I’m in between writing books. I finished one, and it’s ready for an editor’s critique. In a future post, I’ll discuss the process that I’m tweaking to start writing my next book.
But for now, I’m reflecting. I’m feeling introspective. I have the Thinking Man pose.
Several things come to mind. Okay, 8 things.
- There’s something to be said for starting a manuscript
There are blank pages on a screen or notebook, and writers decide to fill them. Not one page, but dozens, hundreds. It takes courage, imagination, dedication, and a little insanity. But it’s okay. We were born for this.
- There’s something to celebrate for getting past the middle
Writing through the midpoint has been a quagmire that’s pulled me down. Then it became clear when I read posts like this one by Now Novel and this funny, insightful one by Chuck Wendig. The solution is one easy word. Wham! Hit the reader, or the character, with something unexpected.
- There’s a party to be had when reaching THE END
Reaching the end is huge. Huuuuge. Not everybody finishes a manuscript and gets to write The End. So when we do, there should be a “Yay, me!” moment. I have a party for one at home. I play happy music and dance like no one’s watching. With the blinds closed.
- There’s something good to come of rewriting
After finishing a manuscript, the idea of rewriting makes me want to swallow rocks of coal. But as I go over what I’ve written, I realize that it’s a necessity. I don’t really hit my stride until I’m 2/3 of the way through a WIP, which means I now expect to rewrite the first 2/3. *groan*
- There’s more to glean from revising and editing
Revising and editing is like buffing and polishing a sculpture. It becomes show-worthy. The writing becomes more robust, richer, cleaner. It may seem subtle as you do it, but it’s a noticeable, powerful shift. Revising and editing also provides another opportunity to work out kinks in a plot. Or holes.
- There’s something necessary about getting a professional editor
I love beta-readers. They spot important things we writers miss. But nothing beats the trained eye of a professional editor, who’s motivated by a paycheck from you. They go in-depth, providing invaluable insight. They analyze the big-picture flaws and the little-detail hangups. And their feedback will help make you a better writer, overall, in addition to making the specific manuscript better.
- There’s something to learn from writing three books
In the screenwriting business, they say to write three scripts, beginning to end, before trying to pitch.
“You write, you learn. And three scripts is a minimum for knowing the craft…You will have faced the peaks and valleys of the entire scripting process multiple times. You will have started to develop your own approach to the craft, your own writer’s voice.” — Go Into The Story
It’s hard to write one 300-word novel, let alone three. But what about three 100-page books? That seems doable. It provides the chance to hone the process, nail down the three-act structure, establish a writing groove, determine a writing pace, and finish a WIP.
- There’s something important about setting goals
I’ve been working on this. I need to have something to shoot for. Something measurable. My favorite site, The Creative Penn, has a great post called, What’s Your Definition of Success as a Writer? How Do You Measure It?
Reading it and watching the video is helping me develop a greater understanding of what I want.
I’m working on a new novella. I’ve written three already. The first two need more work, which proves the theory in the screenwriting business of writing three scripts. The third novella, I think, is more promising. Since it’s a novella, my next step will probably be to self-publish it. I’m excited about working toward this goal, and will keep you posted on that process.
For comment: How do you fill in the sentence, “There’s something to be said for…?”