Chapter 45 – How Cheating On My Novel Helped My Novel

Alright, I admit it. I’ve been cheating on my novel with another story. But before you judge me, let me tell you how it helped.

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Picture by Ingo Bernhardt

The schedule I made for my editing back in March has been blown out the window. It’s now April 19 and no, I haven’t finished the revisions and edits I want to before sending it out to beta readers. The deadline for that was April 12. Cue excuses!

The reality is I hit a wall with editing. I couldn’t focus and whenever I sat down to edit, I ended up spending a few hours doing a whole lot of nothing. Maybe I fixed a sentence here or made a note there. But the big picture wasn’t getting any clearer. I had some good ideas I wanted to write into the story and I knew what had to be taken out, but I couldn’t get it done.

Then it happened. I met another story.

Okay, Story was an old acquaintance. I’d been mulling it over in my head for a while but I always pushed it to the side to work on the Awoken Dragon sequel. This time, with all the struggles I had with editing, I didn’t push the other idea away. I embraced it.

I sat down to write and the words just flew out. They weren’t perfect words and if I ever decide to shape it up into a proper story, most of it will be deleted. But they were words! I was so happy!

So I continued on the story. I wrote more words, came up with scenes, planned characters. Then, a while later, I tried my hand at editing the novel again. I was surprised to find I actually managed to get some solid work done.

Writing another story had been refreshing and it had given me a much needed step back from the novel. I was too close to Novel to make the changes I wanted and the whole mess of it was constantly on my mind, so it was hard to focus on just one chapter, let alone a scene. But after this little breather, I saw Novel so much clearer. I set a modest revision target and nailed it. Then another. And another.

Now I’m on the home stretch of my revisions. Well, the first revisions. There’s still a huge amount of edits and changes and revisions and planning and everything to do before it’s finished, but those come after I’ve sent the novel out to gather feedback.

Yes, I missed my deadlines. Yes, I broke the “sit down and get to editing even when you don’t feel like it” rule. But out of this stumble came another potential novel and a much needed second wind for editing. So it’s all good!

What have you been up to? Have you felt stuck on your Main Project? Has working on something else helped you or do you direct all your focus on one thing at a time?

Also, if you’d be interested in beta reading the sequel for Awoken Dragon, let me know! I’m still on the lookout for new helpers and the more feedback I can get, the better.

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4 thoughts on “Chapter 45 – How Cheating On My Novel Helped My Novel

  1. keats0810 says:

    I’d be willing to beta read for you. After my first book, I learned a lot…so I’d like to see how you’ve grown and help if I can.

    Like

    • Niina says:

      Thank you! I’ll still need a week or two to finish these edits but when I’m done, I’ll send you an email so we can discuss details. Looking forward to working with you 🙂

      Like

  2. Nicholas Stephenson says:

    A bit of cheating does help when your stuck on a project. Even if what you decide to work on isn’t in the same genre or type of writing, it helps by releasing the creative juices as you try to build something new. Cant say I’m not guilty too xD.

    Like

    • Niina says:

      Indeed! Sometimes working on a totally different genre and type might even be more helpful than sticking to the same ones, give a bit more room for new ideas and creativity. Good to know I’m not the only one 😛

      Like

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