Thursday, July 7, 2011

Blogfest: On Writing

Brittany over at Hills and Corkscrews is holding a blogfest from July 1st through the 9th. Head over there to check out the other participants!

Day 7: On Writing

I've been writing literally for as long as I can remember. Somewhere in the world there are binders containing sheets of notebook paper where I hand-wrote my first stories. The only ones I remember were both about cats. Each story was ten chapters long, each chapter about half a page in the length.

Over the course of middle school I graduated from short stories to attempting novels. There was one called Mystica about a unicorn fighting in an ancient tournament to decide the ruler of their world, one about a stallion that lived on the sun, and one about a hunter that gets lost in the woods and has to find his way home. I still have Mystica but unfortunately the last two were lost to an ancient computer.

I didn't start writing seriously until November 2008 when I started writing a novel that I later called Andra. I didn't know it then, but Andra was destined to be the first novel that I ever finished, queried, and trunked. Several other novels followed, most of which will never see the light of day, bringing me to my current works in progress. Where There's Smoke is a YA romance currently with betas and will hopefully be my next novel to query. In the meantime, I'm writing a dystopian named Cardinal Three.

There are a lot of things I wish I knew when I first started writing seriously, but the top three are:

1. Be patient when querying. Rushing into it when your book/query/synopsis isn't ready is not doing you or your book any favors.

2. If you feel there's a problem with your book, there probably is. Don't ignore that feeling. If you're struggling with a smaller problem and you think there might be something much larger underneath it, don't slap a patch over the hole and call it good. The crater will still be there underneath.

3. Queries and outlines are your friends. They can help keep you on track so that you don't go wandering off into the bush with that plot and realize too late that you spent so much time meandering, you don't even have a plot anymore.


Brittany said...

Great post and advice! I had to force myself to be very patient when I first started writing, because I wanted to write my novel, revise it quickly, and start querying right away. Luckily I didn't, because my first novel was horrible. :)

LynNerd said...

Those stories you wrote at such a young age are fascinating to me, learning what kind of story a kid loves to write about. What a shame that you lost two of them. I've learned to email myself all WIPs as I make revisions and file them in a folder. That way I can have access to my work from anyone's computer in case mine crashes. Your advice is excellent. Sounds to me like you have a wonderful writing career ahead of you. Best of luck in all your ventures!

laurathewise said...

Too bad you lost those other two stories :( I almost always start on paper first, even if I continue on the computer.

Those three tips are great advice, especially number 2. :)

And yay, stories about cats!;)