Could it be? Have I finally thought of a new book idea? Yes.
A little back story here. I self-published my book more than three years ago. I didn’t come out of college with the goal of securing a good job or traveling the world, I came out with the single goal of writing a book. Some of you will recall the original name of this blog as Write me a Book, John!.
After I published my book I immediately began work on book 2. Cause I’m obviously a prolific author. I soon realized the second time around was different. The drive simply wasn’t there and the story itself wasn’t clicking. I made it about 30,000 words into that first draft of my second book when I abandoned it. My memory tells me I wrote myself into a corner I couldn’t get out of.
Early yesterday morning I came up with a new idea. And who knows, maybe I’ll get started on it sometime soon.
There are plenty of writers out there better than me. Better stories. Better ideas. Better writing backgrounds. Which means I have plenty of room for improvement. Leggo.
What do you do when you’re discouraged with your writing? I did nothing and it’s cost me nearly four years.
I’d never heard of this until very recently. But maybe it’s real. And maybe I’m inflicted.
I’ll just tell you what I’ve experienced and then you can tell me if you think I’m sickly.
I wrote the first draft of my first book in about three months. I played around with it and then released it via CreateSpace. While I was still putting the finishing touches on the first book I dove right into book two. My word count reached about half of my first book’s in double the time. Then I stopped writing. Just stopped. I honestly don’t remember much of what I wrote. I remember random scenes that have no chronological order in my head. I couldn’t tell you if the writing in my second book is any better or worse than in my first. I couldn’t tell you where the story was headed when I stopped writing. I couldn’t even tell you the name of Andrew’s new client. Uh oh. I don’t think this book is ever going to be written.
And I don’t currently have any other story ideas. None. So what do you think? Think I’m just lazy or do I have a case of second book syndrome?
PS: Don’t forget that today is the last day that you’ll get $2.99 off your order if you purchase one of the “Books are bae” T-Shirts from here!
On this day in 2014 I published Writing Everyday.
Zoe Sugg, also known as Zoella on YouTube, has announced that she will be writing her second book on her own. Why is this news to anyone? Well, it shouldn’t be. But last year there was a lot of backlash when it was revealed that she had the help of a ghostwriter in writing her first book. But anyone who knows anything about publishing knows that ghostwriters are always the ones writing celebrity books. And this girl was treated differently from everyone else.
So now she’s writing her new book herself. I’m not going to sit here and say that the book will be any worse or better because of this new revelation, but I think it’s a little ridiculous that she even has to do this. I’m starting to think that people who don’t write think that any and every celebrity is perfectly capable of writing a book, which is baffling to me.
BUT I’m sure that she’ll do just fine and her fans will be satisfied that she wrote it herself, while the rest of us don’t particularly care who writes what.
What do you think? Is this a good idea for her?
On this day in 2014 I published Is There a Proper Chapter Length?.
Do y’all remember that I originally started this blog to document my progress as I wrote my first book? Or that I actually started writing my second shortly after finishing my first? Yeah…about that. You likely also know that I haven’t even glanced at my WIP in many months. But I think it’s time.
I’ve known for several months now that I’d revisit my story at the start of 2015. I don’t have a particular reason for waiting so long, but I had no reason to look back any sooner. See, I’m in no rush. I’m not over here thinking I’m writing the greatest novel that no one will ever know about. I’m just writing along and seeing where it takes me.
Let’s refresh just a bit. My current WIP is my second book around Andrew Banks. Someone who is mildly controversial. (I’m poking fun at some of my reviewers). He’s a Houston area PI and he has this girlfriend who goes by the name of Sydney. Ha. That’s all. But really, I’m something like 30k words in and I stopped just as Andrew goes on a trip out of the city following a lead.
But enough about that, what are you currently working on? Book one? Book two? Book 38?
Photo Credit: Michelle Cooper
One of the things I’ve mentioned on here a few times is that I hate not finishing books once I’ve started reading them, but sometimes it just has to happen. I’m kind of talking about that practice today, but from the perspective of a writer. How does one know when to abandon a story that’s been in progress for months?
Those of you who talk to me on Twitter or on here in the comments know that I haven’t been writing at all lately. I’ve become the person who spends more time blogging about writing than actually writing. But I’m okay with that. The problem rests in the fact that I’m currently not writing because I don’t want to. It has nothing to do with writer’s block or not knowing where the story is going or anything at all besides me.
If you asked me right now what I think of the story I’ve written in my current WIP I would be completely honest with you and say that I think it’s leaps and bounds ahead of my first book. But for whatever reason, I just haven’t enjoyed writing it. I think the story’s premise is solid. I think what’s happening between my two main characters alongside the main story is solid. And I think the conflict I’ve introduced is something we can all recognize as not very far from reality in today’s world. With all that being said, the manuscript currently sits at roughly 30,000 words, the same point at which it’s been for something like five weeks now. If this was the first time I’d gone this long without writing, then okay, but it isn’t. I’ve done this like three times during the course of the eight months I’ve been “working” on it. That’s a long time not writing.
Now let me finally get to the point of the post. I’d like to know when you all would decide that it’s time for something new to work on. At which point in time would you abandon the story for something maybe you’re looking forward to actually writing? The thing with me is that I refuse to leave it behind for something else. Why? Because much the same as with reading a book, I know I won’t go back. I may not be actively writing, but it is still important to me that I finish this. If you knew the story, you’d know that.
Have you ever stopped working on a project before reaching its completion? If yes, why?
Photo Credit: YA Highway
If you all haven’t noticed I love my posts to ask you questions about books or writing or publishing or something in between. It gives me a chance to interact with every one of you who chooses to offer your insight. And I do mean insight, because yes I’ve written a book that I love and am working on my second, but I’m always looking for advice on how I can become a better writer and I’ve already gotten so much from you guys just in the last month or so from your comments and feedback. So let’s talk about naming characters, shall we?
There are SO many aspects to a good book, right? The first line. The title. The people who made it happen behind the scenes. The storyline. The dialogue. AND the names of all the characters. I would never go so far as to say any part of writing a book is easy, but writing the actual book is probably the easiest of everything. Somewhere in there we have the difficult task of naming characters. It’s not the most difficult thing you’ll do, but you best believe that it won’t be the easiest.
Honestly, I kind of cheated when it came to naming characters in my first book. Cheated, you’re thinking. How?! Hold your horses. I named several characters and based them, in part, on real people I am lucky enough to know. If you’ve followed my blog since last year then you already know this. My reasoning was that these people are important to me, and their names are already perfect! I mean, I just let their parents do the hard part twenty something years ago. I couldn’t just let a perfect name go to waste. No. That would be bad writing. Here’s a list of some of the character names in my first and second books:
Now this list isn’t exhaustive and I won’t tell you which names I came up with and which ones I didn’t. That makes it more fun. But four of the names are the exact names of people I know. And one is just the first name. I dare you to figure out which ones are not real.
So you know my philosophy, stealing, now I want to know yours. How do you name your characters in your book? And tell me some names you’ve come up with and we can compare!
Photo Credit: Peecho
This is my third post about writer’s block in as many weeks. BUT this time around it’s a tale of victory rather than defeat.
That’s right! I told you guys in the last writer’s block post that my manuscript hadn’t been touched in weeks. Actually, I came to find out that it was more than a month. Which made me sad. Last Saturday night I actually got some writing done! The funny part is that the chapter ended up going in a direction that I hadn’t even thought of until I sat down to write. Maybe that’s all I needed to do?
Anyway, I wish I had something interesting to tell you all about why that day was different from so many before it. I don’t. Honestly, this is what happened. Saturdays are definitely my laziest day of the week. I typically get off work and go home and sleep for several hours because I’m so tired. I did that last week, but this time around I spent hours thinking about my beloved manuscript that was getting dusty from lack of use. I thought about it all day long. I watched the hours tick by and thought it would be another day of nothing. Then I simply opened my manuscript about 10:30 that night and sat there staring at it. Then I wrote.
You see, this experience was far more than not having any creative ideas for my story; I was fighting a fight within myself. All along I knew I needed to write, but I dreaded starting. I knew it would be difficult. I knew it might not be what I originally planned. I knew a lot of things except for what I wanted to write, until I did so.
So don’t sit there and think about why you DON’T want to write, think about why you do. Then do it.
Photo Credit: Create Meme
I wrote a post last week about writer’s block, so before you go thinking that I’m just reposting the same thing, I’m not. This is quite a bit different.
So now you’re probably wondering what the title of this post means exactly. Well, it means what it says. Most writers embarking on a great writing journey will almost certainly hit a wall in which their creative juices just don’t seem to be flowing at all. I know I’ve experienced this a number of times in the last year that I’ve written seriously. But this that I’m facing now, no, this is different.
The first draft manuscript of my second book has not been touched in weeks. I don’t have an exact date but I know it’s been much too long. The thing is, is that I think about the stupid thing every single day. I think about sitting down at my computer and writing a few thousand words and raising my middle finger to the screen and proclaiming, “YOU CAN’T STOP ME!” I think of what happened in the last chapter I actually wrote. I think of what might happen in the chapters to come. But there’s nothing there. Nothing. It’s as though I’m driving in an unknown land and somehow managed to drive myself straight into a dead end with no idea how I got there. Any person who says writing is easy should be shot, but writing should never be THIS hard.
Not that people should care about my writing, but no one I know does. I have like two people who regularly ask about how book two is coming along. My family doesn’t ask. My so-called friends don’t ask. No one asks. Which means I’m only accountable to myself. That may not be enough this time around.
You know what I need? A punch in the face. Or someone to yell at me that this is what I’ve wanted to do for so long. Or maybe just someone to sit down and talk to me about my story. Maybe another person will see something I don’t.
I’m opening Word as I type this. I refuse to let my story push me around. I’m taking it back. Right now.
Photo Credit: zazzle.com
I have written several posts during my time on WordPress detailing my avid attitude against the existence of writer’s block. I’ve always said that it’s not a lack of creativity but rather a mind game that the author is losing to himself. I’ve said that it’s an excuse not to write. That it’s ridiculous to sit there and think that a writer can be writing along and then have no idea where to take the story. I’ve said all of these things about the phenomena known as writer’s block, and I’m ready to admit that I was wrong.
You see, I have a very straightforward writing philosophy. I write a chapter. I read through it. Make changes. Take a day or two or five away from writing. Then repeat the process. It was slightly different for my first book, but this is what it is today. I’ve worked my way through ten chapters of my second book, and the process itself has never failed. It was me.
In my tenth chapter I took my story to a place that I probably shouldn’t have. I knew that it would be difficult writing from there because I was starting to write what I didn’t know. I was taking the story to a place I didn’t anticipate and, as a result, I’m stuck. I don’t know what I want to happen in the next few chapters. I don’t know what the heck my private detective is doing by handling his case the way he is. I don’t know how these next few chapters will allow me to finish the story how I want to. BUT I do know that I’m not going back and rewriting my previous chapter in order to make these next few a bit easier to write. The story is great how it is now, I just need to get moving forward again. And I will, I just need some time to think.
If you’re suffering from this horrible illness that seems to inflict all writers at some point, rest assured, you’re not alone. I’m right there with you. I salute your determination to keep pressing forward. Now if only I could do so myself.
At last, I have some actual book stuff to tell you guys about. If you’ve been with me long enough you’ll recall that I revealed some stats about my first book last summer once I reached the conclusion of the tenth chapter. Ten is such a nice round number and it gives me the opportunity now to compare where I was in my first book through ten chapters to where I am in my second. But first let me tell you about the chapter.
I know it’s been some time since I posted about MY book, so let me give you a short review of what’s happened so far. Andrew is hired by a prominent activist who needs some additional security. Andrew and Sydney have decided to add to their tiny family. A major event hosted by Andrew’s client is interrupted by some very unwelcome guests. And the case is sending Andrew out of the city of Houston for the first time.
In this chapter Andrew and Sydney make a major decision regarding their relationship. The chapter is playful and happy and serious and argumentative all at once.
Obviously that wasn’t an in depth review of what’s happened, but all of that is in previous blog posts. Feel free to play around on here if you want to know more about the first nine chapters.
Now, to the stats! And I offered up a comparison between my first book numbers and my second.
Book Two (Book One)
Word Count: 23,561 (22,885)
Chapters: 10 (10)
Average Chapter Length: 2,356 (2,288)
Total Editing Time: 24 hours 34 minutes (27 hours 54 minutes)
Total Pages (in Word): 76 (70)
Average Length Spent on Each Chapter: 2 hours 27 minutes (2 hours 45 minutes)