I’ve written a piece on my personal writing process, but here’s what it was like to write Bloom: A Monster Love Novella from start to finish.
Sometimes shit got real stressful, so if you’re thinking about writing a book, know this: it is not easy, you will cry real tears, and formatting is an absolute pain in the ass..
It all started with an idea.
Like most of my ideas, it was half-baked and sort of uttered once to one of my friends as a joke. We were talking about Chuck Tingle and how I should write a weird teratophilia (aka monster love) book about lesbian trees with a bunch of tree puns.
Then, like all of my ideas do, shit got serious real fast.
It’s impossible for me to write crack once I get a good idea for a character. And in Holly’s case, I wanted to make her trans.
There aren’t a lot of books out there normalizing trans people, and I wanted to do that with Bloom. I wanted Holly to be a character people could connect to. Especially people who don’t have a lot of representation.
So I couldn’t have Holly be a crack character. She needed to be this really cool likable bro who likes science and bees and is really sweet and that’s what she became.
It actually took me around a year of puttering around to write this. I started it in February of 2017, but got distracted by working on a different series.
I knew I wanted to self-publish Bloom. I wanted to do it as a birthday present for one of my friends. So this year when I finally got fed up with writing other projects I set to work on finishing Bloom.
I did all of the writing, editing, graphic design, social media, and grammar editing myself. I don’t recommend doing this. I have a background in professional editing, graphic design, and social media because I went into integrated marketing instead of english.
This doesn’t mean that people with an english degree can’t also do this, but I have professional experience with doing all of this so I mean. I know my work is at least decent. The point is, unless you have prior professional experience I’d go ahead and outsource.
You can get some people who do great work for real cheap on Fiverr. For your first book, I would definitely start there editing and cover design wise. You will have to pay extra per book length.
Writing the first chapters of Bloom weren’t hard. Writing isn’t the hard part. It’s stressful and it sucks, but once you hit a point where you realize you need to get the words out and edit later, you’ll start pumping out 2000-3000 words a day.
I wrote roughly 4500 words a day for Bloom, with the most words being 10,000 in one 24 hour period. You have to be vigilant and you have to absolutely want this because you can pull some long ass hours trying to meet a deadline.
The hard part is editing, and I love editing.
Once the words are all out and the story is finished, you can breathe for a few days. Then take editing page by page.
As a general rule, I usually do at least 10 passes over a chapter, depending on how bad it is when I rewrite it. For Bloom I was on a very quick deadline, so I only did 4 and one Google Translate edit.
If you guys don’t know what a Google Translate edit it, it’s when you copy and paste your writing page by page into Google Translate and have it read the story aloud to you. It is an absolute lifesaver for grammar and spelling and tense.
After I did a Google Translate edit, I moved on to ProWritingAid, which helps with grammar editing and overuse of words. I have a tendency to overuse adverbs, and “just”, and “that”, so I need a tool that helps me pinpoint all of that tomfoolery.
All in all, it took me two months to finish writing, edit, and format a novella.
Pro tip: Give yourself more time. Four to five months would be much better and less stressful, especially if you’ve never formatted before.
Then, just like that, I was finished. Which is a huge relief because of all the work that went into it.
For the sake of my sanity, and yours, I’ll do a separate blog about formatting. I know how difficult it is and finding a blog to help is a pain, but I’ll walk you through it lickity split!
Stay tuned for that monstrosity.