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All Things Writing & Publishing > I am working in my first project ¿Any advice?

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message 1: by Cesar (new)

Cesar Reyes | 1 comments Feel free to follow me and send me a message I would like to meet fascinating people like you!! I will follow you as well!!

message 2: by David (new)

David Flin | 18 comments I've found that the two hardest things in writing a book are starting it and finishing it.

It's incredibly easy to get so caught up in doing the necessary research that one never quite gets around to starting the book. For reasons too complicated to go into, I once found I was trying to work out what the terminal velocity of a raven with wings, but unable to use those wings to fly, would be, and how long it would take that raven to fall from the top of the White Tower to the ground (readers of a nervous disposition can rest assured that no ravens were harmed during my research). That's probably a bit too much detail.

The other hard part is finishing. I find there's a hump about half-way through writing a story, when I begin to doubt if it's any good, and ideas for different projects stray into my head, and real-life intrudes, and there's a strong temptation to put the writing to one side, and come back to it refreshed. This is dangerous, because once you start doing that, it gets harder and harder to come back, and eventually, you end up with a three-quarters written story. I've read about setting a target (I will write 3000 words of the story each and every day, for example). That doesn't work for me, but it works for many.

The other finishing problem is when you've got to the end, and you re-read. You notice a thing here, and something there, and pretty soon, you're rewriting the whole thing. Guess what, when you finish rewriting, you read through again, and you notice a thing here, and something there ...

My solution to this is once I have finished a story, I put it to one side for a week. Then I reread it, and tidy it up as I go. I decide that unless I'm seriously unhappy with it, the instinct that led me to write the story in the first place was generally sound, and I don't try to improve the plot. I'm tidying it up, no more. When I have reached the end, then I put it aside for a week, and then reread a final time. Unless something obvious leaps out, I don't change things, but I'm just getting a feel for how it works as a story as a whole without worrying about the process of writing it.

Then I submit to wherever I'm submitting it. It might not be perfect, but if I strive to produce a perfect piece of work, I'll not produce anything. Perfection is the enemy of excellence. For example:

"Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
"The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
"Or to take arms against a sea of troubles."

With my editing hat on, I would start to worry about the word sea. You don't take arms against a sea, for pity's sake. You take arms against a host. Then again, a sea does give the feeling of a continually rolling, unstoppable force, but then so does host, only a host can be defeated, unlike an incoming sea (as Canute discovered), but then if a sea comes in, it also goes out, and I can easily spend a day working out if I want "sea of troubles" or "host of troubles."

That's how so many good books can remain unsent while the author searches for that perfect word here and there and creating the perfect story, rather than an excellent one.

In my experience, anyway.

message 3: by Roxanna (new)

Roxanna López Have fun with it and be true to yourself, trust your instinct and your inspiration. For me, it works to have very specific tangible goals like keeping a steady word count. If you'd like more tips, I have several related posts in by blog.

Best of luck.


message 4: by Papaphilly (new)

Papaphilly | 2756 comments Develop a thick skin.

message 5: by G.R. (new)

G.R. Paskoff (grpaskoff) | 249 comments I agree with David. Starting and finishing are definitely the most difficult hurdles but for different reasons. If you've never written a full-length story, even if you've taken the time to create an outline, it can be very daunting to finally take that pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and write those first words. It took other people to actually give me the encouragement I needed to start.

And actually finishing, yeah, that's another achievement. There are always things in life that will distract you from your goal, everything from self-doubt to family matters to job stress. Just remember that it's not a race. That's the great thing about writing. Everyone can write at their own pace and there are always people around to support you.

And you want to talk about another stressful moment? Hitting that PUBLISH button on Amazon. Phew.

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