decided that while there is one true protagonist, I’m writing each of the other four characters with just as much backstory and detail.

This tale I’m composing is definitely a stretch of creativity, and I’ve been trying to draw inspiration from my favorite psychological horror stories, addressing central themes like redemption, forgiveness, guilt, shame, letting go, and aligning ones shadow, a Jungian concept while still creating a world that is my own.  The story surrounds five people who wake up in an alternate, timeless dimension between the living and the dead, each chased by their pasts and searching desperately for a way back to their old lives. They all share a common vice, though not immediately apparent on the outside.

This series won’t follow the same protagonist throughout, each book will be its own slice of this dimension, with new characters and new stories, all focused on a central theme which connects it all together. I’m planning on doing seven books total, not sure if I’ll just write them all back to back or intersperse other novels to break up the subject matter, but this manuscript I’m working on will (as of now) be my first publication.

Happy Tuesday!

Blog Post #14: Attempting a 10K Day at Home because your Week at Work was Hell!

Hey! It’s half way through Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) and I am not half way through my manuscript, heh…

I’m not too far behind, sitting at 18,966 words out of 50K, but this week was hell, as many can relate, when tasks come ahead to quick deadlines and documents required re-editing, the sort of stuff that makes an already busy administrative assistant want to rip their hair out.

Needless to say, when I got home every night I made dinner (if we were lucky) and sat on the couch, enjoying some wine and playing through Outer Worlds. I was zapped mentally, and thus creatively, and the thought of attempting to sit down in my off time and write any words was unbearable, so I didn’t.

Even thought it put me a little back, I decided to give myself the room the relax because I know if pushed myself to write I was going to hate it and it would ruin any future motivation I would’ve hoped to have. It’s depressing, but it’s not something I can’t achieve (or at least get close to achieving).

Today I’m doing a feat that only a few have been able, I’m attempting a 10K day to make up for my lost time and (hopefully) getting ahead. Mr. Frost is busy in his workshop today, giving me the alone time I need to write in between cleaning sections of the house. Because none of that shit got done this week either and I don’t have a dishwasher. 

This 10K attempt today is a loose goal, however, I’ll be happy with any words on the page because I haven’t written in four days, but this would be the first time I’ve ever written 10K words in one sitting. I’ve heard that some writers can write 5-10K words a day on average, and this would definitely be a game changer in terms of independent book publishing potential.

Just wanted to give you guys and update today! I’m roughly 1/3rd of the way through this manuscript, which is what I was expecting, I’m estimating this first draft to reach somewhere around 60-70k, with my editing adding an additional 20-30k.  This won’t be a long book, but I think it will be a good debut, and a good first book to a series of seven.

I’m already brewing the second book in this seven part series, (which won’t be a direct sequel, this is going to a be loosely tied series based on an underlying themes resonating between each of them. Each individual story will resolve with those specific characters (though other encounters and events will clearly tie them together for perceptive readers).

I also have a new story idea entirely, a two-part series (a retelling of a specific series of classics) about a very important and often ignored global issue set in a psychological horror-scape. I’ll have to do a significant amount of research about the topic in order to give an accurate portrayal of the victims, a voice to the voiceless in many ways, but I feel like the background of these classics in particular, juxtaposed to the issue at hand, I think most people will be able to pick up on the issue/themes, but I’ll have to do a really good job of portraying the events in a dream-like dark fantasy horror setting, combining the symbolism of the character’s surroundings and story events to the emotional trauma they are experiencing in the real world.  I don’t really know when I’ll be working on these stories, even if I brainstorm/plot/write my first series’ books each in 60 days, I still won’t be touching the new series until next year. It feels good to have a plan though, something that I can keep thinking about.

I’ve been practicing brainstorming these new ideas while writing this manuscript, before I just ignored them, hoping to finish my current project before starting the next, but it never really works like that, it’s important to have one project that you put most of your writing into, but jotting ideas is something that needs to be done at all times to catch your best ideas, and it’s been easier than I had anticipated at first.

So that’s an update to where I’ve been the last two weeks, I’m still loving my current manuscript, and I’m excited to get into writing it.  The chapters I’m beginning with aren’t my favorite, but I’m reminding myself that I’m in the muddy-middle, getting bogged down happens to everyone.

Blog Post #12: Endless Editing, Developing Character Flaws, and the Inevitable Feeling of Inadequacy

Bogged down in the mire of editing my first novel, I now realize I greatly underestimated the levity of editing and how much time and effort it would truly take to create a beautiful story.


Hello, all.

I have no short story for you… yet.

I know, I know. I told you I would, just like I told you I’d write eight blog posts a month, or when I told you I was planning on publishing my first book in April 2020 as a total novice who had never written a book before. In both of these instances, I had not really considered either what effort these undertakings would take, nor what my end result would look like in a worse case scenario.

So, just like I ditched the crank out blog posts about mundane shit everyone already talks about gig, I’m ditching the goal of April, 2020, because it’s just not feasible to make this book what it should be.  I don’t know when I’m planning to publish at this point, but do no fret, this doesn’t mean I’m ditching the project all together, or my dreams of being a self-published author and CEO of a power-house independent publishing house that works to find the greatest unknown authors.  I’m still putting in the 15-20 hours a week on this book until it’s finished, and I still plan on doing somewhere between 8 and 12 books, but with our goals of growing our family from just the two of us to three (and more), I don’t know when in the foreseeable future we’ll be able to do the whole publishing shebang. I don’t want to half-ass it, if I’m going to do this then I want to pay for good cover art, a professional proof-reader, the website, and all of the marketing tactics, promos, giveaways, it’s just a lot, but all necessary to give myself the best chance possible of being successful.

So, I’ve got to take my time, and that’s okay, there are tons of bloggers and vloggers who aren’t published yet and are documenting their journey. That’s really what my goal is with this blog, it isn’t to give you cheap advice about an art I’m still developing my own skills in, it’s to give you an honest look into a novice writer with passion and a big dream, which includes the times that I fail (and re-evaluate) my current goals. (This also includes getting snippets of my work posted on here for you guys but editing has been so intensive I haven’t had time to do anything else creatively outside of brainstorm ideas @.@; I’m so afraid to start a new project and leave this one behind.)

I totally underestimated the work this novel was going to take, and it’s not that the meat of my plot and story beats aren’t there (thank god I plotted to some degree), it’s just that my two main characters had no arc at all.

My female protagonist is now alright, her half of the book is what I’ve spent the most time on in the month of August (outside of the beginning itself), but I fear she’s not likeable, and I don’t really have a problem with that, she’s a depiction of a bad lifestyle in a lawless land, but I don’t know how that will translate to the reader, and I wonder if she needs a save the cat moment, even if it’s just small, to give some empathy to her. She’s on a tragedy arc in this novel, her story set into motion by her decisions (rooted in selfishness) and her subsequent downfall due to her inability to let go of that selfishness, but perhaps granting her a saving grace moment would twist the knife a little more at the end. I can say that as I’m getting older and have fully transitioned out of young adult and into adult, there are major moments of cringe and disappointment in my past that I couldn’t see at the time that I can now, and this is a sentiment I’m sure most people can empathize with to some degree. Giving her memories to look back on later and reconcile with internally gives her a rich character, now and in the future.  As long as I can pull it off. 

My male protagonist is who I’ve been having the hardest time with, and I think it’s because I wasn’t sure what kind of guy I wanted to start him as or what flaws I wanted to give him, so he basically had no set personality, nor a goal of what kind of person to develop him into.  The premise of the story requires a lot of stepping up and shedding away the traces of his childhood self behind to become a true adult, so I’m trying to hone in on areas where he would still be immature, to give him a developmental arc in this first book around the essence of becoming your own person, deciding your own fate, and doing what you think is right even if everyone else disagrees.  Again, as long as I can pull it off.

So that’s where my head is at right now, I took the holiday weekend away from my manuscript and haven’t looked at it today either, but I’ll return to it tomorrow to revise my male character and contemplate the depth I want to add in to other factions this early in the story without bogging down the pace. As of September 1st, my manuscript is at 124,215 words, and I feel like I have so much more to add.

Artists, give yourself a chance to re-evaluate your goals if you’re not reaching them despite your dedicated efforts, you just might be asking too much.


Blog Post #11: Finishing the Rough Draft, My Editing Plan, and Future Additions to the Blog

On July 16th, after seven and a half months, I finally finished the rough draft of my novel.  

My last few chapters may be fairly short, the word choice not the most eloquent, and the prose might be sloppy, but I finished 25 chapters, wrote 89,000+ words, and finally put to (digital) paper the beginning of the story I’ve been mulling over the past half decade.

It was cathartic in a lot of ways, using a passion I’ve had for writing to actually craft a formal story, following structured plot beats and (hopefully) coinciding with firm character arcs.  This is a personal accomplishment that I always hoped to achieve but never thought that I would have a story idea large enough to build off of, and even if this ends up being the worst book ever written in the history of literature, at least I’ll know I had a hell of a lot fun writing it.

Since I’ve finished my rough draft I jumped straight into editing it.  And yes, I know, I know. I wasn’t supposed to do that. I was supposed to sit on it and marinate on it so that I could come back with fresh eyes and see the mistakes.  I didn’t want to, though. Mind, this wasn’t a I just don’t want to in a petulant child manner; I didn’t want to step away from it and lose momentum and the vision.  I didn’t want to let self-doubt creep in and make me fear going forward with my idea (fear is the mind-killer), which always happens when I stall on an idea, and why I mulled on this for five years in the first place.  I also didn’t want to stop writing everyday, something that I’ve finally worked back up to and I used to do everyday after school from my preteen years through high school.

My editing process has been developed from listening to multiple Author YouTuber’s videos on the subjects (Heart Breathings, Alexa Donne, and Jenna Moreci, mostly), and while I am mainly following Sarra Cannon’s method on her Heart Breathings channel, taking advice from both a traditionally published author (Donne) and an indie publishing author who edited as they went (Moreci) has been awesome as well.

My editing plan consists of the following, the goal being to complete it before the end of August:

  1. Two rounds of developmental edits:
    The first focusing on fleshing out the character arcs and plot beats, and actually writing my two romance arcs! 
    Major focus on dialogue and character motives, their emotions, and reactions to surroundings. Starting at the beginning of the story, my worst writing by far, my main goal has been developing the two main character’s viewpoints in their homes, and as I move on chapter by chapter it will develop into the fleshing out the emotional weight of the plot beats and character arcs as they leave their homes, while beefing up the action sequences, both of which are very brittle in my rough draft.  I realized I didn’t flesh out either of the dysfunctional romance arcs that my characters will experience. Subsequently, I added entire sections to chapters, doubling their page amount, and it’s really adding more desperately needed depth to the characters I’m creating.
    The second focusing on fleshing out the world. 
    The second round will be focused on adding more depth into the world around them, beefing up descriptions of surroundings and settings, histories of various factions that have formed in the wastes, reinforcing class differences, religions that have pop’d up after the end of the world, songs sung and rumors told in bars, urban legends of beasts hidden in the wastes, and subtle hints about future characters to come forward in later books, among countless other attributes to consider when world building.
    Ultimately, I am expecting to add at least 50,000 more words in these two
    developmental passes.
  2. Two rounds of Line Edits. There’s nothing fancy here, two slow, clean sweeps through where I’ll pick apart my sub-par writing and attempt to deliver this story succinctly and with eloquence. I’ll be focusing on word choice, sentence structure, dialect of characters, balancing purple prose with concise explanation, a last review of show versus tell, and generally second guessing everything I’ve ever written.
  3. Two rounds of Proof Reading. The first round will be myself printing and combing through it one chapter at a time, reading it on paper, and marking any errors as I see them, since I’ll have only read it digitally either on my phone or on a computer prior.  The second round will be an automatic proof read, where I’ll run it through an additional spell check and a grammar check, followed by combing through it digitally while listening to a reader online.

After these steps it will be ready to send to my personal group of writer, editor, and artist friends who said they would act as critique partners and beta readers, to let me know if they see any mistakes (And Mr. Frost, of course). After I hear back from them, I’ll hire a professional editor to proof read it.

Then it’ll be time to do it all over again for #2 of the series, while also turning my focus to the beginning stages of true online marketing for my Author career and Publishing House.

This brings me to the announcement for this blog, I’m going to be writing short stories, additional pieces of the world I’m creating for you all and publishing them here.  I’m hoping to publish these monthly, and once I set up a newsletter I’ll be offering sneak peeks and writing samples from my current WIP.  These short stories won’t be very long, maybe 2,000, 3,000 words, but they’ll be small snippets of this world that I want to entice readers with.  My first short story will be published here in August! 

So creatives and artists, always keep striving, even if it feels like it’s the worst piece you’ve ever made, because the journey is what matters, not how bad you are at the moment. Realize that it’s the small, consistent steps that help you reach your goals.



Blog Post #5: Writing the First Draft; Just Get the Words on the Page, Seriously

Second guessing ourselves is natural in the creative spirits, but second guessing also delays our own creative processes by introducing unnecessary insecurity and self turmoil. Learning to let go and just accept the process is key.

Currently, I am 13 chapters into the first draft of my first novel, and it’s a humbling experience to say the least. When I first began on this creative passion project, I thought that getting the first draft was going to be so easy after nailing down the “details” in my outline, but when I began actually fleshing out the world I was building, I realized that there was so much more that I had not accounted for. This, naturally, meant more time was necessary to complete this draft, which made me very insecure and frustrated with myself. I had to let go of those initial expectations when I saw that they were unrealistic.

“Just get the words on the page” at first sounds placating, like yes, thank you, never thought of that before. Often when I heard this advice on YouTube I would snub my nose at it, thinking if it was so easy to just put the words on paper and write out a good story, wouldn’t all books be great then? What I hadn’t taken into consideration was the polishing and improvement that comes with each round of revision and edits. I naively believed that I could get a best selling book on the first attempt, which is obviously not how best sellers are created.

Getting the words on the page is letting caution fly in the wind, it’s letting go of high expectations and coming to terms with what your skill is at the time of writing. It’s realizing that even if you delete everything that you’ve written in two hours, you still spent two hours honing your craft and practicing how to write better. It’s finding peace in the process.

So I encourage you as a writer to write down the words even if they feel like the most juvenile and underwhelming writing you’ve ever mustered out of yourself. Often times it’s not that bad when read later, and even if it is you can revise or remove it.