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#2 Manuscript Update: Building a World of My Own

Ever since this night several months ago, I’ve been preparing the foundations for my first fantasy novel. I’ve written and self-published two poetry books, but the switch to fiction has proven to be a game of its own.

Slow. It’s been a slow process—partly due to feeling the daunting magnitude of such a project, but also because I’m determined to not force this thing. I want inspiration to flow freely, to find me in my dreams and in small moments as I’m going about my day. And it has, to some degree.

This slow and curious approach has offered me one main character and the details of her city. I can also feel another main character, and another, and the journey that will find them. I can see specific turning points. Sense the mood of the story. But as has been my battle over the years, I have yet to discover a proper plot.

Story ideas find me through small, vivid visions, similar to daydreams or remembering moments from a movie. Scenes come to me easily in detail, but out of context of the whole story. I grew up with a shoebox under my bed, stuffed with short blurbs and endless ideas, but I rarely ventured past the first chapter because I never knew where I wanted the story to head.

Now as an adult I’m wondering if it’s a lack of discipline or faith. Do I need to be firm and outline my book from cover to cover before putting pen to paper? Or do I simply need to write, and keep writing, so the story unfolds before me page by page?

I think the approach is personal. I know writers on either side of this debate, and just haven’t quite figured out my own flow.

The only way forward is to actually take a step forward, so, I’m determined to keep showing up at my desk each week. I’m trying to move my efforts out of my head and into my manuscript, and am beginning to nudge that word count higher and higher.

I’m still very much messy with this process, and don’t have a clue on what feels like the “right” direction for me. I’ll keep you posted as I learn, grow, and hopefully work my way towards a completed manuscript.

Forward, onward!


  • Nicole Smith
    January 22, 2023 at 4:35 pm

    Good for you. That’s amazing. Keep us posted on your progress.

    • Samantha Burgett
      January 25, 2023 at 3:20 pm

      Thank you for the kind encouragement Nicole! I’ll be sure to!

  • Michele Lee
    January 22, 2023 at 8:28 pm

    You’ll get there, just keep writing. I had a general idea about my storyline then my manuscript took on a life of its own. It took well over a year to complete and edit (three times) my manuscript that I have been querying with literary agents. I have plenty to learn myself, but if I can be of assistance, just ask. 😊

    • Samantha Burgett
      January 24, 2023 at 12:21 pm

      Thank you so much for such a kind comment! I have a feeling that’s how it will be for me too—it’ll unfold more clearly if I keep going. Thank you for the encouragements and validation! It’s cool to hear a little of your journey too! And I wish you a smooth process with querying. (That’s so exciting!!) ☺️

      • Michele Lee
        January 24, 2023 at 12:30 pm

        It is my honor! Thank you for your encouragement. Reach out to me anytime. I may have a lot to learn, but I am happy to help in any way I can. 😊

  • […] with an empty plate and the intuition that now is the time. And so I write now as often as I can, building a world of my own as I stitch together visions of my characters’ adventurers. Who knows what the future may […]

  • Tom
    February 24, 2023 at 8:09 pm

    Well said! 🙂 I definitely felt this when drafting my first rough manuscript. Putting a full-length novel together and deciding when the editing finally stops is so incredibly daunting, so I felt much more assured trying out flashfic collections first and gradually gaining the self-confidence from that baseline to expand my writing.
    Good luck with your writing journey! Hope it pans out as you wanted.

    • Samantha Burgett
      February 24, 2023 at 9:36 pm

      Hi there, it’s nice to meet you Tom! Thank you for the kind words and advice; I appreciate it so much! I may just have to get back into flash fiction. I’ve considered it, and am sure it would help soften some of my roadblocks with my manuscript. Thank you!

  • […] Manuscript Updates: #1 It’s Time to Begin #2 Building a World of My Own #3 Finding My […]

  • […] up on my previous manuscript updates:#1 It’s Time to Begin#2 Building a World of My Own#3 Finding My Rhythm#4 Writing Histories#5 “Cool Words” and […]


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