And FYI, Today I am also at Burrowers, Books & Balderdash talking money...
But back to rhythm... Sometimes it's easy and sometimes it's a nightmare... I'm not sure exactly what it is, but it is like each book has its own heartbeat, and the writer needs to find that pace and WRITE at that pace, and if you get it down, you can cruise along steadily—the best way to get it done.
It seems more logical that each AUTHOR would have a pace, but I'm not sure that's true—at least for me, I have some complicated stories in my head that require some savoring, mulling... they can't be forced out. My first one was this way. I know there were a lot of floundering halts because I wasn't altogether convinced I could really WRITE a book, but even when I was 'on' I was writing about 2 chapters a MONTH. They are 4000 word chapters, so really I was only writing about 2000 words a week.
I have a second I am about half done with that still SITS half done because another book so rudely interrupted it and poured out of my pen at almost a chapter A DAY. Now these were only 2000 word chapters, but still—do you see that pace difference?
I thought maybe we'd explore WHY.
You know someone who has been practicing is GOING to go faster—is going to need fewer rests—is going to complete the thing in a quicker time.
My first book took me 2.5 YEARS. If I apply that 2 chapters a month to the 31 chapters, it only SHOULD have taken me 15 months... I was OUT of shape, and then got INTO shape. I hold to the thought though, that I never could have done a 2000 word a day pace with that story.
I was successful with my first WriMo—I think it's a great book that MATCHES that pace. My second WriMo I FINISHED but seems to lack some of the heart I want the story to have—rushing didn't go with the wrenching emotions I wanted to display. Part of that may have been self protective... who can dig out their heart day after day after day? But I think more of it is that it just takes a little more time to get deeply and emotionally immersed, and then convey that. At least for me.
The one that it WORKED for was my spy novel, and that has emotional REVEAL (that largely still needs to be written, I might add—the other stuff is there—that stuff is rough) but is hugely action.
Which brings me to content. I think this is a biggie. That first novel had four different voices—a family—each with times I was in their head—switching gears takes a little work, and I covered every PoV in every chapter, and almost NEVER covered more than one PoV in a night. SOMETIMES I would jump to that characters next scene and keep going... the two daughters, in spite of being 15 and 5 were easier to go back and forth, probably because each had such a truly distinct voice. The two adults though, were much harder.
And then the emotional match mentioned in the WriMo section of course... But what about how COMPLICATED the story is? Setting land speed records may not be the way to write something SUBTLE. I'm just saying...
The ones I've successfully written fast are the mostly action packed... I always try to have the underlying emotions (especially some self revelation or something) but there are definitely varying levels of how to include this, and I think the fast written books have less subtle emotional layers.
So I'd like to ask YOU, to satisfy my curiosity...
How fast do you write? (does it vary at all?)
What is your habit (daily writing, or sporadic and for how long?)
What is your genre?
How much emotion do you use?
How complicated are your plots?
If I get enough responses, maybe I will do a summary on Sunday.
TOMORROW, don't forget to come in and learn the Book Promo Scoop from a PRO! Elizabeth Spann Craig is revealing to MY READERS what she has learned about promoting books at book release, since she is now on her 3rd.
And for anyone already published, Karen is offering to Buy Your Book if you win her contest... bunch of reviewing and publicity sharing goes with that... so you published folks, go see her!