What has been your biggest challenge?


  1. Alexander.Hollins (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    On the wordcount, I can crank out 1k in an hour. I've done it often, especially for shorts. but it seems like writing is like sprinting for me. I tell people Im like a cheetah. I can outrun most people. for about 30 feet, then im done. I can write 1k in an hour. but then the words just stop until tommorow. sigh.

  2. Chrysalis (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    @Dary have you ever considered working with a good developmental editor? I've found mine to be invaluable and couldn't imagine publishing a new novel or serial without her feedback. It really helps you save time with revisions. Instead of trying to track every little detail yourself, let the editor figure out necessary changes for you.

    I'm glad I found someone who writes even more slowly than I do, though. <3

    Anathema, a web serial about the effect superpowers would have on our world. http://anathemaserial.wordpress.com/
  3. Scott Scherr (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    Like others have already mentioned, it's the challenge of staying consistent that I struggle with. There's nothing worse for me than getting my momentum going where I'm writing for several days straight, and then I lose two or three days in a row due to fluctuating real life circumstances. My goal, when I sit down to write is a thousand words a day, or a scene, and I can pump that out quickly once I push myself to get going. It's those annoying days off in between that throw me off. My favorite time to write is first thing in the morning, when I'm allowed to do that. But I work a full time job with rotating shifts and days off, so it's always challenging. My goal this year will be to try to write with more flexibility and ignore what I call the 'excuse mechanism' that tries to take over in my head and just start typing. I don't believe in writer's block, just writer's interference... lol.

    Author of the apocalyptic series, Don't Feed The Dark. http://freezombienovel.wordpress.com
  4. Dary (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    @Chrysalis As much as something like that would help, I simply can't afford it: I don't earn a lot, and my budget is tight. I had a friend help out with copyediting early on, but she's overworked enough as it is these days.

  5. revfitz (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    Do you have a method for constructing plot? Are you a Pantser or a Plotter?

    Totally! I was able to write 50,000+ words in a month, but I am still editing that draft two months later (and spending time each day to do it). I am currently having someone look over my draft as a trade for officiating their wedding, but like you I can't afford a developmental editor, nor do I have someone who can regularly look my stuff over, so I feel your pain.

    @Scott Scherr
    That sounds like a pretty good goal, good luck with it good sir! :D

    Existential Terror and Breakfast--A serial with cereal.
    Updates Wednesdays at: revfitz.com
  6. Resheet Schultz (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago


    I started Specimens with an end vision and vague path to take and I do outline each chapter before I write it... but my outlines are a couple lines, usually something like "Setting up an ambush, pit, Stitchers appear, talk, Stitchers are angry and agree to help."

    And I don't always stick to the outline either, a week ago I made a last minute change and gave a minor character powers because it seemed like it fit. My original plan had been for her to either die or leave, but then it occurred to me that it would work way better to keep her around. Stuff like that also means I rarely outline more than an arc ahead.

    It matches my approach to most things -- have an outline for the big picture, let the little details handle themselves in the moment. I don't think I really fall into either category. More of a hybrid approach.

    With that said, plot's one of my weaker points. The first six chapters make sense, they flow naturally into one another, and people say they're good to read. But there's no overarching plot guiding them, which is something I'm trying to rectify.

  7. Jim Zoetewey (Moderator)

    Posted 1 year ago

    Right now, I’d say that my greatest challenge could be summarized in one word. That word is “and.” How is a normally inoffensive conjunction a problem? I have problems doing all the stuff in addition to my serial—as in writing my serial AND writing a story for the next Pen & Cape Society anthology AND revising my third novel based on my serial AND doing various promotional activities AND living a life where I don’t ignore my wife, children AND my forty hour a week job.

    I want to do all these things, but I feel like the stuff I do in addition to writing increases the longer I do my serial.

    @Chrysalis: Many professional writers count 1000 words a day as a reasonable goal. Personally, I write that much in 4-6 hours. You’re not doing that badly. If you’re really updating 4K per week, you’re doing better than I am. I update at about 2K per week.

  8. AdamBolander (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    For me it's either the marketing (shocker, right?) or getting people to read anything besides Amber Silverblood. Don't get me wrong, I like Amber Silverblood, but it's definitely my WORST series, but that's all anybody seems interested in reading! Even when I'm uploading something like The Gray Ranger, half the comments I get on it are just asking when my stupid mainstream werewolf book is coming back :P

    Author of The Gray Ranger, The Slayer and The Sphinx, Juryokine, Amber Silverblood, and more! Read for free on http://www.bolanderbooks.com
  9. Chrysalis (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    @Jim now I feel a little better about my snail's pace. Thanks <3

    Anathema, a web serial about the effect superpowers would have on our world. http://anathemaserial.wordpress.com/
  10. Dary (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    Stephen King's output was, at time of On Writing, around 2,000 words a day, seven days a week. He figured it took him three months to write the draft of a novel, and each novel would average around three drafts - ergo, writing full time, every day, he put out around 180,000 words a year. And King is pretty prolific.

    In contrast, it took Tolkien 12 years to write LotR, which comes in at around 450,000 words (albeit he was working full time alongside writing).

  11. Sharkerbob (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago


    >>>Honestly that seems like a pretty creative work around to me. Is writing a serial like you have been doing satisfactory to you, or do you wish you could write a more traditional series?

    It's worked out, more or less, and it wasn't really planned so much as it just happened that way. Weirdly, it wasn't until I'd been doing it for a couple years that it really sank in what I was doing, and I think for the settings I've used that technique for, it's done a lot to let me experiment with things without being chained down to constantly finding ways to keep a central character active.

    However, part of me still wishes I could do a more traditional serial, with a long-term main cast, whether the story be a continuous narrative or episodic adventures. It just doesn't seem to work out for a myriad of reasons.

    I've been trying to re-calibrate my thinking to approach some of my other series concepts in the "mosaic" style (I don't really know the proper term for it), but the going is stilted and oft halting.

    >>>What do you use to write? Scrivener has a good goal setting tool that has helped keep me honest.

    Word 2003 is still my go-to processor. For best efficiency, I tend to write on a laptop on a recliner.

  12. revfitz (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    @Jim Zoetewey
    I have no idea how you manage to moderate a forum, work full time, raise children, AND run one of the longest running serials on the internet. I am never going to complain about not having enough time ever again.

    Now that you have matured as a writer, have you considered doing something similar in tone and genre to your original serial, maybe do a different werewolf story? If that is what your fans are craving, and all of your stories are centralized in one site, it might be a good way to energize them. You could do some internal advertising on your site (maybe at the bottom of the chapter) and lead those readers to your other serials while they wait for updates. Just a thought.

    I got a shock from some MS Word PTSD reading that. Word is an abusive spouse, get away from it! :P

    Existential Terror and Breakfast--A serial with cereal.
    Updates Wednesdays at: revfitz.com
  13. Sharkerbob (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    Interesting. In what way has Ms word been bad for you. I know some people don't like it but I've never had problems with it like I've had with other processors.

    I mean I guess I'm not married to it. I have used Google Docs or even just notepad occasionally. But words just what I've been using for a long time. And bear in mind this is old word not current word. I know in 2007 edition they did a major overhaul with a new file format so there could be newer issues I'm just not aware of.

  14. mathtans (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    Heh. Do I even need to say it? My challenge has been finding an audience. Though that's not entirely accurate - I do have an audience, of maybe 10 people, and they're wonderful, and I appreciate them probably more than they realize. But after putting this stuff out for over six years, I'd have hoped for a few more. (Granted, there was a hiatus in there, and the official serial site's only been running continuously for 40 months.)

    I'm not great with speed. It probably takes me about 6-8 hours to chunk together a 2,000 word entry (I've never really timed it). But I've only ever missed one update, which was the time work got so stressful that I went on anti-anxiety meds, so my ability to schedule the writing time is pretty damn good. I have one of those memories that just recalls stuff, and what little I don't recall I try to make notes about, and then anything else I usually grasp from re-reads as I go. So continuity's rarely an issue. I don't have tons of ideas going off in all directions, I have a few pretty stable stories that I keep coming back to (even if their plots can be up for grabs). And while I know some aspects of my writing need improvement, learning what those aspects are usually come from people giving me feedback, which currently involves the same 10 people.

    I've already had a zero view day this month. The last time I had over 25 page views in a day was Dec 1st. I am beyond abysmal at marketing. But it could be worse - I still get occasional referrals in from Jim's and Drew's sites, which generally keeps my daily page views over 5, on average. Woo.

    Writing a Time Travel serial: http://mathtans.wordpress.com
    Writer of the personification of math serial: http://www.mathtans.ca
  15. AdamBolander (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    @rev, I'm trying my best to make Amber Silverblood as good as possible, and not just another cliche werewolf story. And for the most part, I think it's working. Two books done, and there isn't a romance (yet), and I haven't made them go to war with any vampires. It focuses more on the magical corporation trying to develop what is essentially super werewolves, and the nearly-Nazi-ish experiments they're performing on them, and them being hunted to extinction by the Slayers (same ones as in The Slayer and the Sphinx, for a cool tie in) rather than the typical teen/highschool/"omg, I hope the cute boy asks me to prom!" drama.

    But it's still a YA werewolf novel, so the audience it's bound to attract is... yeah.

    Author of The Gray Ranger, The Slayer and The Sphinx, Juryokine, Amber Silverblood, and more! Read for free on http://www.bolanderbooks.com

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