Writing Update – April 2022

I haven’t quite finished another book in time to get a review up today, so I’m going to give an update on the status of my writing instead.

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For last week, I made steady progress on my current novel, East of the Sun, finishing about 2500 words. This is a hard science fiction novel set on a space station orbiting Enceladus. Here is the current blurb I’m using for the book and you can see some artwork I created that I felt captured the feel of a possible cover.

After her laboratory is destroyed and her career is threatened, a damaged scientist must investigate a new life form that has infiltrated Etna Station; but when crew members begin vanishing and life support fails, she must put her past aside and embrace a new existence if there is hope for any of them to survive.

I’m experimenting with using the Save the Cat! technique for novel writing that I found in the book Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody. I have a lot of the plot outlined but I have to fill in many of the details as I go.

When writers talk about their technique for writing, we usually break it into two subcategories: plotters and pantsers. Plotters are writers who map out most of the book ahead of time and then write off of extensive outlines. Pantsers are writers who fly the the seat of their pants. These writers come up with a story idea and/or character and then just write to see where it takes them.

I am some awkward hybrid of both types of writers. This makes learning the process of how to create a coherent plot an exercise in frustration and a lot of rewriting.

I have a couple of short stories making the rounds at markets. I need to find some time to rewrite or revise some of my other short fiction because I don’t have enough ready to submit to magazines. Before I do that, I want to gain more momentum on East of the Sun though.

For the writers out there, are you a plotter or a plantser? Let me know in the comments above.

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Alexis Alvarez
    Apr 12, 2022 @ 15:59:27

    Clare, I’ve worked with writers in the past (have edited a number of novels and memoirs), helping them with direction — if you need help, let me know. And I’d love to be a beta reader for you!


  2. davidmuscatliterature
    Apr 18, 2022 @ 08:34:05

    Sounds like you are making great progress with your novel! Well done! I find Save the Cat! helpful too.

    And I know what you mean about being an awkward hybrid of pantser and plotter. I too get frustrated with frequent re-writes and redrafts. I wish I had a clearer idea of my story from the outset, but I seem to generate ideas as I write, as opposed to beforehand.


    • Clare
      Apr 19, 2022 @ 09:43:47

      For many years I thought I was just a failed plotter, but then I found other examples of writers who plot a little, pants a little, then plot more, etc. It just makes it hard to finally wrangle it all into shape. Good luck with your projects!


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