Over the course of my writing career, which sits at four years now I have learned many things. I’ve faltered, grown frustrated, and contemplated quitting. I believe these are all natural steps along the way. Still, during all of these challenges I rise again. I have learned new things, modified things to work better for me.
The most important lesson of them all, I’ve learned it’s okay to do things MY way. You hear all the time that there is no right way to write. Yet, you find a nagging thought in the back of your mind that says, but this is the way the big leagues do it. If they are selling millions of books they must know something I don’t.
Truth is, they might, and they might not, what they do know that has been invaluable for them is…brace yourself…they do things their way. They know what works for them, what motivates them, and how to get themselves from point A to point B.
One of the sure-fire ways to do so, and it has got to be one of the hardest things – perseverance.
It’s the one NOT big secret to it all. You have got to keep writing. Push yourself through all the times you don’t want to write. The days where you’d rather watch pain dry than write that next scene. That being said, if it happens often, sit back and figure out why that is.
I ran into that problem a few days ago, and had to modify my view. I wrote about it yesterday on the blog.
I find though in my overall process, my hardest push is between 10,000 and 20,000 words. It’s just past that exciting beginning, and right before all the really intense things happen. It’s where I’m still laying out major points that will come into play later, so my brain works more in analytical phases.
Now, this is only my first draft. This is where I lay the very bare bones out to the plot. I don’t focus on the major creation until the second phase of it all. In doing all of this I find my brain focuses on laying out the points the plot needs to hit to move it on. Later on I will go back through and fatten it up with greater depth so that the whole thing is a better read. Right now I have to ensure that the bare bones are there.
Some may ask why I work this way, well, it’s due to in the beginning of my writing career I didn’t. It was a huge rookie mistake for the way that I function. I put my focus on characters, description, and more bang for the buck. What, you might ask? It means I tossed in anything I thought would hold a reader’s attention. Even things that had absolutely nothing to really do with the plot. It sounded cool, so it worked. People died needlessly in my novels, because I lost my way in novels.
Now, I plot out the major points. I run on a three plot structure, at least for this book. I have an Action Plot, a Relationship Plot, and due to the nature of this novel I have a Revenge Plot. It gave me the ability to weave those three together until they all played off one another. It gave the whole thing depth, and a basic structure.
If this were a computer, all the plots mean I’ve purchased all the parts. Now it’s up to me to build the computer with the first draft. Install the software is the second draft. Then comes the fun part of working out all the kinks, that is the edits, and third draft. (The Hubby Man would be so proud of me for using computer terms here for him.)
Ah, I digress here.
Anyway, I am in that sticky part for me of the writing process. I call it the sticky marshland (10 – 20k mark). It’s where things are picking up at a faster rate, but it’s not quite to the part where you’re still climbing the hill to slide down.
The Hubby Man knows me well. He knows I’m starting to feel the grinding pressure at this point, and with Valentine’s Day coming up…well, he sets me a challenge. I’m one where Valentine’s is meh, but it’s the release of Deadpool, and that is where my hype is at. It’s a screw fluffy romance, give me chimichangas, brash humor, and death. Okay, I’m weird like that, and I own that.
Anyway, it’s also my one year anniversary for quitting smoking. So, I really want to make it a big thing. It’s taken me a whole lot of years on that front of trying to quit and failing to get here. I think I’ve tried about every method out there that doesn’t involve a doctor.
Again, off subject. So back to that weekend. The Hubby Man knows I want to do something pretty great to celebrate the trial I have overcome, and to see Deadpool. He sits me down yesterday, and goes I know you’re struggling. I can see the defeat in your eyes. You like being challenged so…’You have one week from today to hit 33,000 words. If you hit it we will go see the movie and dinner.’
Mentally my brain goes, I’m at 14,000 words. I can polish of 2,000 in two hours on a good day. Oh yeah, I’ve got this. I grin wider.
I tell him I accept, and he goes no wait. ‘The more you go over that 33,000 the more we will do that weekend.’
That is where he left it off. Of course my mind raced vividly around on the things he might have planned. Hello, I’m a writer. I’m naturally a creative type. I also know that he knows me well enough that we aren’t going to do anything too crazy like jump out of a plane. I mean he wants to, but I’m more of a feet firmly on the ground type when it comes to heights.
So, now the challenge is to hit that 33,000 in three days tops. What? I need to go over, which means I need that in a smaller amount of time. After that it’s all icing on the cake.
Come on big word counts. Haha.
Wish me luck, valiant readers, and remember L.O.L. (Live it, Own it, Love it)