Saturday, September 23, 2006

Slowing Down...

Fall is finally here. And everyone has been talking about change. One change I am experiencing is slowing down to really think. When I first started writing, I kept hearing that the "average" writer completes seven manuscripts before getting published and I thought... holy mackerel, I better get writing. And I wrote like a nut.

Despite my push, it took me a year to complete my first manuscript of around 75,000 words. And then I began the second that fall (last fall). I was preparing to attend my first national convention in August of this year and my goal was to have it done and ready to pitch, so I pushed and pushed and finished it in time.

A lot has happened since then. I've narrowed and directed my focus of where I want to go and what I want to do with my writing, I've learned a lot from other writers, and I think I'm a lot different as a writer overall. Even if I do still want to use commas too much. Love those commas.

But a big change I've felt is that I don't feel like I'm in a hurry. I mean I want to be done with it. I want to have it complete, and I've been writing at a decent clip. 25,000 words in a month is pretty good for me. It's a much faster pace than my first story. But I don't feel like I'm writing fast. I feel comfortable as though I'm just plodding along and getting it done as it happens.

With my first two stories, when people asked about the stories, I was always stumped for a moment. I had a really hard time breaking the stories down into a small nut to explain in a few sentences, but I'm also not having that problem here. It's pretty easy to explain. It may not be EVERYTHING that happens in the story, but if it were, I'd just be reading the book aloud, right?

Moments of complete abject self-confidence failure aside (see previous post), I've really enjoyed feeling different with this story. I don't know if it's a sign that I've matured as a writer or that my abilities have improved, but it's nice and while I'm feeling good about it, I thought I should share that.

So my question is this: Has there been a turning point for you? Where your writing took a turn, hopefully a good one, but a turn none-the-less?

April

11 comments:

mary beth said...

My writing took a turn a little over three years ago, April. I'd spent years writing fun sexy stories or family line romances. I knew dead people didn't really work in those lines, so anytime a mystery element would crop up, I'd force the story in a different direction. Four books back, I finally started writing more suspense type books. Then I took the leap and started focusing on romantic mysteries. They're harder for me to write because of the plotting, but I think they're better books. The last two were rejected for being too focused on the mystery element. I hope I've figured that out with the new one!

Zinnia said...

I normally write two novels a year, but this year has had so much chaos in it I haven't accomplished much on my novel WIPs.

Julie S said...

It sounds like you've really grown as a writer! That's very motivating! I'll be starting my second book soon, so hopefully then I'll notice some progress.

Olga said...

What Julie said. Looks like you're growing a lot as a writer! I don't think I have a turning point per se here. In my journalistic era, it was when I had my first article published and, second, when I was offered a job. Let's say, it was very motivational.

Emma Sinclair said...

That's great April.

I can't really think of a turning point - maybe when I got published - although after than I turned into one big ball of stress.

Tess Harrison said...

It's great to reach that turning point. A real eye opener along the journey. I think for me that point occured when I stopped dreading the synposis. And I'm finding now, it's much harder for me to write without it.

Stacy Dawn said...

Good for you.

VERY slowly, I'm learing to trust the process, that what doesn't come now (ie in the form of description) will be there when I need it.

Stephanie Bose said...

After I completed my fourth book (which I really considered my second, because the first two were utter crap), I felt something changed. I'd written 2 large STs (146K and 127K), and it finally made me feel comfortable in my writer's skin. Now, I write at whatever pace my "creative genius" dictates and don't worry about anything else.

Good luck with the book : )

Shelli Stevens said...

That's amazing, the 7 manuscripts part, but I totally believe it! LOL.

I did take a turn. I always wrote, and always subbed once a year after I met an editor/agent at conference. But then one day I wanted it bad eough and made the switch in my head to be more productive. To finish lots of stories and actually sub them!

Shelli Stevens said...

That's amazing, the 7 manuscripts part, but I totally believe it! LOL.

I did take a turn. I always wrote, and always subbed once a year after I met an editor/agent at conference. But then one day I wanted it bad eough and made the switch in my head to be more productive. To finish lots of stories and actually sub them!

Sarah L. Castleberry said...

Hey! Catching up on the blogs tonight. We are in just about the same place with our writing! That's really cool. I started and finished my first book last year, then started another last fall that I *kind of* finished...it had a THE END, but was about 20k words short for Intrigue, hmmm... :)
Now, I've switched to contemporary, started this book for ModX in April, and it has felt really good and really different, I had a full outline for it...and of course, in between are the down-times with feelings of inadequacy.
Right now, after going great guns, I haven't written on it in about month. :(