On the 16th of July this year when I started the project, I set a ‘deadline’ of a month to complete the book, mostly for a joke. Of course this didn’t happen, but I made a small start before I had the idea to keep this writing log.
At first I just used a notebook and orange pen, I wrote a few pages of character backstories, gave them names, and did a few doodles of the settings. I had been avoiding using either of my two laptops, as they are both over 10 years old and on the cusp of giving up. One has no working keys and no battery, and the other has a few keys working, although missing the crucial letter ‘E’, but it turns itself off now and then without warning. Hands sore from writing in pen, I relented, bought a cheap USB keyboard and started using a laptop.
At this stage I copied in the backstories I had written, and came up with a more detailed version of the setting. After roughly a week I had a story and chapter plan, and kept adding to the other aspects. With some miscellaneous scene ideas in there too, I had around 4500 words of planning, which I thought was enough to actually start writing.
The first line was the hardest, and I procrastinated for days looking at formatting and editing tips, and fiddling around with Microsoft Word margins and fonts. I hadn’t written anything, creatively or for an essay, since I had left school almost 5 years ago, so it was very intimidating to actually put something down. Each morning I woke up with a sour taste in my mouth, thinking that whatever I wrote would sound silly, and it would take till the evening to convince myself to have a go, by which time I was usually too tired. Eventually, having had an energy drink for a bit of a confidence boost, I managed to force out a first line. Then another, and then a full paragraph, then 2 more. The relief I felt was huge, and writing became enjoyable, like it should be, instead of something I was berating myself about before I had even started. Surprisingly, I didn’t totally hate what I had done, I even quite liked it, although I had absolutely no idea if anyone else would.
Either way, I managed to write 2 short chapters, around 4000 words, in 2 weeks. I think having quite a lot of character notes was a huge help and allowed me to write as them a lot more freely. I was feeling pretty good about the story, but was about to have a rather large setback. This post is getting slightly long, so I’ll save that for tomorrow.