Writerly Update #3―Abandoning a Novel + Coming up With a New One + Tackling Racism

After Camp NaNo, I will be taking a looong break from If Memory Serves. For as long as maybe five billion years.

No. I’m not kidding. And I’m really quite sad, contrary to what you might think.

This story has been with me since October 2016, and I have loved it, cared for it, and grew it. It is my baby, a part of me and my life. I worked hard on it for NaNoWriMo 2016, my first NaNo ever, and I reached my goal of 15,000 words with this precious little baby. After revisiting the plot in an attempt to form an outline for it, I came to the conclusion that I cannot go on with this story.

*note: I am making a new graphic for each writerly update because my writerly update graphics are cringy.

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Bear with me for a little bit as I shed my “witty” voice and take on a more serious tone.

I loved IMS. I loved it with all my heart. I still do.

The problem is that when I first made a plot structure of the story in October, I didn’t realize how the last half of the plot was basically all told in the antagonist’s perspective, and had NOTHING to do with the protagonists.

So last month (and this month), I tried tackling this problem (discovered when I was working on my outline) by brainstorming new plot ideas for the protagonists. What I came up with was:

  • A rebellion (protagonists’ side).
  • The rebellion’s headquarters were discovered/betrayed.
  • Maybe a character betrays them???

And that was pretty much it.

You may think that I am a lazy writer with no stamina or commitment at all.

Well, you probably got that right, but it’s mainly because I have no motivation whatsoever to think of a new plot. If I did, I am SURE that I would continue working on this story. But as much as I want to think of a new plot… I just can’t. I am a horribly unimaginative little bean and just. cannot. do it. And then while I am physically unable to do it, I can’t do it emotionally either. I have no motivation to think of a plot, I have no motivation to keep the story going, I have no motivation to finish the story.

Which is why, after five-and-a-half months of working on this (oh my gosh, almost half a year??? I’m gonna cry), I am discontinuing it.

It’s more of a break, really. I’ll come back to it, because I cannot leave my beautiful characters to rot, and because this story is my baby. I’ll come back to it the day I think of an idea, any idea at all. I’ll come back to it slowly, because by then, I’ll be refreshed, I’ll be a better writer, and I’ll be able to fall in love with it once more, just like I did all those months ago.

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Just to be miserable, here is a list of why I love IMS:

  • It is the first story that I didn’t stop writing about on the third chapter.
  • It is the first story I (attempted to have) outlined.
  • It is the first story I did for NaNo.
  • It is the first story I was really committed to, and really developed.
  • It is the first story I really, truly loved.
  • The charries are amazing. I wrote them mini-notes that I won’t post because they’re a bit long.
  • The plot is by far the most developed out of all my plots.
  • I just do.

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Oh dang it now I’m gonna cry.

But no, not really, because it hasn’t actually sunk in yet. It doesn’t feel real. I made this decision last Friday, but I still don’t… feel anything. I mean, I’m sad. But not overly sad. Maybe because I knew it was coming all along? Or maybe because I have a Pinterest board where it still lives on? Maybe because I’m a heartless little bean? OR MAYBE I’M TOO EXCITED ABOUT MY LATEST STORY IDEA TO CARE???

Honestly, though. I’m sad. I will miss the charries terribly (yes, they’re all I care about), but they’ll always be with me no matter what. ❤

BUT NOW YOU GET TO LEARN ABOUT MY MOST RECENT STORY IDEA!

To be honest, I have literally thought of NOTHING. I only know one character’s full name and a bit of her personality/character, and she’s not even the main character. I have SOME ideas for plot and setting, but they’re all just IDEAS. I also have other ideas of some charries, but I’m not sure yet, so I won’t share them with you right now. 😉

Opposite to what I originally thought, this is NOT going to be a dark story. There will be dark things in it, of course, but not in the levels like I had in mind. I’m not sure if there will be dark magic or not, but there probably will be. Except more like “HAHA I’M A BAD PERSON AND I DO MAGIC AND KILL PEOPLE”.

There is no title to this amazing piece of work yet. #sogoodatthis

But let me introduce you to the delightful…

Dang it, I keep wanting to say Lila Bard.

What? Was Lilah inspired by Lila in A Darker Shade of Magic??? NOOOOOOO.

Okay. Sort of. I mean, I had thought of this “Gracing” character for March’s TWPC, but that was when I was barely through the book (I’m more than halfway now) and therefore didn’t really have a grasp on who Lila was. But then when I matched the name “Lilah” with “Gracing” and saw how similar Lilah and Lila were, I sort of freaked out??? I hate when this stuff happens. But honestly, if I can find a better/another name, I WILL USE IT. Because I don’t want to “steal the name”???

This is where I would give more information on Miss Lilah, but FORTUNATELY, I have thought of more things besides her, so here is some info on plotty and settingy stuff:

  • Takes place in a separate world with different lands and different rulers. Slightly dystopianish? Slightly?
  • At least three lands. All thriving, but with different secrets, and thriving in different ways. Maybe?
  • SOMETHING HAS A RIVER OR LAKE IN IT. Cuz rivers and lakes are #cool.
  • This world has MAGIC.
  • The plot has to do something with magic. #genius
  • Possible ideas is that someone is messing with the magic, and possibly making it turn people against themselves/their magic against magic. Or maybe the magic is somehow glitching. (I don’t know how that would work???)
  • And maybe the magic isn’t actually magic??? But that’s weird and I DON’T KNOW HOW THAT WOULD WORK EITHER.
  • Or maybe magic is being stolen from their land??? And they have to find out who is taking it. Except more complicated than that.

And that’s basically it. *finger guns* My novel-planning skills are #goals. Do not doubt the Queen.

But in my defense, I am also working on IMS right now??? Yes, I said that I was “abandoning it”, but ONLY AFTER CAMP. Right now, I’m giving it a parting gift of 17,500 words (Camp goal) and more (the writing I do in March). And if I’m going to achieve my goal of 17.5K (I’M A COMPETITIVE PERSON D’YOU WANNA FIGHT??? FIGHT MEEEEEEE), then I’m going to have to get back into the writing flow.

A NOTE: I am really excited for this new story idea because OMG FANTASY I HAVEN’T DONE ACTUAL FANTASY SINCE LIKE EVER. Usually it’s just “powers” with a dystopian world that I call fantasy cuz there’s no other name for it??? BUT THIS IS GONNA BE FUUUUUUUUN.

Just keep in mind that NOPE SORRY NO FANTASY CREATURES BECAUSE #NO. I hate those things, I’m sorry. (Except for HP and KOTLC, because… Yeeeeees.)

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On NaPoWriMo

I have made a page for NaPoWriMo. If you don’t know what NaPoWriMo, it’s basically the same as NaNoWriMo, except you’re writing a poem a month for April (the national poetry month). You can sign up (on the site linked) by inserting the link of your blog/website. I love poetry, but I haven’t been writing a lot, so I’ll be doing this in April, in addition to Camp NaNo.

On the NaPoWriMo page, I’ll TRY to update every day with a poem I write. I won’t post it or anything, but just have one really long page of poems. Be sure to check it out when I get some poems up!

(Also, be sure to check out my Lovely Blogs page if you haven’t! Let me know if you want to swap buttons with moi.)

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Tackling Racism with Haikus

The lovely Gracie over at A Light in the Darkness is starting her campaign of Tackling Racism with Haikus. I think racism is a huge problem, especially myself being of a different race than “American”, and I also love poetry, so this is great for me! However, I’m not the best at haikus, so bear with me…

It doesn’t matter
what color she or he is.
We are all
human.

Yay for cringy haiku.

I’ll also be writing haikus like this for NaPoWriMo. (When I procrastinate and it’s like ten at night and I still haven’t written a poem. #winning)

The next two Writerly Updates will be next month, and I’ll update you on how Camp NaNo is going, how NaPoWriMo is going, and also any updates on my story. I really can’t call it a story because all I’ve figured out a tiny bit of one character, a tiny branch of the genre, and like nothing else at all??? Help???


shall we chat

have you ever “abandoned” a novel before? how did you feel? don’t you always hate it when your charrie is so simlar to another author’s??? what do you think of miss lilah gracing? do you have any new story ideas yourself? READY FOR CAMP NANO AND/OR NAPOWRIMO??? chat with/cry with/feed ideas to MOI!

sign off 2.0

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77 thoughts on “Writerly Update #3―Abandoning a Novel + Coming up With a New One + Tackling Racism

  1. Loved your haiku!! And I relate to the abandoning novel thing – I actually finished a 140 page of my horror novel when I was really into the horror genre/writer thing. I never really came back to it editing wise, but I’m planning on revisiting it some time in the future. Really enjoyed this post!! 🙂 ❤ xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. THE STRUGGLE OF BREAKING FROM YOUR NOVEL IS REAL. I’ve been working on a five-part fantasy series for almost, if not more than, five years. It’s a struggle to find ways to fill plot holes– but you’ll find them, soon enough! I have complete faith in you. ❤

    And ahh, racism. As a POC, too, I can relate to a degree. I live in a state where racism isn't as apparent, but whenever my family travels down to other areas of the country, there are places we avoid because racism is strong in those parts. Can't wait to see your haikus!

    xoxo Abigail Lennah

    P.S. I'm new to actually meeting bloggers in the WordPress world… so um, if WordPress users follow Blogger blogs via GFC, do Blogger users follow by subscribing the link to their dashboards or email? It is confuzzling.

    P.P.S. HAMILTON YAAAAASSS (but hey we can never forget about Peggy).

    Liked by 1 person

    • IT ISSSSSSS. Omg that sounds so cool??? A five-part fantasy series for five years??? How are you so dedicated??? XD And thank you so much! I’m sure you’re a great plot hole filler. 😉
      Yaaas, POCs unite! Oh, that’s great! And yeah, it’s weird how some areas of the country will be more racist than others. :/
      Thank you! 😀
      Hmm, I’m not sure??? (And what is GFC? XD #techsavvy) I made a Blogger account just to follow my dear Blogger blogs, but WordPress users can also follow Blogger blogs through our Reader with the URLs. Maybe it’s the same for Blogger and the Reading List?
      And YAAAAAS HAMILTOOOOOOOOON (*work work* Angelicaaaa *work work* Elizaaaa–AND PEGGY XD )

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  3. IT’S ABOUT TIME, MANGO QUEEN. I WAS WAITINGGGG FOR THIS. But yes the writerly struggle is real! I’ve given up on many a novel . . . XD Basically, I loved this post like ajklsdj. FINALLY SOMEONE TALKED ABOUT RACISM. So many try to paint over it and ignore it . . . sheesh, people. *exasperated sigh* And even if it’s not blatant, the prejudice is still there. I could rant for a very long time but I shall refrain.

    AHAHAHAHA WHAT IS THIS WORD “READY”? Lol, I need to structure my novel better for Camp. Like wayyyy better. But I do think I’m prepared word-count wise? I’ve been doing a daily word sprint with the lovely people in my cabin, and I’ve been getting 1000+ words every sprint (if I do the full 25 minutes on MyWriteClub), which is a decent daily count. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m so sorry May!!! I’ve been witness to all of the times in class you’ve worked on IMS and I’m sad you’ve had to abandon it. On the other hand YAY LILA GRACING YAY! I’m really excited for her and her story and just agh I’m excited! I’m also excited about Napowrimo and just everything and agh!! AND GOOD FOR YOU MAY!!

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  5. I always so feel so jealous whenever I read your Writerly updates *wipes tear*. They’re so beautiful BECAUSE you actually have WRITER STUFF to talk about. I’ve never even written a novel before *Wails* but I hope to do NanoWriMo this year! AND I LOVE THE NAME. Lilah Gracing – it’s awesome! The world sounds really awesome because a)magic b)rivers c)MANGOES-you must include!

    Or maybe magic is being INFECTED! See there is ‘good’ and ‘normal’ and whimsyical nice magic which everyone has (it has passed down through families) but then one baby is born with ‘dark magic’ as someone has infected the magic system. Soon, more an more babies have this ‘dark’ magic which makes the world go crazy. So they have to find out how this eveil Infector is and stop him/her or them!
    MUAHAHA (okay, waatt my ideas make no sense)
    I LIKE THE HAIKU – Thanks for the first blogger I’ve ever seen tlaking about racism openly. LIKE HOORAY!
    i don’t understand
    judging by looks
    aren’t we all stars?
    DO YOU LIKE THIS UTTER RUBBISH?
    Also, TWPC. I don’t like the prompt this time so I don’t know if I should enter (the whole tatoo die date born thingy) soooo a ittle hesitant. AND I WANTED A BADGE LAST TIME FOR WIINING *Wails*. Are you enetering for #2?

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    • Aw, don’t be jealous, my fren! And hey, I haven’t written a novel before either! Just random stories that get abandoned at the second page. 😉 YUUUUUUUS MAHRIYA, YOU MUUUUUUUST DO NANOWRIMO!!! And haha, thank you so much! AND YES I WILL INCLUDE MANGOES.
      Ooh! That’s good! The only thing about it is that I just finished reading ADSOM which has all that dark magicky stuff ON TOP of the similarity between Lilah and Lila, so maybe not??? But I’ll definitely “use” (what else do I say???) your ideas. 🙂
      THANK YOU! And it really needs to be addressed more! And that haiku was absolutely beautiful. *cries*
      Oh, I LOVE the prompts this time! XD I wrote it already, but it’s super bad so I’m gonna just rewrite it lol. And POOR MAHRIYA *pats head* *gives mangoes*

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  6. *pats head* *hands you tissues* You poor wittle May… 😥
    I’m so sad that your novel isn’t working for you, but it’s good that you’re identifying that. It’s better to take a break and come back to in in a little while than push through it and be miserable.
    Meanwhile, I can’t wait for your new story idea! I’m doing NaPoWriMo for Camp NaNo (which is what you’re doing too, from what I gathered in the post…?) Good luck with everything, dearest! 😀
    ~Grace ❤
    P.S. OKAY. HOW DO YOU CREATE SUCH BEAUTIFUL FEATURED IMAGES??? Could you do a tutorial post or email me or something? I've really gotta get better images, but I never know how to find things and good fonts and what layout and…yeah.

    Liked by 1 person

    • *cries*
      And yeah, I think taking a break is very important in writing, so I’m glad to be doing it!
      I’m super excited for my new story idea as well! (I’m actually working on IMS (ONE LAST TIIIIIIIIIIIIIIME) for Camp, and also doing NaPoWriMo #help.) And I wish you the best of luck as well! ❤
      XD I don't know??? I just… drag stuff around. XD Sure! I'd be happy to email you a little tutorial or something. 🙂 Just after I update myself with all the new comments and posts I missed this morning… XD

      Liked by 1 person

  7. It is sad when you abandon a novel. I completely forgot about my first novel so I guess that’s considered abandoning. It is so awful when my characters closely resemble already written characters, but maybe it’s because I like the characters so much they kind of leek into my writing.

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  8. I feel your pain!! But heeeey I wrote the story of my HEART when I was 15 and, well, it sucked.😂 And like 7 years later I’m back writing it and it’s AMAZING and just what I always wanted it to be. So even if you need to put a story aside for now and work on other stuff: dooooo it. It doesn’t mean you’ll never get back to the original story!! If it’s precious enough to you, it’ll keep calling you back. Plus I feel like one can learn so so much from switching projects and dabbling in other genres and things. IT’LL BE FUN. I HOPE YOU AND LILAH HAVE A GOOD TIME TOGETHER. Also magic = awesomeness. 😍😍

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh, I know the way you feel. I once wrote a novella and got all the editing and stuff done… Just before I decided to abandon it. *sniffs*
    NAPOWRIMO!!! I can’t believe how close it is! I’ve been waiting for it since, like, FOREVER. EEEEEEP it’s coming!!!!!! I better get ready.
    Well, I’m off to flex my writing muscles (which are pretty puny, you know).
    P.S: Good luck with Lilah Gracing. Oh, and BEWARE OF WRITER’S BLOCK. And Peeves. BEWARE OF PEEVES.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know… Editing is such a bother though. :/ XD
      YAS NAPOWRIMO! I’m super excited! Although it’ll be quite a struggle to do NaPoWriMo and Camp NaNo. XD
      Thank you! And yes, I will be aware of them. 😛

      Liked by 1 person

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