I’m a firm believer that there isn’t only “one way” to do things when it comes to writing. Every writer has their own way of bringing life into the world they created.
I actually thought writing my first official blog post on this website would be easy. I’ve imagined myself posting frequently and regularly, but it’s just like how I’d write my almost daily chapter in webnovel—exciting yet challenging. It’s because I’ve stressed myself over making the decision on what the best first post is. And thinking about it, it makes me laugh. What’s there to stress about? The purpose of having this platform was to share whatever I can in my journey of being a writer. And what better way than to start it with uncertainty on what exactly is the best or the right first entry.
We all struggle to start, don’t we?
I remember the first time I actually started writing my first English webnovel. My brain was all over the place—what with all the ideas dancing about in my head. I was too excited to jot everything down and move the story forward. Too excited to introduce characters and show scenes that were crucial and would come later. My fingers would frantically dance across the keyboard. I type fast and yet I didn’t think I was fast enough to write everything down.
I didn’t know what to do—at the same time, I also know what to do, but it’s just all over the place.
So how did I actually start my book?
I started by envisioning my characters. I focused on one of them—the male lead character, I remember. His physical appearance and his personality. And then I moved to the female lead character and did the same. I didn’t make a chart or a table like what published authors do when they first create their characters. I didn’t follow any format and just did everything on my own.
Next, I wrote my first chapter.
If the present me had met the past me during that time, I’m pretty sure “present me” would have stopped “past me” right away, scolding, “What are you doing? You can’t just write after that little thing you did. You need more than that before you start your draft!”
But of course, there was no “present me” back then. This is how all three of my works in webnovel are so different from each other. I gradually learned over time and I learned a lot. And for the past two years of writing, I could say I’ve grown so much.
And I must say, when I began writing my second book, I spent more time getting to know my characters. They have more depth compared to the ones I’ve created in my first book and I love doing this in the planning stage!
Writing in Webnovel is so much different than traditional publishing. I get to edit the chapters that have already been published if there’s a need… which is a great thing. However, unlike other platforms, the readers are quite demanding here. The website started with translations (Chinese webnovels from Qidian) and the update frequency of the translated books were mostly daily—two to five chapters a day. Eventually, the platform was opened to original creators. And given the update frequency of the translations, the original works also had to follow. It wasn’t required to update daily, but writing in webnovel is “addictive” and like I mentioned, the readers would request constant chapter updates.
That’s at least 1000 words per chapter. I used to update twice daily and wrote 2000 – 3000 words.
Crazy. I know. And I did this every day.
This routine of writing and then updating almost daily in the platform since 2019 pushed me to improve. I actually enjoyed writing here because the feedback is almost instantaneous. Unlike a traditional book, reviews will be given after the book is finished. But with Webnovel, there’s chapter comments—and now, even paragraph comments. Being able to interact with my readers is very rewarding.
Fast forward to today in the year 2021, I’ve finished one book and currently writing two on-going books. During my breaks, in between writing, I’d either be reading a book or I’d be self-studying anything that’s related to writing. There’s so much I’ve learned on creating 3D characters, solid world building, outlining, and a whole lot more.
Although I couldn’t update as much as I did in the past, I’m happy to say that I always look forward to writing my next chapters. I take my time now. I’ve learned to choose my priorities and shift my mindset from “I have to write today” to “I get to write today”. There’s a huge difference. Believe me.
On the next post, I’m hoping to write about building a character profile. See you ’til then~