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Thursday, July 14, 2011

More Author Insight: Writing a Manuscript

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

"The most daunting part about finishing a book-length manuscript, for me, has been the fear that I just wasted several months of my life writing something no one will ever read. But in the end, it's never time wasted - even if the manuscript never sells, writing it was an invaluable learning experience." - Aimee Carter, author of The Goddess Test

"Finishing a book length manuscript. :) it is a daunting thing, this long creature that needs lots of trimming, grooming, restructure and care and you're just not always sure how to do it, and there's always little voices of doubt wondering if anyone will care about your world and characters as much as you do. I pushed through by giving myself a deadline. I wanted to give a draft of the manuscript to my playwrighting mentor as a birthday present. Deadlines help." - Leanna Renee Hieber, author of Darker Still and  The Perilous Prophecy of Guard and Goddess.

"The most daunting thing is when the words aren't coming out right, when it doesn't sound as gorgeous as it did in your head. I pushed through every book-length manuscript I've written (four so far) by allowing myself to write some crap along the way. You can always go back and enhance." - Sonia Gensler, author of The Revenant


"Well, I want to know how it ends, too.  The thing I find daunting is simply maintaining my own interest in what happens next.  To do that, I really can’t know in advance.  I try to set up impossible situations at the very beginning.  I love a premise that seems entirely undoable.  I need that sort of concept to even begin.  I love making it harder every step of the way… and then, when it’s over, having it seem easy and plausible to the reader.  It’s like grabbing the moon and putting it in your pocket." - Randy Russell, author of Dead Rules. 

"I get so excited when it gets down to the last fifty pages of my manuscript. And when that happens I feel like I can’t write fast enough, can’t think of anything else, can’t leave my chair. I love the finishing and the starting. When I’m stuck in the middle, it sometimes helps me to skip around a bit. Keeps it fresh for me." - Suzanne Young, author of A Need So Beautiful.

"Finishing a first draft wasn’t hard. But finishing the 20,000th draft, where everything needed to be perfect was very difficult. Adrenaline got me through it." - Miranda Kenneally, author of Score.

"Deadline. Which is both daunting and extremely motivating at the same time. It has the word 'dead' in it." - Lesley Livingston, author of Tempestuous

"I find short projects more daunting than long ones!" - Amy Plum, author of Die for Me

"Honestly, my first four manuscripts wrote themselves. My very first novel was a 120K word YA thriller I wrote for my daughter almost three years ago. My problem was more not letting it get totally out of control." - Lisa Desrochers, author of Original Sin

"When I finished Angel Star, I honestly couldn't believe I had completed a full-lenght manuscript. I just kept writing and writing, and really enjoying it. It took no time at all. Ok, granted, it took 8 months to finish but I wasn't keeping track. I didn't have a deadline. I was writing it for the sake of writing, for myself. When Lemniscate came around, it was almost the same. The story was so vivid that the writing was incredibly fun. Again, before I knew it, I had a large enough manuscript to be proud of."   - Jennifer Murgia, author of Lemniscate.

"I’ve never found finishing a book-length manuscript particularly daunting. Once I gave myself permission to write execrable prose first, with the promise of cleaning it up later, everything else just seemed to fall into place. Now if you’re talking about that cleaning up process, about getting the story just right, and the voice pitch-perfect, and your themes awesomely resonant, well, yeah, that’s daunting. You’ve got to be all Zen and 12-steppy about it. One day (paragraph, sentence, word, syllable) at a time. Best writing advice I ever heard came from the romance writer Nora Roberts, who cranks out three or four books a year, including at least one massive summer tome her publisher calls The Big Nora. When asked about her own rules for writing she responded that she had only one: 'Ass in the chair.'" - Steve Watkins, author of What Comes After 

"Every time I finish one book I wonder if I actually have it in me to write another. I really do!  The best way to push through for me is to set daily writing goals, often small like 500 words a day.  Writing every day keeps me in the story and moving forward!" - Janet Gurtler, author of I'm Not Her

On Tuesday find out what writing rules the authors like to break! 

1 comment:

  1. It is helpful to know I'm not the only one with fears about my writing. I especially have the fear sometimes that I'm wasting my time writing something. Then I remind myself that it is never wasted time because I enjoy the writing and I'm learning so much from the process. Thanks!

    -Miss GOP