Status update: the closer I get to finishing, the further away I am from it.

It seems the closer I get to finishing the first draft, the longer I am from actually doing it. 7 more scenes/chapters remain before the last full stop, the so painfully sought-after “The End” and yet never in these past 4 months have I felt more tired and the end further away from me than now. I don’t know what’s wrong. Perhaps I’m fed up with it, perhaps something inside me tells me that the story sucks, that there are too many plot holes or the plot points are too far-fetched (it’s a post-apocalyptic story, which means people assign it the “sci-fi” tag, thus some parts of it, should be far-fetched to a certain extent, right?). Perhaps I feel that I have often led the (potential) reader by the hand too much, instead of letting him/her think about some things, perhaps it’s because a lot of my character development is done by showing his inner thoughts (going over the top with italics, perhaps?). The point is, where at one point a month ago I could sit down and write 1700 to 2000 words in a couple of hours (usually between 10 in the morning and be done by 1 in the afternoon with a 30-45 minute total break), now I can barely write 1000-1200 words up to 2 or 3 in the afternoon. The fact that I have exceeded my originally planned word limit for the draft doesn’t help either. The uncertainty I see before me, doesn’t help either.

125,147 words. Two scenes away from reaching the climax of the story and closing the main character’s arc. Seven scenes before the draft is over.

Any of you, dear readers/fellow writers, know if having only 5 chapters left for what follows the climax all the way to the end of the story is enough? I keep having the feeling that all the key points are in the wrong place, either too soon in the story or too late. Every time I read a technical book related to structure, I see things in my book that are wrong, when the previous structure-related book said it’s ok. It’s so frustrating! If I ever get to finish this thing, I’m so going out and celebrating it with the few friends who know I’m writing.

Of course, try as I might, I can’t see myself feeling relaxed after it, ’cause I will have to find beta readers or editors who know the craft of writing better than me. Wouldn’t things be sooooooo much easier if every one of us aspiring writers had two mentors by our side? One also aspiring writer or newly published who could help with the big, eye-hurting mistakes and then another one who would be a well known writer who’s been at it for years? How helpful would that be? Both could benefit noobs like me so much.

Too much whining. If you have an answer to my previous question, please let me know. Need to prepare the synopsis for the next scene/chapter for tomorrow. Until next time, I bid you all adieu.


When I first started writing I thought very little about the importance of characters in a story. All I cared about was the story, the plot and what happened next. If a story failed to keep me interested it was always because the plot was weak or because I saw some of the things that happened in the story as far fetched and unrealistic. I still have this way of thinking when it comes to movies.
I learned that this is not the way when it comes to books. Luckily, I got out of that mode once I started learning more things about what it takes for a reader to be drawn in a book in a way that they can’t put it down. It was none other than the importance we, as readers, put in those who take our hands and lead us into their make-believe worlds: the characters.

Recently, I came across an article from Carly Watters, a literary agent that gave some solid advice on what aspects of a character agents are looking for when it comes to opening the gilded doors of the publishing industry, for us aspiring writers.

Whether you aim for traditional publishing or are interested in self publishing your novel, I think you will find her advice very helpful. I know for a fact I will bookmark her article and use it as a guide when it’s revision time.

Just in case the above links don’t work this is the address:

The Secret to Writing Good Characters

The story I’m currently writing

A few weeks ago I had mentioned that I was working on two novel-length stories; a medieval fantasy and a post apocalyptic one. I had also mentioned that the medieval one was going to be a very long one, since it dealt with 6 different POV characters and a great deal of things happening.

Since then, I’ve read a fair amount of articles written by agents on how easy it is for a newcomer to break into the industry with anything longer than 100k words. I have yet to find one article that says it can happen (if you have read one, though, and you happen to remember it, please send me a link. I’m interested in things like that). The reason is that even if the agent likes the story, they have a hard time convincing a publisher to back it up financially, since the writer isn’t an established one. They fear (and it makes sense, to a certain extent) that without an established audience the book will fail financially.

For this reason, I decided it was time for me to focus on the post apocalyptic story. That doesn’t mean that I have discarded the other one; far from it. I still come up with ideas and take notes whenever I can. When the times is right, I will tackle that behemoth of a story but probably not before I have managed to have some novels under my belt.

So, what’s this post apocalyptic story about?

The title will most likely be “The Darkening” and it will deal with the difficulties one particular survivor faces, his isolation and the madness that creates and hidden secrets from his past that will slowly emerge as the story goes one. So far, there are two twists in the story, one of which is directly related to the main character. Oh yeah, I should probably mention this: the shadow each person casts is alive and it kills the person that created it. So, humans have to live in darkness. Interesting setting, don’t you think? 🙂

The story started off as a short story, no more than 2000 words in length and it’s one I’m still trying to find a home for in a magazine. It’s difficult though, since editors so far insist that it opens too many arcs and it feels to them like the part of a book. I didn’t get the idea to make it into a novel until long after I had finished it. In my eyes, the short story is complete and I’ll be extremely happy to see it published somewhere, since, as far as short stories go, this is my favourite one. It’s also the one I have worked the most on and the one that has gotten the most rejections so far.

So, this is what I’m working on at the moment.

Would you be interested in reading a sci-fi novel like that? Comment below and let me know what you think.