My YA Book Writing Journey Week 1: Research, Reading and Recrastinating
Welcome to the first week of My YA Book Writing Journey! Last week I told you that I was going to write a blog post every week updating everybody on my writing status, my struggles, my achievements and hopefully by the end of it my success. So here I am one week later. So what did I accomplish? A little. Because this is still the preliminary stage of writing I’m not sure if I’m behind, ahead or on schedule. I don’t have a word count quota to meet yet so I’m going to be positive and say I’m on schedule. I’m going to break down what I’ve accomplished in three stages. First things first:
I sat down with a blank notebook and really tried to think about what kind of story I wanted to write. I love fantasy books so that was my quick thematic choice. Next I wrote down what kind of creatures I wanted in my fantasy story. I basically chose all of them: elves, fairies, centaurs, leprechauns, vampires… you get the idea. Then I made a decision about whether my characters would be human, beast, or creature. I went for human (with a twist). I made a few notes about my characters and made a loose plot. All in all I had a few pages of notes. Not too bad for a day’s work. The next thing I needed to do was do some research.
I am lucky enough to work at a local library so finding the books that I need to begin this writing process was at my fingertips. After work I picked up a few books that I thought I would need. Despite my love for fantasy books, I really needed some more details and historical information about how some of these magical creatures have been portrayed in classic stories and mythology. Unfortunately I was only able to find books on a few of the creatures. I will need to take another look for some more books.
These books are THICK! The information was mind-boggling and already I found myself being turned off by the prospect of doing so much research for this YA novel. How much did I really need to include? Do my characters need to conform to these mythological foundations? What I found most interesting of course was the names. I LOVE naming my characters. Honestly, that is my favourite part of the story-writing process. I love finding quirky names with deep underlying meanings that inform the behaviour and interests of my characters. So fast forward a few more days and I now have pages and pages of names. I even took a few from astrology.
This blog needs to be honest. After about 3-4 days I just stopped. I stopped reading about the creatures, I stopped taking notes, I didn’t read my notes. The books and my notebook just sat beside my bed for the rest of the week. I’ve had a few thoughts about it, and I procrastinated about my ideas. I’m sure many of you have shouted out (whether internally or vocally) You’ve misspelt procrastinating in your title and your subtitle! Actually I haven’t. According to Urban Dictionary:
Recrastinate: to procrastinate again, tomorrow or the next day.
the act of placing something that you had been procrastinating on previously, and planning to do on a specific day,(today for example) and setting it off again or giving it one more day.(doing it tomorrow)
And that is exactly what I did. I knew I was procrastinating but I kept doing it anyway, until here we are a week later and all I’ve done is made a few notes, borrowed a few books and came up with some fun character names. So how do I cure this pro/recrastination? I make goals and plans! (And I share them with you, the public, so I stick to them.) I think three goals ought to do it.
GOALS FOR NEXT WEEK!
1. Sketch out a complete plot. Beginning to end.
2. Settle on the names of 3 main characters.
3. Write the first page of the novel.
I’d love to hear from my readers. If you have any advice, anecdotes about your own writing experience of if you have some questions please let me know right here! Or if you don’t want anybody else to see email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
See you all again next Tuesday for Week 2 of My YA Book Writing Journey!