I’ve been writing a novel for almost three months now, so I think it’s safe to say that I’m an expert at novel writing. In other words — you can pretty much take my words as the gold standard on this particular endeavor and success, women, and riches will inevitably be showered upon your person.
Wouldn’t that be nice to hear? I’d love some definitive advice on novel writing. But it isn’t to be. Each novel, they say, is different. Each writer is different. Each writer is different while writing each different novel. How irritating is that? So I found when I turned to Twitter for advice on whether or not to start editing my novel from the beginning before finishing the first draft. The resounding answer? Yes! And also: No!
What’s a girl to do? I decided to do both. When I feel inspired to write new stuff, I plow ahead in the rough draft. I’m not much of an outliner, not yet anyway, so I usually set my sights on a distant plot point and try to swim steadily toward it. When I’m feeling more analytical, I take a look at my first chapter, ripping it up, writing new stuff, taking notes, thinking about character. And you know, this method has been working really well for me. It satisfies both my need to create new stuff and to feel like I’m making progress toward a story that actually makes sense and that I wouldn’t be upset about the world seeing if I got run over by a bus.
I’ve also been steering clear of buses, just in case.
But of course, if there’s any advice to be given about writing, it’s that no one way works for everybody. And I’m always open to new ideas… so does anyone have new ideas to share? What writing/editing combo works for you in shorts or long stuff? How much has the advice of others worked for you?