(Reed’s Playlist for the day: Something I Need by OneRepublic)
So my daily schedule for the past month and a half now has been:
- Shower, teeth brushing, and other hygenic practices
- Read for an hour
- Write for at least an hour (at least 2000 words, preferably 3000)
- Write a blog post
- Breath of the Wild until I go to bed (just kidding, kind of, but not really)
Because I’ve been putting 2-3000 words into my manuscript every day, it’s getting close to completion. In fact, if I keep up with my current schedule, which is to write a 3000-word chapter every single day, I will finish Symphony of Legend in about two weeks’ time. That’s pretty exciting stuff.
When I’m done, I’m going to shut that shit off for two – count ’em, two – months and not so much as look at it or let an alpha reader look at it. Because I know I have to if I want to make this project good.
But I am way off track. The reason I bring all this up is because I’m coming to the exciting point in every novel where the character arcs begin to wrap up, the rising action occurs, and the story reaches its climax. It’s been a while since I finished a “project” (which I’m here defining as either an entire standalone book, or an entire series) such that I’ve been able to witness the entirety of character arcs. My last series before this died two books in, so I was only able to see the downswing of all my characters and not the triumphant upswing in Book 3.
So needless to say, this time it’s really hitting me hard. It’s difficult to explain without spoiling some stuff for my alphas who read this blog as well, but essentially I’ve invested a lot of things that are important to me – and a lot of my own personality traits – in my characters, and seeing those characters come so far is pretty inspiring.
But when I read through the chapter I wrote today, in which one of my characters makes a bad decision that I hope will make the audience cringe and scream at their books/computers/tablets when they read it, it made me think of the reasons I like to write. And hey, why not just slap a Top 3 on it and make it part of one of my series?
So with that very long introduction out of the way, here’s Reed’s Top 3 Things I Like About Writing (man, what a catchy title):
NUMBER THREE: WORLDBUILDING
I got into fantasy as a writer for the same reason I got into it as a reader – the sheer, raw creativity of it. No genres, in my opinion, come nearly as close to SFF in their ability to be pure, limitless creation. You don’t just design your characters and your story – you start your world from the ground up. You have to make geography, history, religion, politics, currency, ethnic groups, moral systems, technology, magic systems, new animals and plants and resources and EVERYTHING. That’s probably intimidating to most people, but for me it’s always been the main draw of fantasy. I love playing, I love creating, and SFF has helped me do that.
NUMBER TWO: CHARACTER ARCS
Like I was saying above, it has really been inspiring for me (especially as my characters have gotten better and more realistic) to watch them go through their arcs. Like, seriously, watching a character stumble and fall over and over again makes it so much more satisfying when, towards the end of things, they get it right and have that perfect moment of self-actualization. I may end up crying as I write the final chapters of Symphony, because so much of it is so important to me and I’ve sunk so much into my main characters.
(Hopefully my audience likes them as much as I do, lol.)
NUMBER ONE: AUDIENCE REACTIONS
I say this as a shameless person who lusts for validation on a daily basis. When I put so much work into a project, I feel like I need other people to get just as excited about it as I do. So when someone texts me, “I just read chapter X, HOLY SHIT I DID NOT SEE THAT COMING”, it actually makes my life. It reminds me of why I struggle so hard to try to put an order to the thoughts in my brain and get them on a page. Getting those reactions, feeling that my readers really care about my characters and the situations they get themselves in – well, suffice to say it’s new for me. And there are still alphas whom I haven’t impressed with my newest characters and stories, and I’ll keep working in the future to give them better and better books.
But right now, the few people that are really getting into my book… every time they tell me their favorite character, or even share the mildest of praise like “it was a good read” – it just makes my day that much brighter.
Which I think is something that all of us as authors know and love.
Anyway, here’s to the best things about writing, and why we hunch over our computers for hours on end and give ourselves carpal tunnel syndrome. WHO SAID BEING A WRITER WASN’T A PAIN, HUH?
“Ugh, writing. What a pain.” – Sloth from FMA
^If you get that reference, you’re on my good list.
Okay imma stop writing now.
Yours, tingling with excitement (and wrist pain),