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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Author Insight: Writing a Manuscript

What was most daunting about finishing a book-length manuscript? How did you push through?

"Pushing through isn't nearly as hard as learning how and where to stop." - K. Ryer Breese, author of Future Imperfect

"As a first time writer, the most daunting part was just starting. It seems like a monumental task, but once I got going there was no stopping me." - Leigh Fallon, author of The Carrier of the Mark. 

"How did you push through? The thought of cleaning up after. See, I write really fast, but it’s a huge mess. While I’m writing, I don’t have to clean up. When I’m done…ugh. Time to start all over again. I push through with sour patch kids and iTunes." - Elana Johnson, author of Possession. 

"That part right before the end where you have to tie things up and figure out how the story pulls together. I push through by setting small goals and deadlines for myself and mainly just making sure I get up in the morning and start writing before doing anything else (besides eating and feeding my cats of course.)" - Stephanie Kuehnert, author of Ballads of Suburbia. 

"Writing a manuscript is the easy part. Rewriting and editing out the stuff you love is much harder. In terms of discipline, I write whether I feel like it or not. It’s like driving on a road. You don’t just hit the brakes after an hour and say, 'I’m bored.' You keep going and see when the road takes you." - Marta Acosta, author of  Haunted Honeymoon.

"I don’t like having too many unfinished stories hanging around the back of my head, it gets crowded! It’s not finishing a book-length work that’s the problem for me so much as pushing through the panic in the middle where I don’t know what’s happening, how to get my characters out of their respective problems and why anyone would care. That’s certainly not rare, most writers have good days and bad days. Just because you love it, doesn’t mean it’s always easy. But conversely, just because our culture tells us that writers have to suffer and moan, doesn’t mean the work should be torture either." - Alyxandra Harvey, author of Haunting Violet.

"When shiny, shiny ideas pop up and sparkle enticingly during a work-in-progress, it's tempting to run after the will-o-wisp, but I've learned to jot down the new ideas, maybe do a rough outline, thank the epiphany very much for dropping by, and ask it politely to sit down and be quiet." - Dawn Metcalf, author of Luminous

"Giving the finished manuscript over to the very first reader.  I got so worked up I gave myself the flu and had to spend the whole day in bed, moaning in agony." - Josephine Angelini, author of Starcrossed

"I always get a rough patch at about the 40,000-word mark, when the excitement of set-up is done and I’m heading into the tricky puzzle that is the second act. I get through it by gritting my teeth and finding the joy in building the story and characters." - Alison Goodman, author of Eona

"Crafting scenes. You know, where stuff happens, people talk, somebody dies, a guy drives somewhere. Overarching plot, names, yada yada – that’s the easypart. Crafting scenes that move the story forward and aren’t boring…yeah, that’s daunting. To push through, I take a shower. Scenes live in the shower." - Trinity Faegen, author of The Mephisto Covenant.


"The thought that it would never be good enough, but I knew that I would be writing it regardless. I just set my mind to it and told myself that all any person can do is continue to grow as much as they can and with each passing book I do feel like I am learning so much! It has really become a part of me and now I know I could never stop." - Emma Michaels, author of The Thirteenth Chime.

 "The first one is the hardest, because you don't know yet that you can do it. You hope and you believe you can, but you haven't proved it. I generally push through by getting myself a deadline. Contests and contracts are great motivators." - Tera Lynn Childs, author of Sweet Venom

"I finished my first book-length manuscript in elementary school (no, nobody will EVER see it), so it's never been all that daunting to me. There is a moment at the start of every book when I'm overwhelmed by how much stuff is going to have to happen in order for me to fill a book-length manuscript. But once I start writing, that worry usually goes away.'" - Leah Cypess, author of Nightspell

Find out Thursday what the rest of the authors think is most daunting about finishing a novel!
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