The process of writing a novel is interesting. The first thing I do is write a rough draft. I have so many ideas swirling around in my head that I want to get them all written down, even if the writing is terrible and the story isn’t quite smoothed out yet.
With my first book, I took that rough draft and fixed punctuation and the sentences that weren’t good and I had a few friends read it and like it. I figured it was good. The story might have been. The writing needed work.
After having a few beta readers go through, I realize it’s the same. The story is good. The writing, although much better than before, still needs work. However, I have leanred to notice what needs to be fixed, and things I don’t notice, the readers generally do.
The prologue I have posted is a lot better than the original. Chapter One, which I will be posting tomorrow or the next day is a lot better than what I have up there now.
What makes them better? Imagery, for one. When I first wrote the book, I was so interested in the characters and the story that I kind of forgot about their world: what it looked like, smelled like, sounded like, etc. I have gone back and added that. I don’t think it has to be much. Books with paragraphs of descriptions aren’t my favorite. A lot of time I find myself skimming over all the words. Another thing I’ve tried to change is something anyone who’s ever written fiction will know: SDT (show don’t tell). A third thing I’ve discovered I really like is to get inside the characters head. Instead of just telling the reader what they’re thinking, show their thought process. I’ve liked the changes where I’ve done this.
I know there are a number of other things I’m forgetting to mention, but as I’m going through chapter one, these are the ones I’ve really focused on, and hopefully, the ones that will make it better.
3 thoughts on “A few thoughts on my writing…”
Shari, you have hit the nail on the head. Of course the story is great, but you are right, there was no description of the surroundings (etc)–it was a bit too much dialogue and not enough of other stuff… And showing thought process makes it so much more believable! Love it!
Shari, I read your revised prologue and chapter one. Ethan is a very realistically drawn character and as a reader I found that by the end of chapter one, I was concerned for his safety, and curious about this quest to find “her.” Good job!
It’s nice to hear that from someone who’s actually published something. I posted this on AW a few days ago, and they seem to like it, too. However, sometimes there I feel like they are out to get you, like they only look for the bad. And sometimes I feel that everything is bad if you’re not writing literary fiction.
Anyway, I’m so glad you liked it and related to Ethan.