After my long period of doubt and despair some months ago, I’m now practically flying on Book 4 of The Modest Proposal Institute, tentatively titled War of the Institutes. Part of the reason for my newly found energy is that my deadline is approaching, which is always a motivator for me. The other major part of my renewed optimism is my re-planning of two weeks ago. Resetting the story in my mind, and focusing on the high points of the story, has boosted my writing production enormously. That’s a tip for all you authors out there who are struggling — step back, revisit the story plan and then focus on the high points.
Having said all that, here’s hoping it continues to work for me:-) Meanwhile, don’t forget, you can find all my books to date on my Amazon Author Page.
One of the many benefits of self-publishing is that, if a reader spots a problem or mistake, the author can fix it relatively quickly and easily. For example, in my book of my aunt’s wartime diary, Annie’s War, I’d missed a cousin off our Family Tree. This wasn’t a problem for the diary but it was likely to create some family tension. The perils of non-fiction are many and varied!
The Family Tree has been fixed, the new ‘tree’ inserted into the book file, and the file uploaded into Amazon. They give everything the once-over and, 72 hours later, the problem is solved. If I had a Publisher, that would have taken months or more.
Meanwhile, writing of The Modest Proposal Institute: War of the Institutes continues at a reasonable pace. For me, that’s about a thousand words a day. Not a great pace but respectable, even though I know many of the thousand will be gone by the end. As you wait for my next book, maybe you are searching for something to read on these cold winter days. If so, you’ll find Annie’s War and the others at my Amazon Author Page.
Last week, I suggested I’d passed the point in writing The Modest Proposal Institute: War of the Institutes where I was treading water and was now in the forging ahead part of the process. This week, I find a lot of my earlier writing doesn’t fit with the forging ahead bit and I’m re-writing as much as I’m writing. You who are writing novels will I’m sure recognize the dilemma. Was the earlier writing ‘right’ and the later ‘wrong’, in which case I’m undoing good work that will some day soon have to be re-written back to where it was and the present work then re-written to match the ‘old’ work. Maybe I should become a useful member of society instead — a plumber perhaps.
Then there’s the plot plan, which now doesn’t align with either the new or old writing. I want to change that plan because I no longer like it but that means even more thinking. Maybe I shouldn’t aim for doing something useful, maybe decorative is more my forte — or maybe not.
Fortunately, I got a break from all that artistic anguish. I needed to make some simple corrections to the Jackson Family Tree in my book Annie’s War and that has given me something simpler to think about and do. I like simple. So this week, because it is newly updated, I’m recommending you all visit my Amazon Author Page and buy Annie’s War: A WW2 Nurse’s Diary.
This week’s update on my progress toward finishing The Modest Proposal Institute: War of the Institutes, which is book 4 of the series, is about arriving at the place I always reach when writing. I’m now writing lots of words — but the story is getting lost in them. It happens with every book. Here’s a summary of my writing ‘method’:
- Develop the plot and events that come from it
- Begin writing and write quickly up to about 20% of the book
- Come to a complete halt — revisit plot, plan, events, and decide the whole thing isn’t worth it
- Struggle on making absolutely no progress
- Revisit revisit plot, plan, events, and see a way to finish it
- Write quickly until I have more than enough words for two books but haven’t actually finished the one I’m writing because the story is lost in all that mountain of words
- Decide the whole thing isn’t worth the trouble
- Edit, edit and edit to get back to the word count
- Write the story back into the words and send it to the editor really quickly before I change my mind again
I’m lost in stage 6 at this moment and still hoping stages 7 – 9 will work out as they have always done in the past. For those of you writing your own novel, I hope this information will help you through the dark days ahead. For those of you just considering writing a novel, be warned! Or alternatively, read a book instead. One of mine perhaps, which you can find at my Amazon Author Page.
I thought the past week had been a good one for Book 4 of The Modest Proposal Institute with lots of words written. (How many will survive editing is another matter:-) Then I sat in on a writers’ webinar to listen to authors who regularly do 2-3 times as many words as I do each day. Suddenly, my good week becomes a ‘good’ week. Where I was dreaming of receiving the world’s fastest writer prize, I now think I may be in the running for world’s slowest. Who says education and learning is always good; it can be totally demoralizing.
Fortunately, what I lack in speed I make up for in stamina and The Modest Proposal Institute: The War of the Institutes does march on — just at a very average speed. My plan for book 4 is to have it to the editor by late February and that may still be possible, provided my procrastination doesn’t get any worse. Meanwhile, my slow progress means you still have time to be ready for book 4 by reading books 1 – 3, which can be found at my Amazon Author Page.