I’ve been writing novels for seven years and for three actually been dedicated to it and I’m still learning about my own writing style. My first completed manuscript was written in a month and half coming in over 70,000 words. But with my last manuscript I got to over 20,000 words and I hit a wall with writing. I felt drained and angry that I couldn’t write any more. So I left it alone, worked on other projects and after a few months dove right back in and finished up the story in another 25, 000 words or so. I figured it was just a one time deal.
Fast forward to this newest manuscript, I’ve hit another 20,000 words and again I slammed into a word wall. I know where my story is going but for whatever reason, I am having a hard time getting it out on the page and when I do I feel worse for it being there. But now that I have a few manuscripts under my belt I can relax knowing that this is part of how I write. I trust that I will allow the story to simmer like a great soup in the back burner of my mind and then I’ll come back to it.
So for now, I stock up on my reading and TV watching. Plus send out query letters and synopsis to literary agents. I’ve got nothing but time.
One of my goals this year is to write two complete manuscripts. To do this I must keep track of my goal weekly and tweak my long term goals. For example, I started a new work-in-progress that I want to have approximately 65,000 words manuscript. And I should be able have the first draft written by the beginning of March. Round 1 of edits should take me a month to get through. So by May, I could be ready to start my next work-in-progress.
Rinse and repeat with additional editing sprinkled in between. It sounds easy on paper but hopefully with me constantly checking and keeping my goals insight I can keep on track. By checking the goals at least once I week, I can adjust my time line to see if the original goal is feasible. If it isn’t that’s simple enough to handle, I update the completion date. This isn’t hard but I make sure I’m making progress and not letting myself off the hook.
About a year ago, I was working on honing my ability to use setting effectively in my stories and and I read an exercise about how to create moods with it’s place. I was struck on an idea of all the roads could lead you to a house but if person who owned the house doesn’t want you there you’d never be able to find it. The streets would shift and twist so you’d never reach the destination. And what if this house was old living among newer homes that the newer residence couldn’t understand why they always got lost on seeming straigh streets.
What would that magical house look like? Who would live there? Then I meet one of my main character for my newest novel, that is a work-in-progress. A year ago, I started to flesh out her, her world, and a short story sprouted.
But it was only the tip of the adventure so I continued to write and deleve into the world. Now one year since I read that exercise, I’ve have a first draft of my manuscript done. It’s shorter than my first novel manuscript I finished and since it’s YA, I think that’s fine. Yet I’m excited to rework it and flesh it out.
As I’m wrapping up with this round of writing, I have another character tugging on my ear. Yes, muse, I’m coming. My fingers can only go so fast across the keyboard.