I’ve spent the last several years trying to prefect my craft. I’ve read so many how to and writing guide it’s not even funny. And I think it’s had the opposite effect.
Instead of improving my writing beyond what it was, I’ve begun to over think the work. I second guess my word choices and see holes where there are none. I’ve become so concerned with the ‘taboo’ that my writing is suffering bad. I long for the blissful days where I could use an ‘ly’ word and not worry about removing it or the deviations from standard ‘said, asked’ tags. Can’t a person growl, scream, yell, purr, moan any more?
Gah! So, this time, this novel, I’m throwing everything (almost) I’ve learned out the window. I’m going to write how I always have and stick my tongue out at any who turn their noses up at me. So there!
Now, I’m not saying my last novel was crap, (It is but I won’t get into that) I’m just saying it was harder and less pleasant to write with all the rules hanging out my head. I struggled (Still am) to get it long enough to be publishable. Not because there wasn’t enough story to fill the pages, but because I was afraid to pepper the work with purple pose, ‘ly’ words and funniness.
I have to reverse edit this novel because of it. Instead of taking out what isn’t need, I have to figure out what is missing. This is much harder for me to do. When I finish a novel, I’m done. I say good-bye to the lovely characters I’ve gotten to know and love. On this one, I have to hold on to them that much longer. It makes me feel like a Mom who can’t let go of her kids when it’s time for them to leave the nest.
So, the point? Forget everything you learned about writing a novel, until you hit the second draft. You may need more ink in that red pen than before, but at least you won’t have to breathe life into a dead story.
I’m going to roll up my sleeves and attempt to revive this dead manuscript.