Friday, January 21, 2011

How do your Writing Habits affect your Novel?

When I first take the weight off my feet to write a scene or chapter I find that I can quickly churn out 1500 to 2000 words.They might be great words—they might be horrible words—taking up space on a book page. For me the important thing is that I had an idea for a place for something to happen in my book and wrote it down. I read over what I wrote, take mental notes, turn off the computer and think about until the next day.

The first thing I do when I turn on my computer again is to read the events leading up to my new scene to see if it flows in a logical progression (one scene to the next). After that, I reread my previous days writing, flesh out the conflict/action and catastrophe (if any) and mentally move to my next action. I find that I usually add another 100 to 200 hundred words every time I do this. This process lasts about three days before I am satisfied and move on to the next scene.

How do you tackle scene or chapter writing? Do you first motor through to the end of your book, go back and edit or do you attack each scene/chapter, one at a time?

Writers Quote, for inspiration:”It is my goal to one day write a novel that every reader I’ve ever had feels is the best thing I’ve ever written.” By award winning author Nicholas Sparks


  1. Unlike you, I am a true blue pantser. I motor along until I've run out of things to say. Or should I say, until my characters have wandered off.

    I have an overall sketch in my mind, which doesn't always work out as planned.

    Next time around, I'm going to plot. It would be far less time consuming.

    Have you heard back from the agent?

  2. Hello Wendy,

    Thank you for your comments. I know that every writer has a different approach to penning words to paper/computer. I did the same as you for my first novel. I wrote it in thirty days and it took me five years to edit. I approached my second novel differently, that is, writing, editing and writing.

    I tried to outline the second book before I started to write it. A few months later, I compared my written word against the outline. I only found one scene that I used (from my sketch) and it was out of place. Like you, I had to race alongside my protagonist, help her through hurdles, and introduce her to further conflict and catastrophes.

    The agent still has my full and I am waiting for her letter of comments. I lost track of how many new clients she signed (initially she informed us that she is authorized to sign thirty-five new authors and I stopped counting when she reported signing the 26th writer). I am proud to have made it to the final 75 manuscripts out of 1100. If for nothing else, it indicates that I am close. I am the most laid back and easy to work with writer—I will use her comments to improve my ms.