The Storm Is Over Now


100,000 words done!

100,086 words to be exact.

I am more relieved than anything. I was starting to get a bit antsy. I wanted to move on to the ‘make the story make sense’ stage.

So what have I learnt about writing a 100,000 word fantasy tale…

1) You gotta gotta know your world – My characters move around quite a bit, and a map would have helped the writer alot. Heck, the people in the novel knew the world better than I did; and kudos to them for that, cuz even the names of villages would change without warning.

2) Pace yourself – If you are going to write a 100k story, you can and should really take your time and tell the story. But you must remember to ensure that the reader needs to know the information that you are giving them, otherwise it looks, sounds and feels like padding.

3) Give yourself daily goals – Daily goals really helped me reach my 100k goal. I didn’t always meet them; and in March, I was distracted a lot by work and romance and growing older, but still the goals kept me on track. Also, small word count goals made writing 100k attainable. Telling yourself you have 1500 words to write, is less daunting than telling yourself you have 40,000 words to write.

4) Announce Your Goal – Don’t keep your word count goal in secret, because deep down, you are afraid you won’t actually make it. This attitude makes you more likely to give up, since¬†you gave yourself room to fail. When you announce your word count, you are forced to succeed or cover your head in shame when people ask, how far…

5) Write anywhere, anytime – Don’t wait for the perfect conditions, because you won’t always have them. Do you have a 30min break at work? Write! Are you on a boring phonecall? Write! Are you on public transport? Write! (Check out my post on best writing locations here)

6) Write drunk, edit sober – said by Ernest Hemingway. I haven’t gotten to the editing part, but I certainly worked the writing drunk part. I wrote and wrote, whether I hated what was coming out or not. I wrote in chunks. I wrote and fell asleep¬†whilst writing. I wrote when I felt good. I wrote even more when I felt bad. I wrote like a beast.

7) Know the limitations – I struggled with this, because I had not decided the limits of my character’s abilities beforehand, or even what their abilities were. So they kept surprising me. Which is cool, if you are a reader; but not so great if you’re the writer.

8) Surround yourself with people who want you to succeed – I have people around me who are waiting for me to send them my story, so they can read and give me feedback. And I did not have to ask them. This also encouraged me. And I know that I am blessed.

9) Life Happens; Keep Writing – It took me five months to write this book. But I was halfway done at the end of the first month. So technically, it should have taken two months. Life never goes according to plan and you may have to pause, you may get distracted, you may meet a tall, dark, handsome man who sweeps you off your feet. But write. Always write.

10) Don’t lose the plot – I have now written one romance/drama and one fantasy. I think it is easier to lose the plot in fantasy. You can get carried away with worlds, powers, cultures, and forget the heart of the story or if not the heart, the point. Why is Gbeganu trying to kill Ifunaya again???!!!

Well those are some of the things I learnt.

Keep writing!

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Oyinkan Braithwaite

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June 2019
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