Ten Things I Learned From and About Writing This Half-Year

  1. I can write romance

I don’t like a lot of romance, so I don’t write a lot of romance. However, over Valentine’s Day week, I managed to write, well, romance. And honestly, I surprised myself.

2. Sometimes you find your story after you write it

I am not an outliner. I usually start a story with a premise, an ending, and a list of scenes to put in the middle. If I have more than one character planned out at the beginning, I’m doing good.

Recently, I finished the (extremely) rough draft of my original novel, with the current title of The Golden Ruler (which may or may not change). At the beginning, I barely had names for the characters. Now, I have them figured out, from what summer camps Katie went to to Jackie’s favorite color to what Mark notices first when he sees a person. Almost all the characters are completely fleshed out, despite starting the novel with a general premise and a loose idea of where I wanted to end it.

3. Formatting stinks

Do to my habit of leaving WIPs unfinished, before I started posting Interference, I decided I would have it completely finished. Which meant I sent my chapters from my phone (where I do my rough drafting) to my computer (where I edit and format) en masse, instead of sending one document at a time.

It completely screwed up the formatting, and I had to redo all of the paragraphs, all of the lines breaks, all of the everything.

4. Titling is hard, Amazon helps

Sometimes, it’s not. The title for Interference came easily to me, as did a lot of my other fairly popular fanfictions of the year (fairly popular translating to more than one person reviewed). But I went through a ton of names before landing on The Golden Ruler, and even that I’m only 99% sure I’m going to keep it.

So, to make sure it was a good name, I went to Amazon.com, searched for books and typed in that title. Nothing came up. That, to me, was a good thing, and I typed in some other titles I had for future books.

5. I can keep a schedule

I can’t keep a schedule, so when I decided to post seven different romance-type stories for Valentine’s Day, I thought I was facing a monster. Even though near the end I was writing the stories the same day I posted them, I managed to do it and it definitely gave me confidence.

6. Keeping in mistakes can be funny

In the world of the Hunger Games, I always wanted to write an OC (original character) from District 12 called Canary. So when I started writing Interference, I added in Canary, a daughter of Athena from District 12.

In one of the scenes, Canary was fixing a canopy, and I managed to confuse the two. Instead of fixing it, I kept in the mistake with other characters correcting the line, and it made my mom crack up.

7. Write. Everything. Down. 

Neither of Shannon Hale’s amazing series, Books of Bayern and The Princess Academy, have a lot of fanfiction. So the plot bunnies started whispering, and an idea came to mind (that may or may not be finished and posted). Since in an interview, Shannon Hale said that the world of Danland from The Princess Academy was inspired by her Scandinavian ancestry, I looked up Scandinavian names. And found a really, really good one.

And forgot three seconds later.

(Also, what are some good male Scandinavian names?)

8. Don’t regret writing something just because no one liked it

Inspired by the new season of Librarians, I wrote a, in my very biased opinion, a hilarious Librarians/Doctor Who story, “The Protector“. I found it hilarious, my parents found it hilarious, and I have had absolutely no response whatsoever online about it.

I’m still disappointed, but I realized I didn’t write that for reviews (I don’t write anything for reviews, because I’m lucky if I get multiple reviews). I wrote it so that the idea would stop taking up space in my already crammed head.

And in the end, that’s why I write anything. Because it takes up to much space in my head that I just have to get it down, and if I have to put in the work to get it down, then why not let everyone else see it?

9. Fanfiction is a big confidence booster

Honestly, I started writing fanfiction for the reason stated above, but lately it’s become something else. It’s become a way to challenge myself – whether it be Valentine’s Day week of stories or an 18-chapter-plus-a-short-epilogue Hunger Games/Percy Jackson story – and I’ve succeed at those challenges. And it has been a major confidence booster to see the finished product.

10. I can actually finish things

This year, I finished writing my original novel (well, the rough draft), something I never actually thought I would do. I am constantly bombarded by ideas, and used to work on three or four novels at the same time.

Last year, on January 1st, I decided that I would start a novel and work on that, and only that, and finish it by the end of the year.

I didn’t manage to finish it by the end of the year, but I was close. While writing this novel, I did work on many other projects, just because the ideas wouldn’t leave me. But I focused on the fact that I would finish this novel, no matter how many other ideas I had, and I did.


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