I wish I could write like you, they would say to me. I would tell them, you could, just write, it was easy.
That was before I attempted to write my first novel, Hidden Temptation. Oh, it is so much more, let me tell you. Just because you can tell a good story doesn’t mean you can write a story well. It is so much more difficult then writing a short story. In a short story, you have a character that you take from beginning to end. It’s easy to go back and add little hints once you know the story ends. Now try to do the same thing with writing a full-length novel. You may have seventy-five pages and want to add a nervous tic that will work well to identify a certain character later. That’s going to take time and patience lots of patience to fill in those gaps.
Writing 101- you have the beginning, middle and the end. Easy right? Wrong. When you start a novel you have an idea of what you want to write about. Pick a genre, I choose romance. Boy meets girl and they fall in love. Boring! So girl, needs character and so does the boy. They need conflict. Hum, more characters and they, in turn, need character. Now you have characters with character and you have plots and subplots. You are typing along and you stop and ask yourself.
“Are all these characters, plots, and sub plots coming together?”
“Is the story engaging?”
“Is the story moving along?”
While I was writing Hidden Temptation Odette my protagonist was developing without me realizing it. She took a life of her own. She had a job, a past, a family, and they all played a part in the story. But do they move the story along? I think so, that is after I deleted some prose that I loved but found was not necessary.
There are so many books, magazines, and blogs available that give great writing advice and I read as many of them as I could get my hands on. I used every hint and trick to complete Hidden Temptation. I literally put my heart and soul into it. I bet you heard some of the same things I heard. I tried to follow as much advice as I could. You write and write and wait to the end to edit. Okay, that’s fine but what happen with me is while writing Hidden Temptation I would lose my train of thought and have to re-read to find that thought again. So as I’m re-reading I’m editing. Ideas a rise and my fingers start tapping on the keyboard like I’m on a marathon run. Wait!! I should put a hint about that in the beginning. Like I said Hidden Temptation took a life of its own. I had an idea but my muse did the work.
Another thing, I would come down with a severe case of writer’s block,
laziness. This happened several times in the course of writing Hidden Temptation I would be on chapter thirteen and want to start back up. But I couldn’t remember where I left off or what was going on so I had to go back to the beginning to catch up and while I was there I would start to edit and re-write all over again. I tip my hat to those writers who write all the way to the end before editing. Maybe those writers have written more, have more experience, sold more books but just like you and me, we have to do what works for us.
Hidden Temptation isn’t published yet. I am still editing I’ll share more about my editing in time. I need a book jacket. I need to write a dedication page, a blurb, an acknowledgment page and a thank you page. I hope that you will follow me through the process.
Thanks for reading.
©Kimberly Wilhelmina Floria
Visit next Tuesday I’m going to tell you about my first editing and eliminating redundancy.
Disclaimer: I completed Hidden Temptation, my first completed novel and this blog is a humble attempt to create interest in its debut. I am not a professional and this is no way an educational guide. I am merely sharing my writing experience, what I picked up reading other novels, and what I learned in the process of completing Hidden Temptation.
I hope my experience helps fellow writers create a higher quality of art. I do not presume that Hidden Temptation is perfect or of professional quality but I do believe it is close. Your opinions, thoughts, and feedback are most welcome. Please feel free to create an open thread and share thoughts, and opinions so that we can help each other grow as a community of writers.