I've been reading the books I bought over the last few years about writing. Writing a book in a month, outlining your book, blogging about your book, even story generators. It's been fun, and I've gotten a lot of ideas. In fact, I think that's why I've been blogging so much lately.
Anyway, I thumbed through one of the books the other night called Novel Blogging (Buy it here) and found several great ideas for things to write about here on the blog. One of which is the topic we're going to cover today.
I know a lot of people wonder why it takes so long (at least, for me) to write a novel. Escaped and The Sector each took years to complete before they were ready for publishing. It's been several years since I've published them, and I know I've promised sequels. Believe me, I'm working on them!
But why does it take so long?
For me, I have to let the story sit and stew for a while. Sometimes it's as short as a few weeks or months, and sometimes it's as long as several years. It really just depends on how bad the draft is, how much work the story needs, and how I'm feeling about where everything went.
See, I've got everything all planned out in my head, and most of the time I can manage to get from where Book 1 left off to where Book 2 needs to end. Sometimes, as is the case in the two sequels I'm currently working on, characters go crazy and do totally unexpected things and throw the whole plan away. It really makes it hard to work in Book 3 or 4 (no promises here!) when my characters do that. And it's really frustrating and makes me wonder if the new plan is the right thing, or if the old plan needs to come back. You see where I'm going with this?
So what happens in between drafts?
Well, Draft 1 gets finished and I let it sit for a good while. Usually at least a month (lately a little longer). Then, I mull over the things I want to happen vs what actually happened in the story, and try to decide if it's going to be easy or difficult to insert said ideas into the existing draft.
If I decide it's going to be difficult, usually I'll scrap about 75% of what I've written and start fresh, keeping only the bits that I really, really liked that worked well with the new version of the draft.
Then I finish Draft 2. It's usually about this point where I send it off to my Beta Reader (love her, she's the BEST!) and then she rips it to pieces. :) After I get it back from her, I let it stew for a few weeks before diving in with fresh eyes, making changes, and adding or subtracting things. Then I send it back to my Beta Reader. This process goes on until the manuscript is finally in a good place.
Then I let it sit for a few more weeks before I begin editing.
Once editing starts, I power through the whole thing multiple times in about two or three weeks. Then I work on the cover, the description, and I send it out for a final proofread. And then, once it finally passes muster, I hit the publish button in Amazon and Barnes & Noble, cross my fingers, and hope for the best. :)
Hopefully this explains a lot to all of you, and kind of sheds some light on why I've taken so long in producing sequels.
I promise, I'm working on them. I promise, I'm on Draft 2 on both. It's just taking some time to get it Beta Reader ready. But, soon, hopefully very soon, they will be on their way to my Beta Reader, and then we can get the ball rolling toward publishing again.
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