Relevant Updates, Writing Advice

I Finally Finished Beyond the Wolf

Friends, it’s been almost two years. Imagine me there, a little 13-year-old in early July 2020, having only just decided to pursue writing seriously in April, and joining the Young Writer’s Workshop only about a month after that. I was quickly scribbling down a new WIP (work-in-progress) idea in my journal, not wanting to forget it.

I liked it and was planning to outline the project to write it out during National Novel Writing Month, November. I first titled it, A Wolf’s Call. (I love how that title had no real involvement with anything. 😏) Some plan. I gave in to pantsing and ditched outlining after four chapters.

I first planned it to be 60,000 words, then dropped it down to 50K. The words just didn’t stop, and my end word count goal kept growing. 60K, 65, 70, 75, 80. . . now, the final tally is 100,901 words. O-0 I finished it Saturday, the 4th.

Isn’t it epic?! If I remember correctly, the friend who made this stand-in cover for me also suggested the name of this book. If you are here reading this, thank you!! I am indebted. (:

I did not expect it to reach that at all! Beyond the Wolf—the new and current name of this project—is my first WIP full 1st draft. I’ve learned SO MUCH from writing it. It sometimes takes grinding out a lot of trash before you learn what gold actually looks like. (; If that makes any sense.

Some of what I’ve learned. . .

How outlining saved me from further insanity.

You know now that I pantsed basically the whole book. Only near the end did I scribble a general outline—on the map I made for Beyond the Wolf (BtW). It was basic, but it was enough. I finished it after all, didn’t I?

That’s not all, however. There were two more novella projects I began in the long BtW process. The first I called Finding Home. The second, which I mentioned in January, was called Heirs of Guinn. Both were meant to be pretty short.

For Finding Home, I wrote a fairly efficient outline, from beginning to end. When I got about 3K words in the actual first draft, however, I noticed that FH wasn’t working. I dwelled on the ending a bit, then decided it wasn’t worth my time, writing FH.

I was SO excited for Heirs of Guinn (HoG). I got pretty far in the outline for HoG. I focused a lot on planning out character development but then noticed that there was no meat to it. HoG was a really shallow concept, and the ending I started planning just didn’t work. I quit that one too.

I have no regrets on stopping both these novellas. They were shallow and boring, I now see. Outlining those both saved me so much sanity! I would have wasted plenty of time with little reward.

Why did I continue Beyond the Wolf, then?

BECAUSE. If I quit BtW after putting SO MUCH work into it, my mental health would go down the drain. And now? I feel so accomplished after finishing this! And I’ve learned a lot.

In case you didn’t know, I don’t plan on continuing any further with BtW. It is really, really bad. It lacks quality in its entirety. But now I know what trash really is, right? I have no regrets.

3 tips for you that BtW taught me.

1. Never have too many main characters, or characters in general! I had over 20 main characters, and it exhausted me. Most shifted from side characters to main ones. There were so many of them that they all ended up having zero real development (except for one little dude, Bolt; I’m a bit proud of his character arc).

Keep your characters at a minimum. Too many characters confuses both you and your reader. What no author wants is for the reader to give up reading—and because there are too many characters, of all things!

2. Concept matters! Concept is the whole idea of your book; the plot put in a few sentences.

The concept for BtW is not great: “a bunch of rebel wolves are attacked by armies of the emperor wolf. They band together and travel to take down the ‘big bad wolf’ emperor. They gain allies in moose, coyotes, and more along the way.”

It sounds so silly. So work on your concept! You’ll need it for yourself, and when friends ask what your book’s about. 😀

3. Themes are vital!! Halfway through BtW, I tried adding them in when I learned about them. It doesn’t work like that. You need your themes to resonate throughout it all.

They are the virtues or skills that you dissect throughout the story and what your characters are challenged to grow in. Forgiveness, self-control, caring, contentment, peace. . . whatever it is, they are super important!

So, what’s next for me?

I’m definitely not going to work anymore on anything involving BtW. But I’ve been plotting in my head a new writing project, and I’m really excited to start writing it down! Balancing out my perfectionism and impulsion by making a full but simple outline, and allowing myself to write down important scenes that pop into my head.

I’m also going to keep blogging consistently throughout the summer. Honestly, I will be very busy with writing, math, science, and other summer activities and events.

Right now, though, I’m just so relieved that I’m done with Beyond the Wolf. 😅 It’s been a long journey, and I’m thankful to the Maker for carrying me through it all.

Just trying something new. . . hehe.
Relevant Updates

CWW Wrap-Up + Poetry Book Reveals

Well hello there. Looks like you want to know who won Crazy Writing Week 2022. If so, you’ve come to the right place! And if you’ve come for the free donuts and ice cream, you’re in the wrong room. Just down the hall and to the left till you reach room 137. . . though I can’t guarantee any more sweets remain. 😉

For the first time in the memory of Daniel Amador, my team has come out as. . .

CHAMPIONS!!! THE PEACOCKS WON VS. THE FLAMINGOS! AHAHAHAHA!!! *ahem* Anyway, yeah, that came as a shock to me. I’ve been in CWW four times before, and from what I remember, my team lost three times and tied once. Or maybe I had lost twice, tied once, and won once. . .  who knows. Anyway, you Flamingos did great too! You almost had us till those final few hours. 😀

Now, here are some of my CWW stats!

Word count: 6,489. I think this was a pretty good score for me. I do recognize that it’s not a disappointment. I don’t remember what I got for the other CWWs I attended. . . I think most of them were around 1-5 thousand. Come 2023, hopefully I’ll beat this score with flying fingers colors!

Main project worked on: Beyond the Wolf—first draft.

Other projects: Heirs of Guinn—outline. Blog post—first draft.

Acheivements: 1) I reached 70,000 words in BtW! 🤯 No project of mine has ever come close to that (not that any of my other projects pass even 1K in the first place XP). I estimate it’ll be finished at about 85K words now. 2) I outlined several chapters for HoG and made several major decisions in the direction it’s going.

So yeah, that’s that for topics concerning CWW.

Now what of the poem book reveals?

As a member of writer, poet, and blogger Laurel Jean’s Street Team, I have the great privilege of sharing with you the title of her soon-to-be-published book of poetry, as well as some other bits of info concerning it! At the moment there is little more I know about this book of poetry than you soon will, so I’m excited to be along for the ride in this launch team! Without further ado, I present to you the beautiful title. . .

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This Will Not Last

The blurb:

Raw and achingly honest, This Will Not Last is a collection of poetry that captures the fluctuating emotions that lace life’s pathway. 

Wonder, grief, happiness, and heartache all have their turn to shine in this collection, ultimately bowing to the truth of their transience…and the sturdy realization of God’s unshakeable goodness.  

this death 

this shedding 

of all I’ve known 

must come before the rays of sun 

burst bright upon my soul 

to wake 

a seed of what’s to come. 

this death 

this dying will not last 

this, too 

this, too 

this, too, shall pass. 


That poem is indeed lovely—not to mention that the blurb itself was written poetically. This anthology seems to have within its binding introspective and spiritually rich thoughts that many could find healing in. I guess we’ll have to wait till April to find out. 😉

Here’s a snazzy little graphic Laurel has allowed me to share:

This gaphic is the property of Laurel Jean

That is about all I have to share with you today! Do be sure to check out Laurel’s blog—which I myself have thoroughly enjoyed following—and click here to find more about her.

With God’s help,

Daniel Amador