Yesterday, I blogged about how I have used outlines to help me write the first two books in my upcoming Valley of the Bees trilogy. Today, I would like to talk a bit about what I am doing different while writing book II.
As I mentioned yesterday, I wrote book I, With Envy Stung, in a rush. I pushed myself to write a chapter each and every day over a 16-day period. This left me with some extremely light chapters. There was no set-up or transitions for any of these chapters. Instead, I just jumped right into the action and/or dialog and got right to it.
This time, I am taking a bit more time with each chapter. Rather than forcing myself to complete a full chapter each day, I simply encourage myself to write at least a few paragraphs every day. I haven’t held myself to a word count because some days I have more time than others. As long as the story progresses each day, I am happy with it.
As a result, I think what I am writing in this first draft is more well-rounded and fleshed out than the first draft of With Envy Stung, which will hopefully lead to a much easier-to-write second draft as well. The second draft of With Envy Stung was PAINFUL because I had saved the worst for last. I don’t enjoy writing setting and description, so it was a huge pain in the you-know-what to do all of the setting and description for an entire manuscript at once!
This whole book series started as a challenge to myself to prove that I could write and actually finish a book. One of the most important aspects of this long-running challenge is that I am learning so much from the experience.
At some point, we writers are all full of ourselves enough to think that we have surely learned all we will ever need to know about writing. The fact is, this simply is not true. No matter how good I think I’m getting, I always have something else to work on and improve. I have seen for myself, with each step I have taken on this journey, how much I have learned since I started. I know I have even more to learn in the future.
The more I practice, the easier the writing gets. As I improve one aspect of my writing, I identify other aspects that I could improve on as well. I truly believe that, as I long as I continue to aim higher each and every day, my writing can only get better each and every day.
As with all aspects of life, I think that’s the best any of us can ever hope for. You don’t become a good writer overnight. You don’t lose weight overnight. You don’t learn a new language overnight. Big changes happen a little bit at a time. All you have to do is aim to do a little bit better today than you did yesterday. They say you can become an international expert on any topic simply by reading up on it for an hour a day for seven years. Where will you be seven years from now if you spend an hour a day on your writing?