Sunday, August 12, 2012

What I learned during my ten thousand hours of practice, Pt. 3

Even though I read how-tos and took a couple courses on how to write a novel, I still floundered. A lot.

More of what I realized once I got going:

11. The novel writing course(s) provided general guidance, but no one held my hand to help me navigate this uncharted territory.

12. Revising a finished novel when my characters needed work was REALLY hard.

13. Writing historical fiction took a lot of research, before and during the writing process. As I revise, the research is ongoing. Good thing I'm still interested in that era.

14. Writing fantasy required me to create an entire world complete with rules of operation. The process was more complex than I thought it would be.

15. Writing multiple story lines which converge took far more planning than writing a single story line with a single protagonist.

16. Writing a single story line with a single protagonist was hard enough.

17. Writing novel-length fiction was nothing like writing articles or like writing non-fiction. And most of the rules my English teachers taught didn’t apply, especially when writing dialogue.

18. I had trouble staying focused on the story. I should have identified, in words out the outset, my story question and my pitch.

19. I didn’t know how to write fiction. My ‘deleted scenes’ and ‘early versions’ files are far bigger than the finished novel. And the novel still needs work.

But I'm learning as I move forward, and believe it or not, I still enjoy the process and the challenge. I've gotten to a point where I can acknowledge what I did right, so that's up for tomorrow.

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