Sunday, August 26, 2012

Some Of What I Have Learned

Much of my time in the last week has been spent with my face in the computer screen revising my WIP. It's been a lot of deletions, additions, changes, moving scenes and sections and more, all of which has meant a tighter, and I think better, WIP.  While all this has been happening, I've also been able to reflect a bit on the writing and revision process.  So in addition to my ROW80 update, I thought I'd share some of what I  have learned so far.  Things are going well and I am still on track to have them done this week. But I have found a few things out along the way about my writing and revision process:
  • Outlines, even general ones, (or even just random notes!) are a good, good thing. I started this WIP with a few sentences and the barest of outlines which I think is what made for a slow writing process this time around. Lesson learned! 
  • Writing the first book in a series is hard. Now this isn't a series in which the MCs are the MCs in the next few books. Nope. Book 2 will focus on two other characters, only one of which is mentioned in the first book. (The books will be stand-alone to a degree, but reading the others will allow people to re-visit other MCs).  But, the reason I say writing a series is hard is because the first book has to have some major world building. Or in this case, "small city building", since this story is set in present day and doesn't have anything paranormal or dystopian about it.  But I still had to "build" the environment:  the town, the people, the sense of community. I had to address much of it in this first book. My only worry now is that I did too much of that. I can always take some of that out, if I need to.  
  • When I started this WIP, my MC's name was Charli. I liked that name (still do) but whenever I typed it, I heard my MC grumbling at me about her name.  She was annoyed, and I was annoyed that she was annoyed. So we had a chat and I told her to pick her own damn name then.  She did, and she picked Kyla.  Soon as I wrote it, it was like a lightening bolt struck me. It fits so much better with who she is and just sounds right.  Just don't tell her that. She'll totally gloat. -.-   The lesson I learned here: Listen to the chatterings, grumblings, and whining of my characters. It's their story; I'm just the person meant to type it.  
I'm still reflecting and learning as I write, which I think is a never ending process really, but what have you learned in your journey as a writer?  Share in the comments below if you'd like!
I've also come across some amazing music to correspond with this book and have decided to share a bit of it.  I mentioned last post that I was having problems getting my MC sorted.  I didn't want her to waffle over every decision she had to make and get stuck in her past.  This doesn't mean she isn't stubborn, or lack attitude.  Nope, she's got that in spades and throws it around when she needs to. But she had to stop letting her past dictate her future, and this song helped me sort her out.

Daughtry's Start of Something Good

I so love this song. I could listen to it every day, and usually do since it's now on my "AM Playlist" that I listen to...well, in the morning!  Anyways, hope you enjoy the song and now here's my ROW80 Check-In:

Writing Every Day:  Check!

Book 1:    I have really gone in and torn things apart which I think has made for a tighter first 2/3 of the story, but I now have to work on the last third and make sure it all flows together and ties up nicely.

Book 2:  Hasn't been touched in a few days. I failed at Camp Nano, but I got more words down than I thought this month. And, if I add together the words I've gotten down in Book 1 and Book 2 I'm closer to 30K words, which I think is pretty darn awesome.

Being Active:  *sighs and shakes head*  There are only so many hours in a day.

Reading:  Read two books and am still struggling to finish another.  I just cannot get into it and it's driving me batty! Maybe I can finish that tonight...or next week.On this front, I also need to stop buy more books and read what I've got on my Nook.  I want to clear the front screen (where a good chunk of the new ones are) before I buy another one. This is going to take some MAJOR willpower on my part.

Social Media:  I've here and there, lurking on twitter, participating in sprints when I can. I'm not a huge presence because I often don't know what to even say, or figure that what I do want to say is something that most people will just think of as drivel, so I tend to stay quiet. This, like my writing, is a work in progress.

Hope everyone is ROW-ing right along and have a great week!


  1. I understand your comment on lurking on twitter not often I can indulge in conversation as not sure i have anything of interest to add:( well done on editing.

    I know what you mean about first in series - with the world building - make sure you keep notes of EVERYTHING that happens book two, three and so forth become complicated if you don't - minor incidents to you will be someone's favourites and if you mis mention them later they will hang you out to dry!! not trying to depress you understand:) friendly warning from a very disorganized author

    all the best for this week

    1. Thanks! When I was just over 1/2 way through this book when I decided to make it the first in a series; as I've been revising I've started to keep notes with names of people, places, family histories that I've mentioned b/c I was afraid I'd forget. (I have such a bad memory! LOL) Hopefully this will keep me more organized when I focus on book 2!

      As for twitter, I think I am just going to keep posting randomly and hope to get more comfortable with it. I know it's all about baby steps; I just sometimes feel my baby steps are taking forever!