Day 12 - I'm back from summer Camp (NaNo)! Time to unpack ...

Hey, there!

I am back from participating in the month long challenge of Camp NaNoWrimo - for more information see my previous post ‘Day 11 - Packing for summer Camp (NaNo)! Now, where’s that house-elf?’. Since you are experiencing my expert journey alongside me, I thought I would discuss how last month went for me.

Unfortunately, because of the COVID-19 pandemic messing with everyone’s mental health, my current work from home job, and a few personal complications, I did not manage to write any words last month. However, I used that time instead to think about, re-evaluate, reassure, and consider a lot of different elements of my writing life and projects.

In my post, ‘Day 4 - Birth of the journal ... let’s hope it’s beautiful!’ - I said that:

‘Not only will I be discussing my progress and my process here but I will also talk about other side projects - my novels, writing challenges or competitions I take part in, etc. - and share exclusive excerpts of my writing, as well as complete short stories, for you to read. I am also hoping to provide a tell-first service on here for any new and exciting news or updates that may occur - in other words, you will be the first to know anything even before it’s released on my website!’

Therefore, here is an overview of all the thoughts and decisions I made during the last month. 

1. After many attempts to edit my current project, Sanctuary-on-Severn, and the apparent inability to extend its word count to where I need it to be without the plot sounding forced, I have decided that perhaps, at least for now, this project might be better in its original form; a long short story. I originally created this project for the dissertation of my Undergraduate degree in Creative Writing. This piece was only 7,5000 words (in regulation with the dissertation guidelines) and received great feedback and a top grade. I continued expanding the piece and submitted the next section as the dissertation for my MA degree in Creative and Critical Writing. However, the second time around, it did not receive as much praise. For the next two years after that, I worked on completing the first draft but have been struggling to edit or expand the word count to novel standard ever since. With all this in mind, I believe that this project would be better as a long short story rather than a novel or novella. I may return to this piece in the future if inspiration lures me back but, for now, I am planning on submitting it to a short story journal/publication within the coming month. Keep an eye out for my submission announcement post soon!

2. I have decided to focus my attention on the many fantasy novels and short story ideas that I currently have so look out for updates on those on here and on my website - https://www.asford.co.uk! During the last month, I got reacquainted with one of my old fantasy novel projects and am almost at the stage when I can continue writing the first draft. I’m pretty excited about working on that project again!

3. There are many elements of the fantasy (book) genre that I want to explore within my ‘Becoming a Fantasy ‘Expert’’ journey, but the next research I shall undertake will be looking into how many short story, novel, and novella publishers work with fantasy manuscripts. I will also identify them so we can all benefit from this knowledge as readers and writers of fantasy.

These are my new tasks and goals to achieve during the next few weeks, and I am eager to get started!

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