As predicted, I finished the third draft of my novel on the weekend. Today, that is. It’s a local holiday here, so a long weekend. Now that I finally have the whole story written, I can’t wait to read it. I’ve always had to settle for bits and pieces… or outlines. I’ll let it rest for a month while I write blog articles and begin the outline for my next novel.
I try to give some “lessons learned” in these novel reports. The main lesson I’ve learned is that writing a full 100,000 word novel is a long job. It was about two years of effort over a three year period. For most of 2013 I was focused on other tasks. Now that it’s done, I wonder if there isn’t some way to concentrate the effort more. I’d like to cut the number of days to write even if I don’t cut the number of hours. I have a precedent to work from; my article writing blitzes.
Twice now, I’ve spent a month writing articles about writing. In 2011, I wrote 38 articles in one month. In March, I wrote 56 articles in one month and the total articles in the blitz were around 70. I need to invent a chapter writing and revising blitz. So, maybe I won’t be writing the outline of my next novel during my August article writing blitz. It should be more successful if I launch an outline blitz in September.
I hope you’re enjoying my many writing experiments. Writing is a combination of learning and doing. Learn in order to do it and then do it to learn more. When I read my novel at the start of September, I’m sure it really will be at the final draft. The outline is so complete that I know there are no major revisions left. The job will be typos, minor cuts, and a few additions.
The latest manuscript writing lesson I’ve learned is to narrate slow scenes fast and narrate fast scenes slowly. Can’t remember where I read it. The idea had to sink in. A slow scene needs to pass quickly so your readers don’t get bored. Fast scenes need to pass slowly so your readers don’t get lost in the action and to build the tension.
One last tip. The solution to getting stuck is not to do something else for a while. Okay. Yes. It is one solution, but not one that I find works. If I step away from writing to read, watch TV, or surf the net, two hours will pass and I’ll be back at the same place. Instead, stop writing and think, daydream if necessary. Your mind will wander and the name or plot point has a good chance of coming to you. There’s little chance of finding an answer in pre-programmed media that has nothing to do with your book.
August is going to be an easy writing month. During the four months of work on the third draft, my “writing article ideas” file has filled up. It should be a blast writing the articles. I hope you will enjoy reading them.
Article by Ivan Izo.