Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.
- Napoleon

Monday, April 21, 2008

Every One is Different

Sitting here thinking about the whole writing thing, I came to the realization that the process has been different for each of my books. I don't know if this is a function of growing as a writer or of how each story needs to be told.

Spectacle came out in fits and spurts. Some days I would type furiously and the words would just flow onto the page. One day I wrote thirty pages or roughly 7000-8000 words - a personal best to this day. Other days I couldn't write a word, and often went for a week or more without adding anything. This book also took me nine months to get the first draft done. (And the first draft topped the scales at 147K - which meant a bunch more time spent editing.)

Caldera started out pretty much the same way, except after I got a major case of discouragement from Spectacles rejections and spent months not writing at all. Once I got over that, the book came out in regular chunks, though.

Blink was the first book where I committed myself to writing x amount of words every day, come hell or high water. I was participating in an online writers' community then, and a bunch of us promised to write at least 500 words a day. Most days I was hitting 1500, but some days getting those 500 words out was murder.

AWJ ended up being another fits and spurts thing. I was still committing myself to 500 words a day, but every day was a hard day. I knew what I wanted to say and where I was headed, but the words wouldn't come. (Oddly enough - or maybe not - this is the book now stuck in the editing phase. I want to finish it, but I can't seem to muster the urge to leave my WIP and edit this.)

RTL flew out of me. I started writing October 10th of '07 and finished the first draft on November 15th. Out of those days, I only missed writing on a couple. A few of those days, I managed around 5000 words. It was an amazing experience. I wish all writing could be that easy. I spent the next four months editing, and decided it was finished on February 25th.

Now I'm writing again, and the book I refer to as Manhunter (or New WIP) is coming together, but oddly. So far, I write gangbusters one night, and the next I'm spent. It's like I need a day off between sessions. The writing is draining to the point I'm physically tired afterwards. I don't get it. *shrug* Maybe the energy a straight suspense takes to write is more than any other writing I've done so far. I hope it's just me, otherwise Allison Brennan is one tired lady. Last night I cranked out 2500 words. Here's hoping I can repeat that tonight. I don't want to take every other day off. I want to write every night.

Your turn to tell me: Do you have a pattern to how you write? (Do you even bother to keep track of your progress?) Is each work different? Or if you're on your first, do you have a writing schedule?

1 comment:

JenWriter said...

You may be skipping days with this one, but it looks like you're making some serious progress. Up to 17,000 words already!

Each day is different for me. If something suspenseful or fantastical is happening or if I'm writing about a romantic subplot, the words just flow right out of me. However, if I'm working on background, transitions or family subplots, it takes me longer to get the words written.