Writing Update – April 2021

You can find March’s update here.

The first half of April was a productive time for my writing. It started with a week off from Babou 691—Spring Break, if you will. I dove into the outlining process. My goal was to turn my premise into a plot by the end of the week. Unfortunately, even with all that free time, I did not achieve this. I did, however, make some great progress that week, including:

  • Organizing my notes
  • Profiling my four main characters
  • Mapping out the first five chapters
  • Learning a new, more effective method of outlining

After my vacation was over, I continued on the outlining process, usually working about an hour each day on it. In this time, I fleshed out the story to about the halfway point. I was feeling confident that I’d finish the first iteration of the outline by the end of the month. Then came the medication change.

It was my first big medication change in over a decade and with it came a cavalcade of side effects, most notably trouble with concentration. In the last three weeks, I’ve only outlined a chapter and a half. My brain seems to ward off any new ideas. The hardest part of it all has been giving myself permission not to work on it.

Once these side effects wear off—as I’m hoping they will—I’ll get back on track. But enough “woe is me”! Here’s a bit about the book, as promised:

Even with a half-written outline, I still can’t tell if it will be a novel or a novella. The original version of THE THEATER (my code name for my WIP) was only 22,355 words, but as I am adding so much more to the story, I imagine it will be much longer.

I’m not ready to reveal its plot (as I only know half of it) and I’d like to work more with the characters before I introduce them to you. However, I can allude to the structure of the book.

The story revolves around four different narratives (or “realities” as I’ve been calling them). The main character experiences these realities concurrently, despite the fact that they occur in different times and places. Each will be written in a different style, one of which will be told partially through automatic writing. If this doesn’t make sense, you’re not alone. I’m still trying to figure it out.

As I said in the last update, it’s an ambitious and experimental project. But I get great satisfaction from pushing myself so much. Hopefully, my rusted old brain starts up again so I can discover how it will end.


WHAT I’M READING: The med change has impacted my reading as well. I mainly read novels and novellas, but with my concentration troubles, I’ve rediscovered short stories. Currently, I’m reading Beautiful/Grotesque, a mini-anthology from Weirdpunk Books. They’ve put out some great books, and this is one of my favorites so far.

WHAT I’M WATCHING: Ken Burns’s (no relation) three-part documentary on Hemmingway. I must admit that I love biopics and documentaries on famous writers and artists. They always inspire me. Is that pretentious? I don’t know. The series is well-done, but has that Ken Burns slowness to it. I’m taking my time with it.


I’ll see you next month, if not sooner. I’m trying to exercise my writing muscles so there may be a couple entries up this month before the next update.

Tchau,

One thought on “Writing Update – April 2021

  1. Pingback: Writing Update – May 2021 | Zé Burns | Blog

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