I wanted to share with you guys some of the things I learned about writing this past year. So, sit back, have a cookie, and read on.
I cannot type a first draft.
I don’t know why, but typing a first draft sucks away my creativity and the life of the story. And this lesson took a painfully long time for me to figure out. So, I’ve decided to write my first drafts in notebooks, as I’ve always done. I’d rather have a good story finished that I have to type up than a bland story I could easily send to alpha-readers if I ever finished it.
I cannot tell people what I’m working on.
I wish this were not true. I would love to talk about my writing more often, but telling you about it… I might as well just hand you the outline. Because that’s about as interesting as a talked-about story becomes to me.
I would rather write at my own pace than go insane trying to make a self-imposed deadline.
I can write a good story (possibly even a better one) if I go slowly instead of trying to finish by a certain time. Goals are great, but if I start to panic and writing just makes me miserable, I need to slow down.
I don’t have to be afraid of alpha-reader feedback. They expect bugs in the story– that’s why I asked them to help me catch them.
Thank you, Amanda, for helping me realize this.
I have an opportunity to edit before the story is passed on to alphas, but I’m only going to use it a bit.
I have a few things I can easily fix just by changing some words or adding an extra sentence. Everything else can wait until after I get feedback.
I discovered my own boundaries for YA content.
I understand that everything in the story must have a purpose. If it’s useless, it gets cut or not written at all.
I know how to query an agent.
Did this back on May 31st. It was scary, and especially more so after I realized I left a sentence unfinished at the end of the first chapter. (Oops.)
I cannot work on more than one project at once, even if one of those is just typing up a first draft.
One project will get preference over the other. In other words, my novella is going to have to wait while I get LASER typed up.
I know (I think, I hope) how to write a short story.
Back in March, I was so sick and tired of editing that I chased a plot bunny about giant butterflies. From that plot bunny, I wrote a short horror story of about 3k. I completed it in one day, making it the most words I’ve ever written in one day. I learned what must go into a short story for it to not be a memoir/abstract/very internal conflict thing (I hope. I haven’t actually tried this yet, but plan to).
I really enjoy scaring my alpha-readers.
See above. (Sorry, Liam.)
I enjoy intentionally provoking any emotional reaction, for that matter.
I suppose that’s something I’ve always enjoyed, considering how long I’ve cackled secretly about plot twist-reactions.
So, what awesome writing things have you learned about writing in 2014? Did you learn any of the same things I did? Let me know in the comments!
(SHIM! THE GIF THING WORKS!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!)