Moonlake’s Writing Updates (4)

Hmm…. I forgot about last Sunday’s post. Ah well, there will be a make-up post either today or forthcoming.


Today, I’m just going to do another writing update. Unfortunately, the short story that I said I was committed to finishing really didn’t work out and I just became so ‘out’ of the story that I decided to discontinue. It’s a bit of a pity since I had a good start- it was born out of a collaborative venture at my Writer’s home and those of us who participated had great hopes for it but ah well… things didn’t really work out across various areas and I didn’t really feel like short stories are my thing. I love complexity, interconnections, that kind of thing. So after enrolling myself into James Patterson’s Masterclass (I told you this last time), I got reinvigorated to going back to my stalled novel that I had put down since Feb/Mar.


I’m going all the way back to the outline stage and I will be creating a comprehensive outline for each of the 5 book series before I actually revise the writing now. And if you are one of my followers who had went through one of my few long reads titled Moonlake’s Novel Planning Method, you might’ve noticed that I don’t write outlines but instead do a sequences of steps starting with giving each Chapter a name and write two sub-events that happened in each Chapter in indentation form and ending with what I call pre-writing where I fill out each scene by brainstorming about how exactly I will write each paragraph or main section to get how the sequence of events play out. But JP’s Masterclass made me realise that an outline included and should include more elements than my own process that could be really useful to help writers play-test their novel before they even start writing. So I’ve decided to try out this new tool.


I think I mentioned that I’m a bit of a sub-plot maniac and that’s certainly where I had the most fun with the first time around. This time around, the outlines are proving somewhat more difficult for me because JP’s outlines are really more about getting back to the essence of a scene (the conflicts, the key traits of the character you are showcasing whereas previously my emphasis tended to be getting it right in my head as to how events unfolded in a scene. Also, I’m no longer working with a clean slate and I’ve recently felt a little stuck. But I’ve included more helpers this time around. I’ve shared my outlines with two people who I’ve befriended on the Citadel (what I call my Virtual Writer’s Home for casual/first time readers of my blog) and I’ve also recently gained one more beta reader, a ‘lost’ member and one of my closest friends come back to the site. Also, this time around, I’m committed to doing some iterations on the outlines so I’m hoping that this setup (Currently I have 2 people commenting on the outlines and another two on actual writing although at some point I’ll probably get my beta readers to join in on giving feedback on my outlines, I was initially reluctant to do so thinking that they might not like getting spoilers but it looks like I might have to ask that of them some time or later) will give me some good feedback that I can use when I go through and do iterations on the outlines (when I started on the novel, I didn’t do any iterations when I planned out the plot, I was just impatient to start writing and surely the result of ‘winging it’ resulted in plots that my new beta reader said sounded a little forced, hints that I dropped in of future developments that are picked up and conveyed too vaguely to provoke little reader response, that kind of thing). So yes, I’m committed to iterations this time around.


The other major development is that I’ve started another collaboration on the Citadel. I had previously posted up my manual translations of a bunch of mythical lifeforms from Chinese lore and it was well liked. Then while asking what themes of Chinese lore people wanted to read on the Citadel (I had later branched out into more than lifeforms), another dear friend on the site said he would like to see an actual adventure module showcasing the creatures. So then I asked whether he wanted to collab on it and he said yes and off we went. We’re still brainstorming at this stage but I’m excited because this is only my second collaborative experience on the site. I only had two other collaborative experiences and they were both with another dear friend, who was another Moon (we have several people whose usernames involved Moon on the site). The first one turned out very pleasant and the second died due to unforeseen and regrettable circumstances (a pity cos what we came up with was a fun idea) but we two remained good friends, which is what matters. And it really gave me a taste for the power of collective brainstorming so these two development should be occupying most of my creative muscles for now.



Published by moonlakeku

intermediate Chinese fantasy writer working on her debut series

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