Holy cats, it’s been a while, hasn’t it? It’s amazing how fast time gets away from one.
I don’t need to give anyone an explanation for the past ~16 months or so, but it’s been nearly five years since I last posted here. It wasn’t until some 9 months after my previous post that I finally began drafting my current WIP, which I’d been waffling about for about three years before. Since then, I’ve been working (relatively) steadily on this novel, and I am finally at a point where I can send it out to beta readers, in preparation for beginning the querying process.
It’s all thanks to my fabulous writing group that I’ve been able to complete a draft at all. If not for their encouragement (“Just start writing! Then keep writing. Don’t rewrite the first three chapters over and over; you’ve got to get the whole story out first.”), I would’ve kept trying to do perpetual pre-work instead of putting anything on the page.
And for me, words on the page are most important. Even if it’s crap, I do a lot better with editing existing text than with writing fresh. In fact, even when I have to rewrite an entire chapter from the ground up, if I have anchoring text to go around it, it goes more smoothly. I have discovered that, even though I’m a “pantser” at heart, I need structure to thrive.
That’s why having that zero draft down on the page was so vital. With something to work from, I could analyze the structure I’d created and figure out where, and occasionally even why, it wasn’t working. Then I could get to editing. (So. Much. Editing. OMG, so much.) But my writing group always had helpful feedback (it can be truly amazing to see a story from outside one’s own head for the first time—like… of course that doesn’t make sense without this context I haven’t provided!), and every iteration gets stronger.
I’m hoping to get back to blogging here more regularly. If nothing else, it can be a journal for me to look back on as I embark on this journey in hopes of becoming a published novelist. So as inspiration strikes, I’ll pop back in every now and again to share what the process is like for me. Hopefully I’ll have interesting things to say—and sooner than five years from now!