First off, I want to thank Hawwa for hosting me today, and generally being an all-around rock star. She’s one of my Flirt Squad girls, and we've shared many humorous emails back and forth over the past few months. She’s my girl =D (awwh thank you!)
Today, I’m here to talk about that mysterious, confusing, fun journey of writing your first book. The nuts and bolts of this magical undertaking—How I did it (although you should know going in that there are as MANY ways of doing this as there are authors), what I found to be the easiest and hardest parts of the whole crazy process, where I write, and what my daily/weekly word count goals are.
Sound fun? Well it certainly isn't boring!
My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century wasn't actually my first book. My first book was a YA Contemporary Romance that I hope to be telling you all about soon, so my ‘debut’ novel is actually my second attempt, but really, my process has always been the same. And with each manuscript I write, I learn that it gets a little easier and my writing gets a little better. My first book took me just over three months to draft and edit, and My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century took me just over two months.
The reason I’m able to draft and revise so quickly is that I always take a month prior to writing to plan everything out. Y’all, I’m a total obsessive plotter girl. I interview my characters, find inspiration pictures, make story soundtracks, create posters, plot out every moment and character arc, and conduct tons of research. I create a huge story bible with all this info, and it is always with me. Always. I do all this in a month because, as I said, I’m kind of/okay, a ton obsessive. This is the fun part for me, the intensely creative, researching, learning phase, and I can’t start writing until I feel like I know exactly where this novel is going to go. Once I do, I type “Chapter One.”
And I can revise so quickly because I surround myself with authors who are made of awesome. All of us write as much as we can during the day, striving for a chapter or anywhere from 1,000-2,000 words, and then we send our latest pages to each other. We mark them up, making suggestions and laughing and swooning right there on the page, and then send them back. I rarely move onto my next chapter without having the previous ones ready to go, thanks to their amazing notes. When I type “The End,” it normally means I have one final read through to make sure it all works with my overall plot and nothing is missing, and then it is off to my agent and editor.
So, for me, I’d say the easiest part of writing is revising. I already have a road map for where I want to go, and with the insight my critique partners (and later agent and editor) give me, I knock these out really fast. The hardest for me would probably be time management. I was tempted to say plotting, because that is so involved, but honestly, it is the part I love the most. But what I suck at is balancing my day job of being a home-school mom, cleaning the house, being a good critique partner myself, and finding time to write. That’s why I strive for more of a weekly word count goal than a daily one.
Right now, I’m working on my YA Contemporary Thriller, Rearview Mirror, which is due to my editor at the end of December. I have an Excel spreadsheet that tracks the date, my new daily total, my daily word count, and where I should be to be on track for my goal. I mainly write Monday through Friday, with the occasional weekend in a hotel thanks to my fabulous husband, so my goal is roughly 900 words a day, or 4500 words a week. Considering that I edit as I write, that is a doable goal for me, and some days I’m able to write way over that day’s target.
As for where I write? Anywhere I can! I usually haunt my desk, outfitted with two monitors and a ton of reference material at my fingertips, but I’ve been known to write at Panera Bread, libraries, hotels, and McDonald’s play lands. I’m not a snob or particularly picky when it comes to where…just that it happens. =D
So that’s how I roll. Probably way more information than you ever could’ve wanted, but I always find it interesting to discover how different authors bring their books to life. And speaking of that, I’d LOVE to hear yours! Aspiring authors, bloggers, published authors, journal-writing aficionados, tell me YOUR writing tricks and secrets, and don't forget to enter to win a Super Sweet Swag Pack (yes, this is open internationally!)
Isn't she super cool!?!
What did you think of her book? Do you think it was worth all the hard work she put into it?...
Now onto the good stuff - although I'm not trying to say that her guest post wasn't..it was amazing..but..yeah..I've just dug myself a great big deep hole..I'm going to stop now but first..
Here's the rafflecopter widget!
a Rafflecopter giveaway