Saturday, August 13, 2022

Secrets & Scents - Day 9

Skipped four days of writing. Yikes!

What with the move and me not knowing how the story is to progress from here, I haven’t made very much progress lately. This novel will not be done in 20 days of writing. (Unless it turns out to be a short novel of 40k words with only about 30 chapters, then I’m right on target!)

And that would be fine. I’m releasing myself from all expectations at this point and just seeing where the story goes next. I do this by implementing the “just write the next sentence” technique. I’ve mentioned it before, but the best writing advice I’ve heard is just write one more sentence. Then go on to the next one.

Now I’m a big believer in writing my first draft as clean as possible. I’m not one to puke it all out and then clean it up on edits. That's just a waste of time, imo. I do my best as I write it and then move on to the next project. I can’t learn to write by going over the same paragraph ten times. I’ll edit for spelling and grammar goofs and obvious mistakes, but that’s it.

That’s a huge controversy in the writing community, btw. Some people advocate getting an editor to go through a ‘deep edit’ (structural stuff), then hire a copy editor to clean up the sentence structure and move a few paragraphs around, and then get some proofreaders or a slew of beta readers to see if they should change anything else.

Well, that’s just dumb. The novel is not your novel anymore at that point. The writer has lost his or her ‘voice’ (unique way to tell the story). Sure, could a story be improved upon? Yep. Nothing is perfect. But at some point you have to let it go and move on. I choose to make that moving on point early in the process. I write it, read through it, then publish it.

Any feedback I get I’ll apply it to my next novel. And yes, that’s very controversial. The main complaint is that without a lot of edits the finished novel isn’t as good as it could be. But that’s a myth. It’s based on a false assumption that one’s first draft is never really any good. And I don’t buy it.

My first draft is as good as I can make it. I’m working hard at the story as I tell it. I’m not just throwing mud at the wall to see what sticks. So I write a bit slower than others (3,000 a day is a good day, maybe I could hit 4,000 a day with time and practice). But I’m saving time on the back end. If I were to toss up 9,000 words at one setting and then spend the next 3 days editing what I’ve written, well, I’m back to 3k a day. That makes no sense to me.

Like a painter. I paint and it’s either good or not good. I can’t keep touching it up with more paint. Eventually the piece of art will become a colorless blob of brushstrokes. I have to either toss the painting (which is fine, no problem), or put it on display for people to buy.

The painting will either sell (great!) or it won’t sell (that’s fine, too). Either way, no one cares. If it doesn’t sell, no one notices. It’s ignored and forgotten. But the painter must go on to the next painting and can’t wait for that one painting to sell. He or she is practicing and getting better – for the next piece of art.

Again, controversial. Back to writing. Because some people think if you publish a work that isn’t edited to death and it doesn’t sell, then you’ve ruined your reputation. Ha! That’s a good one! Oh, you mean you’re not joking? Come on! Seriously, no one knows who you are and no one cares. If you put out a bad book, no one will notice because no one will have read it! You’ve ruined your reputation? That’s so dumb. You don’t have a reputation to ruin!

So anyway, those are some of my thoughts. Should I go back and edit this post ten times now? Nah.

Image by Ricarda Mölck from Pixabay. Used by permission.

Writing Tip…Just write the best first draft you can and move on.

Progress: Writing Secrets & Scents... 

Introduction – Part 1: Launching a New Series 
Introduction – Part 2: The Missing Novel 
Day 1 - 3100 (Chps 1 & 2) - Total: 3,100 words 
Day 2 - 3300 (Chps 3 & 4) - Total: 6,400 words
Day 3 - 3150 (Chps 5 & 6) - Total: 9,550 words
Day 4 - 3100 (Chps 7 & 8) - Total: 12,650 words
Day 5 - 1550 (Chpt 9) - Total: 14,200 words
Day 6 - 3050 (Chps 10 & 11) - Total: 17,250 words
Day 7 - 1650 (Chpt 12) - Total: 18,900 words
Day 8 - 1500 (Chpt 13) - Total: 20,400 words
Day 9 - 1600 (Chpt 14) - Total: 22,000 words


Here's a placeholder image for Secrets & Scents - A Kelli & Jo Candle Shop Mystery by yours truly. I'll be launching a Kickstarter Campaign in September, 2022, for cozy mystery fans to acquire their exclusive pre-release edition of my latest novel with a brand new, professionally designed cover. Watch for details. 

In the meantime, if you become a Patreon Subscriber, you'll be able to read Secrets & Scents as I write it! New chapters of my WIP every week, plus a backlist novel a month and bonus short stories exclusive to patrons.

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Keep it clean and positive. (And sorry about the word verification, but the spmb*ts are out in full force!)