Falling in love and staying in love with my #novel #amwriting

My Writing Process: Falling in love and staying in love with my novel

From Freewriting to Editing

It’s easy for me to fall in love with my latest novel.

I love words. I’m  an artist, so I let it flow. I love feeling the rush of inspiration, getting  it all out if my system. Splashing the words on the page as my characters take over my mind and create their story.

This is when I fall in love with my novel. I’m crazy about it and I can’t get enough of it. I even think I’ll never be able to live without this burst of creative energy in my life.

Love

It’s such a powerful high that I forget it won’t last (thank goodness it doesn’t, otherwise I’d be a bundle of unconstrained, nervous energy, which would burn myself out!)

While I’m in love with my novel I have no friends, or family, I drift through daily chores, even work, only living for the moment I can sit down and write my new story.

I usually do this by hand, once I’ve thought about and envisioned the scenes, but I soon move to the typewriter where I can easily bash out between three and four thousand words a day, sometimes even more, sometimes less; I can’t avoid all my other obligations.

20160708_142421-1.jpg

This is the easy stage, often called freewriting.

The problem is it ends, and once I’ve fallen in love with my novel, I need to stay in love. Something has to remain after the mad rush has subsided (and I know deep down that it will eventually subside).

Can I do that? Can I sit down, read the thousands of words I wrote and love them after the frenzy? Can I be ‘reasonable and realistic’ and edit and shape it into a novel?

Can my passionate lover become my best friend? Can my idealized novel make it in the real world? Does it have a ‘real life’ outside of my obsession?

If it’s no, then it goes into the drawer for a time, or forever, who knows?

If the answer is yes, then I need to edit and shape the mass of unbridled madness.

This is painful. I have to cut out words and even whole lines, paragraphs and pages…

EDiting

I’ve learnt my lesson after writing three novels.  ‘Less is more’ and ‘simple conveys the most complex message effectively’.

As Kurt Vonnegut wisely told us: Every sentence must do one of two things — reveal character or advance the action.

He went on to expand that even every letter should fit the bill, and I agree. Every single word and letter should be there for a purpose. I’m still learning to do that, because I’m biased. All the words are mine and I love them all, cutting them out is painful, but I’m convinced it needs to be done either by yourself or with the help of another expert pair of eyes, such as an editor.

I have to plan it and often rewrite parts of it until it’s shaped into something I can fit into scenes, chapters and parts. I need to identify stages, plot lines, time sequence, turning points, climax, and so much more.

It’s like a first big argument between lovers. The novel drives me crazy with frustration and I know I either sort it out and we make it up, or we have to go our separate ways, because we can’t even be friends.

Why am I telling you all this? Because I’m falling in love with a new novel, and I’m in agony. I don’t know what’s going to happen… yet.

I’ll keep you posted.

By the way, does this happen to you?

 

About LucciaGray

Writer, blogger, teacher, reader and lover of words wherever they are. Author of The Eyre Hall Trilogy, the breathtaking sequel to Jane Eyre. Luccia lives in sunny Spain, but her heart's in Victorian London.

Posted on July 8, 2016, in My Writing Process and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. This happens when I start a new book, if it goes well. Now I have two. Finally found the voice for the historical novel but it took a couple of months of tries. Good post!!!
    Send me an email with your address and I send you a hard copy of my third try…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Glad you found your voice in your historical novel. I’m thinking of narrowing it down to two narrators this time, but my characters start taking over and wanting to speak, so who knows what may happen!!??

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t quite know how I’d describe my falling in love process with my novels. I seem to write sparse first drafts and build up the layers of description and emotion as I edit and develop the story. The characters are always the driving force though, and I fall for them long before the first draft is finished.
    Good luck with your new book.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Justice Burnaugh

    I think any novel is a love-hate relationship, especially during the editing process. My novel underwent an excruciating editing process. My editor, who did amazing work, would offer suggestions on my character development and word choice. But in the end, my novel was better for it. When I need passion, I usually turn to a carefully constructed music playlist. That seems to help.

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    • Yes, for me too, There’s definitely a love-hate relationship while editing! Music is sometimes helpful for me too, although I prefer silence when I’m writing and even moreso when I’m editing. Thank you for dropping by and commenting 🙂

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  5. Haha! “While I’m in love with my novel I have no friends, or family, I drift through daily chores, even work, only living for the moment I can sit down and write my new story.” Yes! Also, I am a HUGE fan of freewriting. I’ve been freewriting for…um…many years. I’m also a big fan of the less is more argument. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fortunately that intensity of writing only happens for about 3-4 months a year. The rest of the year I’m jotting ideas, mulling, researching, planning, and the dreaded editing, and promoting etc.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love freewriting too – it makes you think of ideas you wouldn’t have considered because it’s from your subconscious. It’s good fun.

    I like my WIP but it’s a challenge writing daily; although I’ve kept up a good pace for the last few weeks. I wish I could write 3/4k words per day. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I only write 3-4k words a day when I’m in novel writing mode, which is only for a few months, while the inspiration and time allow! I’ve slowed down now, but I hope to get into the routine again soon. I agree it is a challenge to write daily, but its something we need to find time to do. Thanks for dropping by and commenting 🙂

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