Writing Routines

Writing Routines, Guest post by Donna Compositor

My day-to-day routine is I write 500 words per day per project. So right now I have three active projects: the sequel to CURSE OF STARS, a vampire apocalypse novel called BEFORE I’M DEAD, and a Divergent fanfic called INSIDIOUS.

The sequel to CURSE OF STARS is my “real” writing work, meaning I’m taking that one the most seriously (is that a correct string of words? Most seriously? Most serious?). The draft is already written and that’s the first step in any of my “serious” writing ventures. I shotgun the first draft to get the idea out of my head. Once it’s out I let it sit and stew, allowing me to forget portions of it so I can get to editing it with fresher eyes.

I finished that earlier in 2016 so I got a good six months from seeing it and now I’m doing the first round of edits. This means I give the book an initial read and make in-line comments about characters, plot, pacing, all that good stuff. Since I ended up drastically changing story course and character development at the end of CURSE OF STARS after book two was already written, I have a lot of inconsistencies going on. And I don’t edit as I write the first draft. So right now I have a big ol’ mess on my hands and my comments read something like “WTF is this? Why did you do this?” or “This isn’t accurate to the character anymore.” I make good comments, usually about plot elements that I want to keep and develop or little character quirks. But right now I have a mess to clean up. And because this isn’t actually writing I work on a minimum of five pages per day. Once this is done I’ll edit and rewrite until my hand bleeds and then it goes to beta readers. And then more editing and rewriting before it’s finally public-worthy.

BEFORE I’M DEAD and INSIDIOUS each get 500 words per day. They’re my two stories up on Wattpad right now. BID is a draft because I’m pretty much writing as I go along and I felt like the plot and character development was getting a little jerky and it needed some serious smoothing. I don’t normally show first drafts to anyone, but BID is my little social experience that’s not doing too bad. The highest it’s reached on Wattpad’s Hot List so far is 505 in the Vampire category, which is pretty awesome that it’s even ranked at all. I do plan on making this a “serious” novel so once I finish it, I’ll let it stew, and then it’ll go through the same editing process that something like the COS sequel is going through.

INSIDIOUS is just a fun little fanfiction romp. This is just brain spooge for me to get it out of my head and allow my writing brain a little down time. Fanfiction is fun and I enjoy playing in other peoples’ worlds, especially when it comes to characters that really aren’t developed and I get to play around with them too. So much fun. I basically equate this to reading for fun, especially in school. You have required reading and then fun reading you need to do in order to purge the drudgery from your mind. That’s what fanfiction is for me.

On top of all of that I normally write at night and I still have a desktop (a Mac Mini) so I am sitting at a desk (although it’s a joke of a desk right now, more like a folding table, but I’ll be fixing that very soon). Writing is the biggest constant that I have in my life. It’s always there, regardless of what I’m doing. It’s nice to not do it every once in a while, to just veg out in front of Netflix for a while or something. But it only takes a day or two before I feel completely out the loop and I need to reset my routine. Writing’s in my blood. I can’t ever stop.

Donna has been writing since she was in the single digits when she first realized she needed to do something about all the thoughts in her head. After a stint with bad poetry she finally found her way to novels, mainly of the young adult fantasy variety. When she’s not cranking out more stories she works a regular 9 to 5, reads anywhere from 2 to 3 books a week, drinks copious amounts of tea, eats way too much, and makes her own beauty products because her skin turns into a sentient hive if she uses anything else. This is mostly because she lives in the desert where the air siphons water clean out of her. She lives with a man named Steve and several quadrupeds: three cats named Renfield, Sam, and Dean; and a MinPin named Malfoy.


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  3. A new reader here. Its amazing how you put that across. And yeah you are right. Your writing became better after decluttering only.


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