~ Mad, Bad, and Dangerously in the Know!
----- Original Message -----
- My question is: how can anyone write a whole novel? It's too huge, there's too much to figure out, and too much to do! How does anyone keep up the pace and keep going to actually finish? And then when you're done with the first draft, what if you realize you don't know how to do story tension and the characters have changed and you have to start all over again? Why would anyone want to do all that WORK?"
- Disillusioned Author
- Lets do this one bit at a time...
Figuring out what to put in a Novel
I don't have any problems figuring out what to write in my novels because I plot out the entire book scene by scene. How do I do that?
Plotting begins by understanding that although there are a million variations, Every story follows the same basic pattern:
A basic Plot Arc
- Introduction - early trouble, revealing the character's talents and setting
- Rising Action - increasing tension - crisis after crisis
- Climax / Reversal - point of highest tension & the story's turning point
- Falling Action – all plot threads unravel leaving only one solution
- Confrontation – final crisis, ending in hope or ruin
- Denouement - resolution
All You have to do is figure out what to put where.
Keeping up the Pace
The ONLY way to finish a book is with a well-developed Obsessive Compulsive habit. Basically you keep going till you're done. Sorry, but that's the only way to do it.
To maintain the flavor of a book through the months it takes to write it, I use specific movie soundtracks, (one book - one soundtrack).
Wrecked over Rewrites!
If you need to do a rewrite, then you DO IT, over and over again, until you get it RIGHT.
And if you can't get it right? Then you consider it Practice, shelve it, and go on to another project.
A practice story is NOT wasted! Practice is JUST as necessary as publication -- if not more so. How are you supposed to perfect your techniques if you don't experiment first? Practice is Valuable Experience! Ask any artist if THEY offer their drafts rather than take the time to polish their work.
It ALWAYS is in your best interests to Perfect your Craft BEFORE you submit! No matter what anyone says, you will be REMEMBERED by the editors that Turn you down! "Oh, it's her again. I'm not going to bother reading her, I remember her last manuscript..."
You only want to deliver your very best work, work that you can be proud of years into your successful career.
All that Work!
Why do "I" do all that work? I LOVE writing stories!
For me, the ACT of writing is just as fulfilling (if not more so) than the completion of a book. I usually get a severe case of depression while finishing the last three chapters. I get so involved, I DON'T want to end the story.
If you don't think writing is the neatest, keenest, coolest thing you could possibly do with your time, then a Career in Fiction Writing may not be for you. It doesn't mean you shouldn't write -- writing is wonderfully fulfilling, everyone should do it! It just means that writing books that suit a publisher's needs may not be right for You.
Time to make an executive decision.
What is more crucial to your
-- Personal Writing Happiness?
- If money is what you're after, then you knuckle under and write what the publishers are asking for -- and you KEEP WRITING.
Writing for cash is an ongoing business. Sales only last for a LIMITED amount of time. (Once they have your book, why buy another?) To keep that cash flow steady, you MUST write another book Before your sales dip -- and then another, and another...
- You're screwed. Only a tiny handful of authors achieve fame. No really...
THINK: how many authors can you name off the top of your head? (No cheating and looking at your bookshelf.)
Now, ask your closest relative, how many authors They can name? Do you honestly think you can compete with the authors THEY list? Hell, do you honestly think you can compete with the authors YOU listed? (I know I can't compare with my favorite authors -- but I don't care.)Truthfully? If you're looking for Fame -- get into Acting, because writing isn't going to get you there. Seriously.
Writing a damned good Story?
- BRAVO! Go for it! There are ALWAYS places to publish a damned good story. It may not get you any money, and fame as you know, is iffy to begin with -- but to the writer that loves to Write, successfully writing a damned good story is reward enough!
Smut-Writer - and Damned Proud of it!