I have just reached over twenty thousand words for book one, and I can tell this book will be the longest of all the past three novels I’ve completed. There have been some things I’ve definitely gotten right with writing book one, and I’ll make a separate post on it. But there are definitely some things I can learn from, and things I think can be helpful to others. 🙂
Too Eager For Feedback- I REALLY don’t want to admit this, but I must. I have amazing test readers. I struggled from novels one through three having barely one to three readers and having consistent readers be there for feedback for my book is amazing. However, I underestimated my readers and my time in which it takes to create chapters. Many people write, if not the full story, a large majority of their book before sending out chapters.
I underestimated how it would be trying to have a full schedule for blogging, writing a book, and maintaining household chores, as well as other things. What I’m planning on doing now, and I’m going to alert all my test readers. I’m going to send them sections of five chapters each. Which means, I need to get into gear because a number of them are pretty much caught up.
Feedback is REALLY helpful. For me, it is an adrenaline that pushes me to keep going. A lot of people in my personal life are just not interested in reading, which is why I seek test readers sooner than I probably should. I need opinions and a sense of direction I like to know as I write. But for my next book, I am going to make sure I am a lot farther ahead in my chapters before I send them out. (Keeping one or two writing friends as close test readers to help me along the way.)
Inconsistent Writing- I’m guilty of this, so I must admit it. I’ve been able to write daily before in the past, but it takes consistency and practice. Getting back into that rhythm can take time, but it needs to happen. Writing and working on the book every day is a good feeling and I really want to get back into it. I’ve been fairly successful with consistent blogging, but I feel that is easier as the topics change all the time. Sticking with the same story means going through the rough patches, and that is not always easy. Which leads me to my next point.
Running From Roadblocks- I was stuck in chapter eight I believe for about two months…no it was not writer’s block. After a few years from writing novels, I actually do not believe in writer’s block anymore, as much as I believe in…we must get through the hard parts. In this case, I was working on a description piece and I wanted to make sure I had an idea for the layout of the scene. But I kept running away from sitting down at the computer and just focusing on the story.
Related Post | I Was Stuck In My Book For 2 Months
Roadblocks in writing, when a scene slows down. It is not as exciting but still needed. Life is like this, our stories will have moments of this. Everything is NOT an adventure. Sometimes life slows down. But that does not mean these aren’t important or should be tossed aside or briefly rushed through. Emotions, connections, how relatable the scene is, these connect the reader to the story.
Sometimes the smallest details make the biggest impact.
I struggled for two months because I was describing the village store. But when I finally sat down to work on the piece everything flowed, I just allowed myself to panic in the beginning and not get back into my writer’s seat and think through.
And guess what, my test readers really enjoyed the store. ❤ Details and taking time counts!
Comparing- I’m getting better at not comparing myself to others…but it still happens from time to time. Not just with people writing better in my eyes, but…well…as we’ve talked about…progress. I see some amazing bloggers and people on Twitter discuss their progress with writing, and I want to reach those milestones. I do have to stop myself and realize some of these peoples are only working on their book, they are not blogging.
Jumping Too Far Ahead- This may be slightly embarrassing to admit. So, by this, I do not mean when some writers write through pieces of the story. If they do not know or have all the words, they will jump to a part of their story they are familiar with and then fill the blanks in later.
What I mean is…cough…I’ve created the book covers for the book series, which if planned correctly will be at least five books. I’ve jotted down ideas and pieces of what topics the other books will cover. This is not completely bad because it does help me have a clearer vision for things to foreshadow and characters to focus on in book one.
But sometimes I get so excited about a different book, it’s almost like, “Aw, why can’t I work on that story?” I think this is my equivalent to writers wanting to jump from one story to the next. It’s okay to outline and jump a little, but don’t jump so far the current story starts to get a little jealous from lack of attention.
Trust me, it’s a good distraction…
Writing a book or a novel is not about being the perfect novelist or author. It is about working through the trials and growing through obstacles. Don’t ever give up, and please don’t beat yourself up either. We all do.
After all, we’re a writer.