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"Hard is not hopeless." - General David Petraeus

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Weirdness of the Writing Journey

Diet & Exercise Tip:  Someone gave me a gift bag of Almond Brothers cinnamon roasted almonds.  They are heavenly!  And, when eaten with moderation, are actually one of the best tasting healthy foods out there (why can't vegetables taste that good?).  Just Google Almond Brothers for their online store.  I'm hooked!

The writing journey is weird.   I know we all get caught up in the idea of churning out books and getting published--after all, we all write for our own personal satisfaction because we have to write, but writing involves having readers.

But in addition to my interest in the stories themselves, I am fascinated by the writing process itself.  I've been slogging along since 2002, have had all sorts of ups and downs and I've learned lots (with lots more left to learn). 

What is currently fascinating me is that I never seem to write a book the same way each time.

Take book #2 (I haven't chosen a title yet).  I started it January 2011, and finished the first draft in March, 2012.  I knew how I wanted it to end, but I wrote it without outlining it.  And while yes, as usual, it's a messy first draft, I was able to make my way through as a Pantser and type "The End".

At the beginning of this month, I started writing Book #3 with the same approach--I didn't plot it out beforehand but I knew how I wanted it to end.

Guess what?  The same Panster style that worked for me in Book #2 is failing miserably in book #3.


The writing life is sometimes like walking through an old haunted house, waiting to see what is going to leap out at you.  You never know if you're going to get blindsided with something out of the blue.

So now I need to regroup.  I will barely make my word count goal for this month, but for next month, I need to ease off and really think about this story, because clearly, I don't understand it well enough to lurch my way through it in traditional seat-of-the-pants fashion.

And next month I will make the first pass edit of Book #2.  Perhaps that will knock some thoughts loose about #3 novel (a continuation of the same characters several years down the road).

Some days I wonder why I didn't just take up rock collecting instead of writing.


Marney said...

The writing process is fascinating; you're right. Everybody has such different techniques and methods to how they write. I think it takes a while to figure out what works best for you...and as you mentioned, there are some points in your life when what worked before, is not blossoming any longer. I can only speak for myself, but those seem the times when I'm meant to expand and learn something new. (In fact, I'm there right now.)

B.K. Jackson said...

I want to be the guy I met at a writer's conference back in 2008 who said he could knock out his first draft (estimated 60k for that genre) in THREE WEEKS!


Nicole said...

Love cinnamon almonds but moderation? Who thought that would ever work? ;)

Yes, the writing life is full of knives and quicksand. Up high, down low. Geez. My latest is yelling at me to come back. I'm pretending it's not time yet. Aaackk!

B.K. Jackson said...

Actually, the one surprise on this health quest is that it HASN'T been hard to moderate myself. Back in the day, I could sit down with a bag of nuts and go to town. I'm not even tempted now.

Same for at work when people are constantly bringing in brownies, cupcakes, etc.

I would like to think that the combinations of meats, fruits and vegetables I'm eating are just aleviating the need for junk. But I also think it's in large part that I don't want all this sweating and boring vegetables to be for nothing. LOL!!!!

Patricia PacJac Carroll said...

I too love the writing process. So far I have been totally Sotp. And I have come to the brick wall spot on a story
Before Usually it works it's way out and will puck back up.

Can't wait to read your stories!