Image via WikipediaI've been working on revisions discussed with my agent for the last couple of months now.
And there's been progress...finally! November - the early part of it at least - wasn't a good writing month for me. Those of you who've read my earliest posts will know I'm a believer in writing mojo. I sometimes think there's a finite quantity in the universe to go around, and all those busy NaNo writers used mine up.
So when they were all winding down, I was ramping up. The scenes have been falling like ninepins (okay, yeah, maybe I had to kick a few teetering ones over). I now have ONE SCENE TO GO! And I'm halfway there with that one, as I'll be able to include some elements of the final scene from the original version. Then it's off to the agent for her feedback, which I'm both nervous and excited about as I'm very new to the whole writer/agent thing. I'm also hoping she really meant it when she told me not to worry about adding length to my MS when I revised. My earlier version was 97,000 words, and I've added over 13,000 words to this with the new ending.
My last post looked at the idea of drafts. How many is enough? When do you know your work is done? As I've mentioned before I'm a pretty slow writer, so an average day (working part-time around other things) would be 500 words or less. A really good day might be 1500 words. When I next make it back to the computer, I go over what I last wrote, and make whatever changes stick out at me. Then I call it done. And, um, hope that other people, y'know, like it. Or at least don't hate it.
I have noticed though that some scenes get written a heck of a lot faster than others. For me, dialogue and character interaction scenes are a breeze. Romantic suspense? Tempestuous clinches? Bring 'em on. The slowest thing in those scenes, believe it or not, is writing the action beats which are interspersed among the bits of dialogue. Things like "He walked over to the window, tension in every line of his body." Hey, there's only so many ways a tired brain can think of to mix those up after a while, and I'm sure I repeat myself to some extent in the course of a novel.
The scenes I find slower to write are the ones where a character is on their own and 'thinking'. Because, basically, I have to work out what they might be thinking so I can write it. And make sure it matches their personality and level of self-awareness and stuff. For some reason in dialogue that's less of an issue for me.
Other slow scenes are ones where there is action but not much dialogue, as that tends to feel like writing a whole lot of action beats one after the other. Where a scene is description heavy for any reason, I often have to slow down, as there might be things I have to research, or clever imagery to invent, or...you get the picture, I hope. (pun intended)
Which bits of a manuscript write themselves for you? And which are like pulling teeth?
What parts of the writing process do you love/hate?
And finally, if I'm a bit quiet in the next little while it's because I'm getting some writing done at long last. There's nothing like the feeling you get when you're on the downhill stretch and the end is in sight.
NB: All those of you who wrote your 50K in November and won NaNo, take a well-earned break. December's my month! For January...well, we can draw straws or something. ;-)