#FreshStart - Kaia Danielle

It’s the beginning of a whole new year; what time could possibly be better to become more motivated and inspired? You have a whole 365 days ahead of you, and now is the time to start making them count, so we're asking authors what they've got planned for the year ahead!

Kaia Danielle tells us how trying a different genre revitalised her writing and changed her plans for 2019.

How Satire Saved My Sanity

My 2018 started off with a three-week-old newborn baby. Which is why I kept my writing goals small and simple: write a short story, go back to writing three-to-five-page comedy sketches, review the fundamentals of craft. Nice easy stuff, right? And then I decided to schedule a book release right in the middle of my maternity leave. For a story that had an incomplete first draft. [Insert insane, sleep deprived laughter.]

For the record, I did get that novella out… Two weeks late.

How did I cope with all of this? By signing up for an online satire writing class. Because this is what rational people with fluctuating hormones do.

Actually, immersing myself in the world of satire was one of the best things I did for myself this year. It gave me a productive outlet for all of the craziness I was experiencing; like staying up for two days straight for the first time since college—20 years ago—elbows deep in dirty diapers, and a baby sadistically chomping on my boobs for giggles. Since March, I have completed The Second City Satire writing program, have had four satire pieces published, and have put together an actual portfolio of my satirical writing. Impressive, right?

My longest satire piece is about two and half pages long. Learning this new style of writing forced me to review the fundamentals of craft. Through satire, all the boxes on my 2018 Goals list have been checked. Still winning.

Another thing that happened to me this year was that I received a Direct Message on Twitter which helped me see it was time to stop playing it safe with my writing. I wasn't writing big enough nor bold enough. I was pigeonholing myself in the safety of novella, series-length and short stories. But I have an ever-growing pile of half- finished fiction stories which I have had a hard time finishing, which I now realize was because they didn’t fit the shorter framework. They needed to be bigger, meatier stories.

I also learned I was using the wrong story structure. Thanks to the most awesome craft workshops presented by Robin LaFevers at Sirens Con, I was reminded that The Writer’s Journey is not the end-all, be-all way to tell a story. Once at I looked at the alternatives, I realized they gave me the “permission” to write those stories in the way I wanted to tell them. [Sidenote: take full advantage of any opportunity to take a Robin LaFevers workshop. Her presentations are as amazing as her books.]

So with that in mind, here are my still short-and- simple yet bigger and bolder goals for 2019:

  • Finishing my WW2 Women’s Fiction with 85k words instead of the 25k I originally planned

  • Write a new romcom novel—also 85k words instead of 25k—and adapt it into a movie screenplay

  • Finish the graphic novel script I’ve been too scared to show the world

  • Write more satire/humor pieces

Kaia's latest release, A Secret Desire, is out now. For more information about her and her writing, check out her website, and follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

#FreshStart #NewYear #NewYearResolutions #Resolutions #WritingGoals #Reflections #KaiaDanielle #Genre #Satire #MaternityLeave #TheSecondCitySatire #RobinLaFevers #SirensCon #ThewritersJourney #ASecretDesire

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