Welcome to The Road!
The plan for this blog is simple. It will keep track of my writing progress. This includes postings about my current works-in-progress and general musings about story creation and the process of writing.
I want to improve on my craft, but unless I can convince myself to write consistently, that will never happen. This blog should be motivation to continue thinking about my stories, as well as prompting a deeper look into some of the aspects of storytelling.
That said, I am certainly not an authority, and will get things wrong. In fact, I expect to make mistakes along the way. It’s those mistakes that promote growth. Although I’ve been interested in writing for a long time, I graduated college without taking a single creative writing course, and those English classes I did take were not the most memorable.
My first attempt at writing a novel failed completely. One-dimensional characters, a confusing plot, and an ending that came abruptly halfway through a battle, proved it had issues.
Knowing that I didn’t possess the skills needed to write this novel, I set out to improve on the basics of the craft. I joined an online community and entered a monthly flash fiction contest. Of all the things I’ve done over the last few years, this was the most instrumental. I learned how to finish a story. If you’re a writer, you know how important this is. How many stories do we start, then push aside for something else? It happened to me often, and it limited my growth. I didn’t know how to write a satisfying conclusion, because I rarely reached the ending of a story.
Writing to a monthly deadline meant I had to make decisions. I couldn’t let the story sit for too long or the submission window for the contest would come and go. I decided where the story needed to go, and wrote a beginning, middle and end. With nothing but a short prompt, I wrote complete stories every month.
After a year or two of flash fiction and short stories, my old novel wedged itself back into my head. (Did it ever really leave?). As I read the original draft I realized how far I had come from those first days typing away at the computer. The errors blazed like a fire in the night, but I also realized that it wasn’t all bad.
After a few months of thinking, I started a new draft. It was basically a fresh start as most of the scenes I dragged to the trashcan. New plot and setting, character overhauls and a tighter conflict.
I finished the rough draft.
And here I am. I have a story waiting for heavy edits and I’ve spent a few more months thinking about how to improve it once again. As I begin this next draft, I’ll post my thoughts and struggles as I go along. The goal is to publish, but whether it be this WIP, or another, I will continue to travel this road.