With a heavy sigh I return to the base.

This year I am writing a novel.

I read Janet Evanovich’s book called How I Write. I really enjoyed the read and found it helpful for my own writing morale and dedication to writing. I found it to be positive and easy to read. I also liked How I Write because for me the question of what happens after the novel is written is a big blank space for me. In How I Write Janet talks about this a bit and I really found it helpful.

“Writing stuff that sucks is part of the learning process.” Janet Evanovich How I Write

Now in terms of my own writing progress I have realized that all parts and pieces of my story aren’t coming together cohesively. Heavy sigh. So, I have decided to scrap and start again. Not a 100% scrap, but back to my outline to firm it up and readjust. I am happy with my character profiles, but after reading How I Write I am going to use a tip and create a short character sketch for each major character to reference back to as needed instead of going through the longer profile all the time. As Janet points out, “…character is the cake.” I am also going to revisit the relationships between the characters because in the writing I have done so far I think I have added in things that are necessary. For example, the main character’s younger brother dies early in life and it has an impact on the main character and her development, a background detail that I needed while creating her but those details aren’t actually important to the story that I am writing.

In an earlier post this month I talked about having allotted myself 182 of set writing time. With this little set back I have lost almost 40 hours of writing time. This of course means I either need to make up those 40 hours or revisit my end timeline of December 31, 2021. I haven’t made a definitive decision on this yet. However, I have decided that regardless of what comes up moving forward I will finish and not re-start. Once I finish I can edit or overhaul as needed.

So my goal is still 90 to 120 thousand words. Genre is a mix of fantasy, mystery and adventure. Working title is going to remain The Nameless Files. The synopsis I shared with you back at the beginning of February will remain basically the same as well. It was as follows:

The main character is estranged from her crazy family. She went off on her own trying to figure out where she fits and who she is. She struggles with fitting into her family and feels as if she can’t find herself as long as she is solving their problems and answering to their constant crazy ways. When her sister is kidnapped and her life is threatened the main character is the only one who can save her, but can she save herself as she throws herself back into all the things she was running from?

Anyway, that is where I am at with my novel – back to the base. Perhaps there will be a few useful paragraphs or sentences that I might salvage but I don’t want to get bogged down trying to do that.

How are your 2021 writing projects progressing?

By Shari Marshall – 2021

7 thoughts on “With a heavy sigh I return to the base.

  1. The struggle is real, Shari. I’m in the middle of trying to brain-dump storyline, characters, plot, etc., for a series. I know I have enough for 3-5 books, but I need to know the base of the story to map it all out and set up the broad stroke outlines. This week I took a break to concentrate on a class, but I will be back at it come Monday. It sounds like you are doing great! Don’t stop. 💕

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    1. The struggle really is real for sure. Having enough for 3-5 books is wonderful. I image a short break to focus on something else will be helpful and your brain-dump will shift fabulously into a base and broad stroke outline! Thank you for stopping in and sharing; I find it inspirational to know that others are working forward on their writing projects.

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  2. You are going to scrap a lot.its part of the process. It is also not wasted time and work. You need to get everything g out on paper before a well written readable and satisfying piece is complete. Its not easy. Its not supposed to be easy. So you are doing great

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    1. Thank you Antoinette. I agree that it wasn’t wasted. Are you familiar with the movie “Labyrinth”? I am reminded of a character’s comment from that movie. It says, “Sometimes the way forward is the way back.”


  3. Hi Shari. Antoinette beat me to my point. All your work thus far might prove to be thinking through how this story is going to work. I dislike this part because it really does feel like wasted time and word craft. I think you’re on course and would give passing thought to your time line. A great story done by next February would be fine.

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    1. Thank you Gary.
      It is somewhat bitter sweet because I did lose writing and time but I feel like I have a way better sense of where the story is going and my role to get it there. So, I guess I didn’t really lose after all. I will continue writing on…


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