Discussion in 'Insights & Inspiration' started by nippy818, Dec 7, 2015.
Thank you for your ideas and how you found writing your novel.
Which was the hardest part of the entire process do you think?
For me, it was getting distance on the project. That's the single factor that made the most difference to the end product, but nothing gives you distance other than plenty of time away from it. And that's hard. The impulse is to keep beavering away, but that's a mistake.
After a while, you need to look at the whole story with fresh eyes, as if somebody else had written it. That's where the flaws and strengths become apparent, and the connections (or lack of them) emerge. That's when you realise you've skipped over something important, or spent far too much time on something that doesn't really matter all that much. Or that you've focused the start of the story on the wrong thing, and the focus needs to be re-thought and re-worked.
Achieving that distance, plus absorbing feedback from betas, were the two most difficult parts of the project for me. Time takes ...time. And you can't know ahead of time what betas are going to tell you.
This is one of the reasons I am rethinking my own approach and considering something closer to Nabokov's. Text is text. Write it down down when it appears and store it in the appropriate project folder. I do think there's a time for soldering away but maybe sometimes you have to let things sort themselves out and or grow on their own.
Inspiration can come from anything, and just because something seems "silly" in concept and in first draft, doesn't mean it will be bad at all, just needs refinement later on and you will have even more experience when you come back to edit...so just write it anyway and move on. Hardest lesson I've had to learn so far, and I'm still struggling with it (especially in my current scene I'm writing, goddamn it seems so stupid).
I'm fortunate enough to be able to handle criticism, constructive or otherwise. I've also learned not to pay attention to destructive critique, and take a grain of salt (or a bag of salt at times) with every good critique I receive, depending on who that critique came from. I want to hear it all though, good, bad and downright nasty, because there's always a gem to be found even in a pile of dirt. Take away what you think will help the most and just disregard the rest.
This post is great. I'm glad I'm not the only one who sometimes finds it hard to keep pushing forward. I've thought about changing my user pic several times, but then left it alone ultimately because I think it's something I need to see frequently.
And thanks to those who pointed out that even when not actually adding to the word count, if you are adding to the ideas, fleshing out plot points or backgrounds or world building, it's still progress. Sometimes I get discouraged bc I feel like I'm not making progress when I pause writing to work on backstory or research or whatever. This thread is a good reminder that it is all adding to the story in some way.
I've learned, like others on this thread, that writing is work. Some days it's easier and more exciting than others. And some days I want to blow it off and just read or do something else. I have to keep reminding myself that I set a goal for the end of this year (to have my novel finished) and if I want to achieve that, then I need to work. I have a poster in my room at home- it reads "Dreams don't work unless you do."
The hardest thing for me to overcome in my writing has been my tendency to let things happen "off screen" so to speak. Since I know what happened, I assume the reader does too. I have had several good laughs at myself when this has been pointed out to me. Now I am aware of it, and am working to cut it out.
I like to let my stories "percolate" in my subconscious. That percolating is essential to making good coffee - or in this case, a good story. If you aren't old enough to know what a percolator is, think of it as an olden days Keurig.
IDK, I am still learning, and don't plan on not learning new things.
So far it has been an experience between the first novel and now
current sequel. Though every story is different and you learn new
Separate names with a comma.