Saturday, January 26, 2013

What I Can Say About Writing a Novel

First, I am writing this on my iPhone so I am forced to be brief.

I hit a milestone last week. I finished reading 400 double spaced pages of a first draft of a novel about love and obsession. I edited and made marks and comments. I printed out every chapter separately and stabled each chapter together. I have three stacks: a beginning, a middle, and an end, sort of.

Now I am ready to:

--think about the best order of the chapters (this is VERY hard)
--see where there are gaps or omissions or overkill and write at least a few 'bridge' chapters and probably chop out some sections
--get rid of all unnecessary wordiness
--change some names and some locations and some descriptions so no one I care about gets hurt or mad at me
-- check the verbs and make sure they are as strong as possible
--reread it all and judge it: is it any good?  Is the character Casey transformed? What's the lesson?

I would have given examples but I'm posting on my cellphone for the first time ever. Forgive my typos.

The stage I am at now with this novel is a lot of fun.

:-)

Love
kj
   

42 comments:

  1. writing a novel sounds like a complicated, committed affair, and a lot of work (as well as fun)! i have the highest respect and admiration for what you are doing kj, not just the story telling, but for following your bliss!

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    1. Lori, I have no idea if anyone else follows these steps. They are intuitive to me. Your csmeras, my laptop. Same bliss

      Love
      kj

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  2. its great that you find this stage fun. it sounds very much that you know what you are doing though, have a handle on the revision process. I have a good feeling about it all. good luck.

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    1. Aw thanks suki. God only knows how it will all turn out. But I feel I've made progress finally

      Love
      kj

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  3. Hurrah!
    I feel excited for you, it sounds like such an accomplishment, as well as hard work, but fulfilling.
    As well, how exciting to be typing a post on your phone! :)
    Thank you for sharing your process, kj, it is a learning for those of us who love reading to read about the painstaking process; and as well for anyone who wants to write you are creating guideposts.
    Brenda


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    1. Brenda, I might be all over the map! But this seems like the way to do it

      iPhone blogpost only if necessary--not the most efficient

      xo
      kj

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  4. so much work! I can only imagine how tough this is, and how much work. Knowing you - it will also all come together beautifully

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    1. Mim, it doesn't feel tough. I wish I had more time, because it feels good

      Love
      kj

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  5. It's major work and talent! Am sure you will bring both together beautifully! So glad you are enjoying the process!

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    1. Hi Lynn,I'll bet you enjoyed making your book. Not easy but rewarding

      Love
      kj

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    2. Yes on both counts! Happy to be amongst the "authors" in our community now! ;-)))

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  6. Good for you!

    And now I'm picturing the chapters all stabled together, in an old but cozy barn, with plenty of fresh hay.

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    1. cs, hahaha! I noticed that little typo too :-)

      You made me laugh

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  7. you and i both know this process well and are undertaking it at exactly the same time - i can hear the excitement and eagerness in your voice.....i love that part of having a stack of finished chapter and can touch and feel the completedness of it all (if that is a word!!! haha if not it should be!!)

    i will look forward very much to reading the final product when you are ready.

    blessings and joy as you continue on, fellow writing soldier!!!

    xxx

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    1. Amanda , do these steps make sense to you?

      Love
      kj

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    2. kj,

      they completely make sense to me. i, too, am shuffling chapters, chopping out sections that no longer fit and writing bridge scenes. about the changing the name parts - do you use names of real people to inspire you and then switch them out once the writing is done? if so, i must try that. there's something very freeing about just letting it all out on paper, no?

      xoxo

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    3. This book has some truth to it so yes i use some real first names: not the main characters , who have their own 'novel' names .

      Now I will change some names, locations, characteristics. But in the first writing I couldn't do that because the truth wanted to be written

      :-)

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    4. the truth wanted to be written

      swallow. sigh.


      thank you, kj. i needed to hear this.

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  8. Sounds very very exciting to see your baby come to life.Congrats to you my friend!! xoxo Cat

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    1. Hi cat, you and me both :-)

      xo

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  9. Wow this sounds like A LOT of work! But I am happy you are enjoying it and that you are doing a great job, I know you are......
    ♥M

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  10. I'm impressed that you've posted by phone - I'm such a luddite :)

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    1. Annie, not to be done again unless desperate :-)

      Love
      kj

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  11. Yay! I'm so impressed and I hope you're incredibly proud of yourself. It takes a lot of courage and discipline to write a book, let alone finish one :)

    Hugs to you!

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    1. Not finished yet, tracy, not even

      Writing. Acting, creating, giving: all the same xoxo

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  12. You're writing about love and obsession? This book isn't about me, is me?

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    1. Hi snow, maybe you'll find yourself on every page:-).

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  13. haha CS!! I picked up on that too, noticing the "B" was nowhere near the "P." :)

    I think this story has been busting the doors down to get out. You'll do it and call it finished when it's not "less than" that.

    Proud friend here ;)♥

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    1. Public announcement:

      Lo,

      I love you.

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  14. Fun and lotsa hard work too I know. Can't wait to see it and have my own copy. You've been tagged- so pop in to my blog post and if you feel like joining in- do.

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    1. Hi joss xo, I love that you will read my book.

      :-)

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  15. Will you still talk to little people like me when you out-sell J.K. Rowling?
    Best of luck to you, my friend! xx

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    1. Thank you, Kay. Actually I will count the number of copies bought. I get a kick out of that :-)

      Love
      kj

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  16. You know, I am in a class where she keeps talking to us about the audience and that we must get rid of it. That is a hold up for me, the fear of my truth hurting my audience in writing. Or I could write one hell of a memoir. You remind me of Sylvia Plath in this though--writing truth and changing the names and locations :). If I read you correctly.

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    1. I have that fear too, Amy. I write about my brother's childhood and I think my take on it would hurt him. But more than that: my partner. My daughter. And a woman who cannot wish me well..

      But you have to write it before the censor gets to speak

      Love
      kj

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  17. Kj, I tried to leave a comment a few days ago and blogger would not let me. I will try again. This process sounds really fun and like a lot of work. Have fun. xoxo

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    1. Hello Annie xo

      Are you feeling alot better? I hope so

      It is fun. I want more time!

      Love
      kj

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  18. Darlin so proud of you....how exciting...feel free to use my name for any character! Seriously I hope the next step goes super smoothly. Much love to you....

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  19. Four years ago I finished my 98,000 word manuscript. That, in itself, is a monumental moment. Then began query hell. I might be a fantastic writer, but I'm one horrid query designer and 30 queries never got past the agent's assistants. (they were probably looking for the vampires in my novel and, having none, tossed my query)

    My fully edited and clean manuscript laughs at me from the box beneath the bed. Good luck. And if you have any, let me know.

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