Friday, March 14, 2014

I love that part.

The real fun of writing for me is discovering the story by writing.

From September, 2012 thru August, 2013, I went on a writing binge.  I was totally immersed in the writing books.  When I was done with one, I went on with another.  I didn't question myself, I just let myself write. I wrote a tremendous number of words.  I worked out a process that seemed to work.   I felt as though I was making real progress in learning how to write.

In September, 2013 I made an abrupt turn.  I started to spend more time on shaping up the writing I'd already done, and I started marketing my books.  While I managed to get the Vampire Evolution Trilogy and Led to the Slaughter into publishable shape, and managed to find a publisher, I just haven't felt like I've been as creatively productive over the last six months.

It seems like there have been many more distractions, and the writing I've been able to do has been more surface than I'd like.  Some of that has been the difference between writing that first draft, being lost in the creative flow -- and the taking a step back and trying to craft that writing into something readable.

That's my new terminology for the re-writing process -- crafting.  You take a cold blooded look at the book and see what it's missing and what it needs more of and what there is too much of -- but most importantly, you refine the writing until there isn't anything that might bring a reader up short saying,  "Wait a minute..."

I sort of get it now.  I mean, I get the basic needs.

I would love to recapture that kind of immersive experience I had during that miracle year.  But I'm not sure that will ever be possible.  I think what is going to be happening now is that I'll have to divide the year up in quarters.  Spend a quarter writing first drafts, then spend a quarter crafting what I've written, then spend a quarter writing first drafts, and so on.

Otherwise, I risk having a bunch of half formed novels that never see the light of day.  I'm sitting on half a dozen books right now that need to be 'crafted.'  I'd love to get each of them polished, one by one.

But I'm leery of taking too much time away from writing that first story -- the fun part.  The discovering the characters and the plot and all that. 

I love that part. 

1 comment:

Duncan McGeary said...

I think my fear of leaving books unfinished has trumped my love of writing first drafts.

Because if the books aren't crafted into readable shape, then it's as if they weren't written.