Saturday, July 23, 2022

Clarion West Write-a-Thon 2022

This summer, I joined the Clarion West Write-a-Thon for the first time! I've been so busy with it, that I've forgotten to do a blog post until now and we're already in Week 5. It's almost over! There's been virtual writing sessions and helpful webinars that I've joined along the way, but the most beneficial part for me has been signing up for the Flash Fiction Critique Groups. 

In June, I was matched with 5 other writers. We've exchanged flash fiction stories each week and sent critiques to each other. I haven't been workshopping my stories very much since Covid began (and my college courses finished), so it's been really helpful to get back to giving and receiving feedback! It's pushed me to finish up a lot of story ideas that I had sketched out, but hadn't actually taken the time to complete. I have a lot of revisions to do now to get these stories sent out on submission.

On the novel side of things, I took some time in early July to escape for a few days and focus on my novel. I think I figured out the best process that works for me: I can only focus on 3 chapters at a time (writing or editing), which is about 6000-7000 words. Anything longer than that, I get overwhelmed and confused about the story. I have a detailed outline with some scattered chapters partially written, but I have trouble focusing on the characters' development and arcs in each part if I think about all 45 chapters at once. So, when I focused on Chapter 18, 19, & 20, I got 'em done without losing my place. I turned off the negative inner voice, I guess. Moving ahead through the middle of this novel is exciting!