Always learning

Current word count: 10,700

Words written today: 580

Words to goal: 29,300/341 words a day until the end of September

Working on my second novel, the writing is going much quicker than the first. The fact that I’m writing every day helps enormously, not only because of the time spent on it, but also because during that time, I’ve been able to continue from where I left off yesterday pretty well. The story is alive in my mind. It took a couple years to complete the first draft of my first novel. Sometimes I’d have months between writing sessions, which didn’t help keep my mind on the story. So, it’s weird to think that I can finish a novel in a matter of months. (Hey, I’m totally amazed that anyone can finish a 50K novel in National Novel Writing Month in November.) The progress also helps to keep me going.

I also learned a lot with my first novel, about writing, story structure, point of view, scenes. When I started my first novel, I spent what seemed like forever just on the first half. It started out switching POVs, then went to single third person. And it had all this extra stuff that wasn’t needed. So much got cut out. But going through that helped me to learn how to get closer to a better manuscript the first time. Not that I won’t need revisions — writing is rewriting — but it’s looking like it will be closer. We’ll see.

With this second novel, I’ll no doubt learn even more new things that will help me with the next novel, and the next, and so on.

I don’t know if writers, or anyone, ever truly perfect their craft. Maybe to others it might seem like they do, but to the writer, I think there’s always something to learn from every story they write.

What are you learning from your current work in progress?

Write On!

4 Responses

  1. lawrenceez says:

    Hi, this sounds quite similar to me. I’m also working on two novels and have blogged about my experiences.

    My writing experience has taught me to select only the most crucial details in a story and to concentrate and develop these. I frequently have to ask myself: “is this scene or character absolutely neccesary. Would the story suffer if I removed it?”

    Also, introduce elements of back story in reasonably small chunks, concentrating on the buildup of tension.

    All the best with your writing.

  2. Yes, Lawrenceez, I couldn’t agree with you more. Writing a really great book is so much more than nice flowery sentences. Tension is critical. Keeping the reader surprised. Structuring the actions and character decisions so that tension is heightened.

    And asking whether a scene is necessary is essential. With my first novel, I cut a lot based on that. And still, I realized the other day that there are some scenes that, although I like them, they’re not necessary to the story.

    All the best with your writing too.

  3. beth says:

    I’m a big believer in practice makes perfect, and that every writer needs at least one practice novel, just to get the craft down.

    That said, I sure wish I could wrap up practicing and hit one out of the park!!

  4. I agree, Beth, but sometimes it takes more than one. In the screenwriting world, it’s a common saying that a writer doesn’t truly get the craft of screenwriting until he/she has written 10 screenplays. Ouch! Let’s hope it doesn’t take us that long with novels. But how ever long it takes, keep enjoying the journey.

What do you think?