Yesterday and today I’ve managed to achieve a lot toward my writing career and my book is several steps closer to being published. You may assume that I mean I wrote a huge amount of words on the page, but I don’t. I cannot solely base my effectiveness of getting a book out by keeping a track of my word count.
For those who don’t publish (or may I say, don’t publish well) then it is about writing. I’ve watched many authors on Facebook and blogs who just churn the handle day after day. They don’t seem to take care with their stories. Maybe that’s a little too simplistic. I’ll take it back. Because you can’t judge an author on how many words they write a day. So let me tell you what I’m talking about.
Yesterday I worked about 9 hours – and I didn’t write a single word that I’ve put on the document where I keep a track of my writing. Today has been the same. Long hours and no word count. See I was preparing a book to go to my publisher.
|French translation now available|
Back in the old days before I was a writer, I had this vague idea about the process of writing. A novel is between 60,000 and 100,000 words. A writer should be able to write 1000 words an hour. Six hours a day is a decent run – so 6,000 words a day? Working 5 days a week, then a book will be finished in two weeks – right?
**falls to the ground laughing**
Maybe an author with a lot of writing experience can write a “clean” story. Personally I need to go back and fix up lots of things on my manuscript.
For example, today I went back and checked the chapter headings and found I had two chapter fives and two chapter sixteens. Whoops. Maybe some think that this is what an editor is for, but my personal experience is that if an editor is not bogged down by silly errors, they have a lot more of a chance to concentrate on the words. The edit is better.
My big thing is to go back and change all my spelling from Australian spelling to American. It’s impossible for me to write “humor” and “realize” when I’ve been taught to write “humour” and “realise.” The writing flows better if I can just get it out, and then go back and fix this stuff up.
I also need to contract contract contract. Although, as my writing progresses I find I automatically contract more in the draft of my manuscript, I still need to check it. Contracting is writing “he’s” instead of “he is” which sounds very formal.
Once I’ve finished contracting, I check on my “just”s. I just seem to just write a lot of justs in my story. I just have to cull them.
Yesterday was spent reading the story from start to end and making sure I’d tied up all the plot points. I found a friend called Ben in my manuscript who was never mentioned again. I found my character gave his boyfriend a key to the house, yet a month later the boyfriend was locked out. I found several points that were never addressed after they were brought up. And I found the MC did mention [hidden spoiler alert] 12 months before it came true. So all of these were tidied up, wound up, changed or expanded.
All of these things go into making a story. All of these things go into making a good story.
There is a lot of emphasis by marketers to get your product out there. Get it in front of the readers. Sell sell sell. More more more. But more at the cost of a good product? I’m fortunate enough that I sell enough books (**big squishy hugs to my loyal readers**) that I don’t feel the need to compromise quality for the sake of speed. I’d rather spend more time on getting something out that I’m proud of, than making sure I keep up with XYZ author in release dates.
On Wednesday I spent nearly four hours on considering if the model on the cover of my book had enough shadow, and did the author name look better in white or brown?
The week before that was editing and seeing if I agreed with the removal of a bunch of hads and thats from my story.
It’s not ALL writing. Writing is just the first step – or the second if you are one who plots the story out before.
In an hour I hope to send an email off to my publisher with my latest submission. I’m quietly confident that they will like it. I’m hoping they slot me in for a publication berth asap. After all, you guys want to know if Liam strangled Jay in frustration, or if Jay managed to move his entire wardrobe into Liam’s apartment, right?
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