Writing Diary: Mid-Internship Blog


I am now half way through my summer project with the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland to write and self-publish a series of Scottish short stories. As part of my accompanying internship with the Research Interns at Strathclyde programme, I had to write a mid-internship reflective blog talking about the challenges and successes of my project so far. I found that keeping a weekly writing diary with notes of aspects I have struggled with and how I overcame those challenges really helped in keeping my project on track. You can read more about my project here.

Mid-Internship Blog

During the first half of my internship, my aim was to investigate twenty-first-century Scottish literature as a basis of research for my own Scottish short story collection. I planned to study various texts and adapt successful literary techniques in my own free writing in the early stages of my project, with particular focus on dialogue and dialectal language. I remained true to these objectives and further developed the plots I had loosely planned in my initial application.

I aimed to write three stories with the narrative rotating between three characters. I planned for each episode to be around 2,000 words long followed by a 2,000-word critical reflection. When I began the writing process, however, I exceeded my word count for each episode by around 1,000 words. Upon reflection, I decided not to be too strict with the word count because as the plot for each story developed and became more complex, it became clear that I would need the extra word count to tell each story coherently and in depth. So far, I have learned that, while planning is key, it is okay to deviate slightly from my original aims and for details to organically change as the plot progresses because this is a natural part of the writing process and something I shouldn’t beat myself up about.

Over the last four weeks, I have developed my skills in research and I have learned how to write authentic regional dialogue and how to craft distinctive and memorable characters. I have now completed a full draft of my series and the accompanying essay. I plan to spend the remainder of my internship doing further editing and  ensuring my collection is of the best possible standard it can be. Once I am satisfied with the outcome, I plan to self-publish the series into an A5 paperback book using Lulu.com and I will promote the published series online to increase exposure for regional Scottish fiction.

Are you doing any projects this summer? Let me know in the comment section below.


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