I have to admit I’ve not read all the books featured on my guest blogs. That had been my original intention so I could make some really intelligent comments about them and gush about how much I loved them. Of course, that never happened I’m not Superman or woman in my case.
This week is different, as I’ve read 3 books by this author and loved them – despite being in a genre I would never even consider – but they were recommended, so I bought the first, read it in a day and then immediately got the second …. What I loved about her Renova trilogy was the premise that it could, one day, come true.
Terry Tyler the stage is yours.
First of all, I’d like to thank the lovely Lucinda (sorry if I’ve made you sound like a 1960s magician’s assistant) for inviting me to her blog!
I wasn’t quite sure what to write about for a while, but I imagine this might be of interest to other writers (and maybe come as a surprise to readers)―I’m talking about THE FEAR that lurks in so many writers’ minds all the way through the production of a novel. What is it? It’s the fear that you’re writing a load of rubbish. If it’s a sequel or a series, and the previous one has been well received, you can add to that the worry that readers will find this one a disappointment.
After writing many, many novels (15 published, 9 or 10 unpublished), I’ve found that my process always follows more or less the same pattern:
Step 1: Get idea. Mull it around for a while to see if it has legs.
Step 2: Develop plot in head. Write basic plan. Start writing.
5K words: Question my conviction that this idea had legs. Feel unable to get into the heads of any of the characters. Have to force self to write, every step of the way.
6K – 15K: Start to understand who the characters are but worry they are wishy-washy duplicates of those I’ve written before. Realise plot isn’t going to work quite as I thought, and make various alterations. Feel sure it’s banal rubbish.
16K – 30K: Well, I’ve got this far, so I may as well carry on.
40K: Consider scrapping.
50K – 60K: Start thinking it might be okay. Realise what wasn’t working and why, go back and make notes in mauve about where I have to change/add things, but it’s okay, it’s fine, they can all be dealt with in the first rewrite.
70K: Begin to love it! Feel it’s really coming together!
71K: Me to husband: “I think I’ve lost any talent I’ve ever had. It’s garbage.”
Husband: “You always say that.”
Me: “Yes, but this time I mean it.”
Husband: “You always say that.”
72K – 80K: See light at end of a tunnel. Try to push to back of head what a huge task the first rewrite is going to be.
80K- 90K: Realise it’s going to be far too long. Tell self that a story should be the length it needs to be, and as long as it’s well edited and your readers are enjoying it, it doesn’t matter if it’s 15K words longer than originally intended.
90K – 100K: Who cares about those who say that 70K is the ideal length for a popular fiction type novel, anyway?
105K – end: Thank God that’s over. Type ‘the end’, feel a nanosecond of victory, go and stare at telly.
1st rewrite: Ahh. This really is terrible.
2nd rewrite: No, but it seriously is.
3rd rewrite. Hang on. I think it might okay.
Subsequent rewrites: It’ll be okay. It will, it will.
Send to proofreader, who is also first test reader, then spend every day I don’t hear from her thinking that she doesn’t know how to break the news to me about how bad it is.
Next, there is the second test reader, who is über-picky, which is good, but it’s very hard at the time! Then there are all the final amendments, the realisation that I should have added a scene here and there, the massive plot hole, etc., but onwards I go to the end.
Then it’s up and ready to press ‘publish’ on the given day, and I feel a tiny moment of accomplishment and deep joy. Next, the ARCs are sent out, and the whole panic process starts all over again.
I sometimes wonder why I do it! Recently I read a tweet that said something like, ‘how come writing is the thing I want to do most in the world, all the time, but at the same time the thing I want to do least?’
That just about sums it up. Now, I must go and carry on with the current WIP that is currently over 90K words long and nowhere near the end, a mess of mauve notes, with characters that have changed personality between chapters 14 and 15….
Thank you once again, Lucinda!
Thank you, Terry, what a relief to read that I’m not the only author who agonizes over the rubbish I scribble. I realize now there are more books of yours for me to find.
Check them out on Terry’s Amazon page
and her blog
Till next time, take care.