This has got to be my biggest problem as a writer: finishing. You want to know why I never finish anything? Because at some point in the writing process, usually about half way through, I hit a point where it’s dragging and I really don’t like what I’m doing and I realize the storyline needs to change. I cannot tell you how many versions of Elana and Markus I have done. They’ve gone from Piper and Ray to Elana and Markus and from regular people to guardians to witches to changers. And now it appears I’m about to do the same thing to Regan and Cadeyrn.
A year ago I wrote out the crappiest draft I have ever done, but I finished it. I wrote fast without putting too much thought into the small details, just trying to get it done. I wrote it in about two months I believe and had every plan in the world to go back in since the story was done and add in the meat. That didn’t happen. Instead, I rewrote it. Instead, I changed some fundamentals about the story itself, trying to shape it into something I would love again. So, that advice of just do it, just finish it, it doesn’t matter how shitty it is? Yeah, that doesn’t work for me. I’m still at square one with nothing I would want to present to an agent, let alone a publisher. And one of my goals for 2013 was to write something I would want to publish. It goes without saying that part of that goal is to actually FINISH IT.
I am so tired of restarting and changing things and I am beginning to feel like one of the things I changed about the current WIP (work in progress) is something that should have never changed, because it was what I loved about it in the first place. It was what made me fall in love with these characters. It was what captured my heart when this idea began to form almost two years ago. Two years…wow. This is the first time I’ve really realized that it’s already been that long. Elana and Markus were under the pen for even longer than that, much longer. And they never saw their ending. Well, not one that I was content with anyway.
Maybe this is why a lot of the authors I follow are in their thirties and forties. It’s rare to see a great writer in her twenties, because this is the learning stages. As far as I’ve come, as much as I’ve learned, I’ve still got a long road ahead of me as a writer. I’ve still got a lot to learn about what works best for me. Every writer has a different process, a different way of going about the story, and that way is part of what makes them so good. It works for them.
For some reason lately, I’ve been mulling over the release schedules of some of my favorites. Take Yasmine Galenorn for the first example. She puts out three books a year and would like to up it to four. Her books are smaller but fast paced and lovely reads. J. R. Ward, on the other hand, puts out maybe two books a year to my knowledge. Her books are bigger and they take a little more time to get into things, to dig for depth. There’s nothing wrong with either style, they just are what they are and it works for each author. And then there’s Karen Marie Moning. Iced was released in October, I think it was? Her next book will not come out until January of 2014. That’s more than a year between releases. And Iced was huge. Shadowfever, the one to come out more than a year before, was big as well. A more well known example of this would be George R. R. Martin, the writer of Game of Thrones. I believe a friend said he went six years between releases. And if the series is anything to go by, he has written an absolutely fantastic story.
These are just four authors out there, and they all go about their work differently. There is no scientific definition of how to do it. Which is nice but sometimes it makes figuring out how you work best a pain.
I guess the best thing to do is to keep at it. Keep writing. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to go stare at the plot for a bit and review some of the stuff from the old drafts. I am NOT restarting this so urge, quit bothering me.