In my day, I’ve joined a lot of writing groups. One of the key lessons of writing, up there with show don’t tell and murder your darlings was you can write lots, fast and good; pick two. It was one of my mantras.
For the past couple of years I’ve been writing every day, but I was I never was a you must write everyday person. I’ve met a lot of unpublished authors who wrote every day. Having read their stuff, I wished they’d been a little less diligent. It was obvious to me at the stage the books were at that some scenes sparked with life and some were just limp. Some people cranked books out every couple of months, but whole chapters would pass without a single spark of something interesting happening.
I’m not suggesting you should be bursting with creative fever or shouldn’t open up your manuscript, but there are things you can do to increase your productivity and make the scenes that you write pop even in the first draft.
· If you don’t have preplanned plot that has the whole story outlined, leave room in your writing for your characters to have had a brilliant plan from the beginning. You don’t need to know it yet, but assume that it is there and that it will come to you. If you are a pre-planner, don’t hesitate to scrap all the planning you did if a brilliant idea comes along organically.
· Take risks in your writing. If you find you’re starting to grow bored with what is happening on the page, think of what the worst possible thing could be and then make it happen. Life doesn’t let most brilliant 42-step plans come to fruition, and neither should your plot.
· Don’t let the length of time you have to write determine how long your scene is going to be. If I had a forty-five minute writing session, I could bang out a fifteen hundred word scene, but if I had a four hours to write in, I’d write one massive four thousand word scene. It shouldn’t make much of a difference but it does. Each scene should have a beginning, middle and end with a climatic part to it. I started to write a scene per session and took the time between the sessions to attack the new scene with passion.
· Sleep on it. If you’ve taken a lot of risks and you’ve seemed to have written yourself into a corner, that’s the time to take a break. If the Internet is suddenly much more interesting than your story and you can’t seem to keep the word processor window open, take a break. Let the story and all that you’ve done and have yet to do simmer on the back burner. When you know what the characters have to do next and you think it’s interesting, start fresh.
· Be highly aware of what each scene is supposed to accomplish and then write until you accomplish that goal. If you know how the book is going to end, it helps to know what you’re trying to show to the reader, but even if you don’t know the whole picture yet you should be very aware of what the characters are trying to do to make their situation better.
· Don’t talk about what you’re going to write. Our brains are pretty primitive when it comes a lot of things, and telling someone what you are going to write can be enough to not make your brain want to tell it again. Your brain rewards you by making new connections, and if you reward yourself by telling someone what’s going to happen, it’s not going to reward you again by retelling it on the page.
Writing emotionally moving work is hard to do, and prose that does not reward the reader emotionally is not going to help the telling of your story. I wrote The Care and Feeding of Sex Demons in two weeks. I had written what is now the prequel to the story five years ago and had all of that time to think about what I was going to do. Actually writing it was the easiest part. The rewriting is where the real gold is, and that took much longer to do than just writing down the first draft.
I know the need for feedback is a desperate feeling, so it’s not lightly that I make this final suggestion. Do not let anyone read the story until you’ve gone back and rewritten the book. Streamline the plot from start to finish. Murder your darlings gets tossed around so often you forget that it’s not murder the bad stuff or murder the stuff you don’t care so much about. When you go back to edit, take a hard look at each and every one of your scenes. If they do not carry the plot of your story forward, cut it. Even if it’s funny, even if it’s cute, delete it. If it doesn’t have anything to do with the plot of your novel, it has no point and your story will be better without it. You can add stuff in to make it important or paste the best line in elsewhere.
Once the book hits the reader, they don’t care if the book took two weeks or a lifetime. It really doesn’t matter how quickly the first draft was written in. The true goal is telling a fascinating tale from start to finish.
About the Author:
Angela Fiddler wrote her first erotic novel as a birthday present to a friend who had requested kneeling and vampires. While the vampires come and go in the story, the kneeling remains. Angela likes smut, dark humor and stories that mix erotica with raw emotion. She talks about writing and her characters at www.angelafiddler.com.
Her latest book is the paranormal erotica, The Care and Feeding of Sex Demons.
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Author: Angela Fiddler
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Paranormal Erotica
Keeping a sex demon happy and sexually satisfied is always the safest option, even if Cy has his own relationship issues. When saving the world on a regular basis, a happy home is important, especially when mixing human, fae princes and a starving sex demon.
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