Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Changes Of An Author

Saturday marks eleven years since I first began writing my first novel. Back then, and for the next nine years or so, my writing style was rush-rush-rush, get-the-story-out-and-move-on-to-the-next-one. Show vs. Tell was a foreign concept that I didn't understand. At the time, I thought it was the best way for me to write. During a good week, if I wrote 20,000 words, it was a good week. Heck, a poor writing week still gained me 10,000-12,000 words. That's just how I wrote back then. It's how this author rolled.

Over the course of the past year or so, I've changed. But I've seen more changes in me as an author than anything else.

My writing process has changed. I'm no longer writing at the crack of dawn, and I rarely will write in the dead of night. I'm taking a great deal of care in my writing, where I'm making sure I'm awake, fed, and completely coherent before my fingertips touch the keyboard in a productive manner. I'm not writing 2,500 and 3,000 words a day any longer; in fact, if I get to 2,000 words, I've had an unbelievably fantastic writing day. If I've written 1,500, I'm satisfied. Truthfully, anything better than 0 is fine to me now. I'm writing slowly, not getting more than 300-400 words per hour. I'm choosing the proper metaphors. I'm trying to use my characters' senses more, and I'm staying within the proper point of view.

And I'm doing better to make sure that everything makes sense and is correct the first time. It makes the editing process run more smoothly after I'm finished, and it makes for a better read for the reader when they one-click on Amazon, Nook, Kobo, or iBooks.

Who said you can't teach an old author new tricks?