I’ve been slacking on the blogs lately. In my defense I’ve been busy trying to write more while promoting the last book in my series in between working and events. This blogs haven’t been writing related recently so I decided I would jot down my thoughts on what had been going wrong with my latest work.
If you aren’t aware, I’ve been having trouble with writing again after my first series. I know the plot, the characters, the end, the beginning, the middle. Not in that order. This is a story I’ve been processing since 2015, so it’s been on my mind.
For a long time I couldn’t pin point what was wrong. I thought it was the story, then the writing, then the this and the that and blah blah blah. It was driving me crazy, so crazy it sent me into a really dark place where I thought my first series was a fluke and I wasn’t meant to be a writer.
Then, like magic, I published my last book and it was almost like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I could see clearly. I knew what was wrong and how to fix it. Again, I’m going to make a post to show you the several drafts, because there are more than I can count. For now, I’ll tell you what I realized.
In my first work, I threw up my character. I’ve gone over the beginning chapters so many times to see what I did then verses what I was doing wrong now. This is something I NEVER do. EVER. I don’t like rereading anything I’ve finished because I’m a perfectionist and I won’t stop critiquing myself. However, I was desperate and I wanted to see what worked and what didn’t.
I noticed I explained who my main protagonist was. Sometimes I outright said things like she had a horrible childhood *insert traumatic story here* while other times I just showed it through character interactions. Then I looked back over my new project and saw that I did the opposite. I tried to force the story out too quickly within the first few chapters instead of stretching it to make it more interesting for the reader. Hopefully, now I have a good combo.
It was like word vomit. Everything was chunky and very little flowed.
The system I find the best is focusing on one scene at a time. Some writers like to do ‘x’ amount of words a day or chapters or whatever. I’ve always found it easier to focus on one or two scenes in a day depending on how much my brain can take. Sometimes I write the dialogue first to see where the scene starts and ends then I go back and fill in the blanks. The story flows more when you take time and really focus. I honestly don’t know how writers work on more than one project at a time. I would be brain dead.
Soon, maybe by the end of the summer I’ll post the drafts that failed. Once I get a solid draft out of me.