Last week I stumbled on an interesting article about Hemingway’s advice to a young writer. I may not be young in years, but I’m super young in writing, so I took it to heart. There are several gems in it, but the particularly timely one for me was:
Don’t get discouraged because there’s a lot of mechanical work to writing. There is, and you can’t get out of it.
It is tempting to feel like a writer when words flow onto the screen easily. The truth is the real work is in the mechanics. I read a second article on the subject last week, that one by Shirley Jump on revision in Romance Writers Report. She revises a little as she goes (as do I—as did Hemingway it turns out.) Among other things she describes her second major revision as happening at the two thirds point.
I know it instinctively because I get stuck again and I’m finding any possible reason not to write.
That, my friends, is where I found myself in The Defiant Daughter last week! What did I do? More or less what Jump advised. 1. Went back to the beginning to do a scene by scene analysis via my detailed outline (I outline after writing). I marked scenes to scrap or shrink. Noted the good stuff. I also reminded myself I was writing a romance, and specifically reviewed the romance story arc.
2. Asked for help from a plot developmental editor (and trusted friend). 3. Began writing The Value of Pity (sequel to The Price of Glory) because I still need to keep my creating waters flowing.
Not to worry. I’m just thinking. Writers do that. I’ll do more this week. But first, coffee.