About a month ago on 17 December 2014, I finished reading the Bone Shop by T A Pratt. It’s a urban fantasy story that I bought as part of a bundle on StoryBundle. For some reason, I felt inspired to write when I’ve finished the last page and put the ereader down. So first question…
What to write?
Aha! You must be thinking, “Fan fiction!” *Buzzer rings* Wrong, not a fan fiction.
One reason is that it is the world in the Bone Shop that interested and intrigued me more than the characters. While I am interested to read more about the main character, Marla Mason, it is the world I want to play with more than her. (Okay, that sounds wrong but you know what I mean.)
Another reason is that I really suck at writing fan fiction. I tried writing it once, and it never really click for me, which is strange because I make up stories all the time about the TV shows and movies I’ve watched. Sure, I could finally make the characters from the TV show do what I want but it never felt totally comfortable and natural. It felt like I was pulling the strings of a puppet rather than a real person formed in the bowels of a writer’s imagination.
So been there, done that, and found out that I sucked at it. What else is left then? What about an original story? My own characters, my own world. Should be easier, shouldn’t it? After all, that’s what I’ve been doing all my life, just letting my imagination run.
Let’s do an original story
Alright, let’s try that then. I decided that it will an urban fantasy story like the Bone Shop, but unlike the Bone Shop at the same time. What’s the point of writing if I’m just going to copy? Let’s create a new world filled with my own characters. So I started writing. There was no plan, no roadmap, no outline. I just write what I pictured in my head. After I wrote four paragraphs, I was ready to call it a day. I’ve scratched the itch. It’s done.
Then I made the mistake of mentioning it to some friends They asked to see what I’ve written. So I showed them. Then they told me to continue with the story. So I continued writing. That was one month ago. Since then, I’ve been writing everyday. And since my friends were the cause of this daily exercise, I made them read my homework at the end of each day. Hey, if I have to write, they better read it too.
I will write 100 words a day
Right from the beginning, I set a very low target of (at least) 100 words a day. Why 100 words? I like a round number, and 100 words is much less scary than 1000 words.
I read somewhere that if you set a ridiculously low goal, you are more likely to complete it because finishing it pumps good feelings through your veins, and good feelings motivates you to do it again and again. Not doing so, will actually make you feel ashamed for not doing it. On the other hand, if you failed to meet a high target, it will in turn demotivate you, and you are more likely to give up because “Hey, I am never going to reach it anyway”.
Using this theory, I set a goal to do 1 push up everyday, and guess what? I never did any. Guess shame doesn’t work as well on me as it should.
I am not a fast writer. I am not like those people who can just sit down and write thousands of words a day. Words flow out of me about as fast as a pitch drop. But 100 words? I can do it. I know because on my Skyrim blog, my posts averaged between 70-80 words so it is not too difficult to push it to 100 words.
However, in the course of writing this story, I found out that just because I write 100 words a day, it doesn’t mean 5 days = 500 words. Writing is not a math equation. On a good day, I keep most of what I’ve written. Then there are those days when rereading what I’ve written made me cringed and immediately delete them and wash the crap out of my eyes. For example (and this is a true one), I wrote 140 words yesterday. Today I deleted 105 of those words, keeping only 35 words.
So you want to read it? Really? Really really?
If you are interested in reading my story, I’ve posted it on Wattpad. I will take my time writing this so don’t expect fast updates. If you want to comment on my story, whether you like it or don’t, just drop a note here or on the Wattpad page. I do read, I’m just not very good at replying.
Top image from TempusVolat.