Progress Update – by Taylor

Thus far, my project is going better than I could have imagined. My mentor, who I place on a pedestal in my mind, has been an incredible supporter and teacher. Every time I try to explain to another person what it’s like to work with him, words can’t even describe my excitement and gratitude. I sometimes even find myself speechless when going over my work with him. To hear and see the way in which he writes and thinks as a published author, from a novice writer’s perspective, is a positively overwhelming experience. Working under his wing has been invaluable.

At this time, we’ve made great progress and have twenty-five edited pages of creative writing and approximately ten pages worth of logged conversations. This puts us right on track for our end goal of fifty pages to display our work for the semester. While I already understood all the thought that goes into writing, one of the things I’m learning from this project is how much research goes into it as well. If you can, picture a boarding student in her room, sitting at a desk with her lap top open, and on the screen is a list of CIA code words, descriptions of weapon types, and an explanation about the difference between a boat-tail spitzer and a round nose (for those who aren’t gun savvy, these are two different kinds of bullets). The amount of information I’ve learned could be used to write a research paper.

Not only am I becoming an expert in firearms and military slang, but I’m also learning how to manage my schedule with such a large project. ¬†There is a very important component that every writer needs: TIME. As I get further in my writing and my edits with my mentor, I’m realizing I need to overestimate the amount of time it will take me to finish an assignment. In terms of using my class periods to their fullest potential, my strategy has been to first handle the quick edits (grammar, phrasing, detail) and to look into any online research my mentor has suggested, two tasks that are doable within a forty-five minute period. Then, when I have a longer chunk of time during study hall or over the weekend, I can sit down, without interruption, and allow my brain to get the creative juices it needs to write five new pages or make additions.

With how well things are going now, as long as I keep doing what I’m doing, I have no doubt that I’ll be able to finish this project successfully with an end product that is better than I originally hoped for. Stay tuned!

4 thoughts on “Progress Update – by Taylor

  1. nateurban2013

    Taylor, in a sentence or less, how would you describe the plot of your novel? Without giving too much away, of course!

    1. Taylor Griffith Post author

      To summarize from one of my previous posts, my novel is about a secret government agent who is trying to figure out the mysterious events her new target is involved in.

  2. lyrapiscitelli

    Congratulations on your progress! Your book sounds awesome and I am really excited for you! Apart from your newfound knowledge of CIA terminology, I was wondering what kind of other research you’ve had to do. How much research does it take to write an authentic character and plot in a setting you are not as familiar with?

    1. Taylor Griffith Post author

      In terms of writing an authentic character, it took more thinking than it did research. Not only did I sit down for hours determining how to best portray my characters, but my original ideas would change on a consistent basis. Research mostly came in hand when I was thinking about the psychology involving my characters and how different environments might affect them. The setting wasn’t as hard, though it did take some time for me to figure out where I could put my action scenes. Since my book takes place in a made up world, I have a lot of room to get creative with my ideas.


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