My Writing Adventure

Well, I survived the dentist! It wasn’t too bad. The first shot of Novocain didn’t really work. Thankfully, the second shot did, but I still felt intense pain a few times during the procedure. I’m so glad it’s done and feeling very thankful for Novocain. My teeth are a little tender today, but I think I’ll be just fine. I told Jimmy that if I ever need anything more than a cavity filled or repaired, I’m looking into sedation dentistry ๐Ÿ˜‰

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I decided to treat myself for making it through the dentist by giving myself a manicure with hot pink polish to celebrate spring. (Can you tell I was having fun with webcam filters in the picture?!) Funny story: My hand twitched while I was painting my nails and I spilled polish all over my shirt, jeans, and couch. I guess I was feeling jumpy?!

So, now I’m ready to discuss my book writingย process! Let’s dive in.

As I mentioned previously, my book idea started with a question. I woke up one morning and thought if this happened, then what? The first thing I did was grab a piece of paper and let my mind run wild. I jotted down basic ideas, questions, names, themes, and places. I was honestly surprised I wanted to write a novel because I’m such a huge fan of nonfiction, but I decided to just go with it.

Once I had the basic gist of the plot, I started to create an outline. The outline was more detailed in the first few chapters, and I have continued to update it as I have delved further into the story and have a better idea of what I want to happen in later chapters. I will note, though, that I still don’t have a specific ending for the story yet. I’m torn on what I want to happen, ha. I think as I continue to write, it will become more clear. I hope!

I made profiles of each character, then a spreadsheet of all the characters. I also made a document filled with all the town names, houses, and places in the novel and descriptions for each place.

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Thankfully Jimmy allows me to use his laptop to write! And blog ๐Ÿ™‚

After creating the outline, character profiles, and places document came the hardest part: starting. I was incredibly afraid to just start writing, but once I did I was fine. At first, I was writing thousands of words a day, and some days I still do. Other days I’m at 500 or less. I try to focus on quality over quantity!

I also created a scene list, which has been very helpful when I don’t want to go back through the whole document and find a specific detail. I try to write every day, but it doesn’t always happen. As for what time I write, I’m all over the place. Morning, noon, or night, if I have free time I try to hit the keyboard. I don’t have a schedule because I work different hours and jobs each day.

I’m currently about 30,000 words into my first draft. Being the journalism major that I am, I have gone back and edited a few times, but nothing too serious. I’ve heard that you should never edit a first draft until you’re finished, but it has been helpful for me to edit here and there so I keep my plot and characters’ voices focused.

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The biggest challenges so far have been choosing character names I like, writing from a male’s perspective (each chapter switches between a male and female as the first person narrator) and just staying dedicated to writing as much as I can. It’s way too easy to get distracted.

The best parts of this journey have been the learning experience of writing a book and having something that isย inspired by various experiences I have had or have simply wanted to learn and write about. Basically, it feels amazing to create. I was asked if I will share the plot, and I may in due time. I’m still so protective of my “baby” and self-conscious about the story, but we’ll see if that changes as I get closer to finishing.

I don’t know if I’ll look into having my book published. If I really like the story, I will probably try. If not, I’ll be glad I embarked on this fun experience. Either way, it has been great and I’m following God’s lead for my life as best I can.

I think that’s everything?! Feel free to ask any other questions in the comments. Thanks, again, to everyone who is so supportive and encouraging. It means a lot to me!

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26 comments

  1. That’s interesting and I would have never thought about that with the character names. I think I would struggle with that too.

    I’m glad to hear your dentist trip wasn’t too crazy. Shots in the mouth are generally painful.

    1. It’s definitely tough to think how a guy would think and then write that way! And thank you! That means so much to me!!

      I’m so glad I survived, too! I’m still in some pain (ugh!) so I’ll be going back this week. Hopefully it’s just lingering sensitivity!

  2. I’m glad that the dentist appointment went well. It’s behind you. And your spring manicure is springtastic.

    Thanks for sharing your writing process. That is so interesting. I love that you’re using multiple spreadsheets – it makes sense that you would need those details in spreadsheet form.

    Keep up the great work!

    1. Thanks, Amy!! I’m glad that’s done. I’m still hurting, so I have to go back this week. Ugh, haha. Hopefully it’s nothing serious and just lingering sensitivity!!

      Thanks for the compliment on my spring manicure! It was fun. I don’t paint my nails often enough!

      I’m glad you found my writing process interesting, too! And yes to all the spread sheets! I feel like I could make ten and still not capture all the details I feel like I should, haha. That’s usually when I’m like “okay, I just need to write now!” haha.

  3. WOW 30,000 words?!?! I don’t think I’ve ever typed anything that long in my life. Way to go Allie! God has blessed you and this story will be great ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Aww, thanks Brittany! I actually have to go back on Thursday because my teeth are still hurting/sensitive. The struggle is real, haha.

      And ahhh thank you!!! I am so excited, too!

  4. This book was meant to be written!!
    Girl, I’m a writer too, and that many words (and that detail) doesn’t pour out of you unless it’s something special. Trust me, I know. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Writing is TOUGH work! And your ability to write so much is just possibility exciting!
    I’m so glad you’re having fun with it and not putting too much pressure on yourself!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. “I was asked if I will share the plot” — haha, that was me! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m so curious what it’s about, but I absolutely respect your decision to keep your “baby” to yourself until you’re ready to share.

    I am in awe of how organized your writing process is. It’s interesting to hear how you plan your writing with spreadsheets and scene lists.

    Well done for surviving the dentist. I’m glad it wasn’t too bad. ๐Ÿ™‚ Weird fact about me: when I have to get Novocain shots at the dentist, I silently recite multiplication tables to distract myself. It works for me!

    1. Haha yes!! And thank you for your respect!! I will be ready to share more some day! And I know at least one person will be interested ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Thank you! I did so much research on organizing writing and I still feel lost half the time, haha. Making spread sheets and scene lists has helped a lot! I feel like I could make 10 more spread sheets and still not cover all the details, but that’s when I realize I just need to write!

      Good idea for reciting multiplication tables, haha!! I actually have to go back to the dentist this week because my teeth are bothering me still. The struggle is real, haha. Hopefully it’s nothing serious!!!

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