#MondayBlogs Confessions of a Slow Writer

9 May

I’m a slow writer. There. I said it. I’m a slow writer. (Just for extra measure.)

You see, I used to think I was a fast writer. “I can write a manuscript in two months,” “I wrote that novella in a few days,” “That short story took me an hour.”

Okay. So, I’ve never actually said the last two, but they sound similar to the first one…which I have said. And it isn’t a complete lie. My average speed for writing a manuscript is three months. Ish. But, what I don’t say, what I can’t deny to myself, is that manuscript is not truly written at all. It’s not even close to written. It’s a jargled mess of incomprehensible crap. (And I’m being nice when I say that.)

bogslow

My first drafts might take me three months, but that’s exactly what they are: first drafts. I almost ALWAYS rewrite my novels two or three times. In fact, I just finished one I’ve been working on since I was 19. That’s five years in the making, almost six. To some, the writing process – about one month – seemed ridiculously fast, but in all honestly, I already had 62,000 words written, and while most of it changes, the world was previously built, the characters were already made, and the overall plot was ready to go. That being said, something about the manuscript was not quite right, so it was rewrite after rewrite, year after year. And I’m okay with that. I’m okay that I just figured it out, that I JUST finished the draft that will move into the editing stages. Some might say I should’ve abandoned it, moved on, or simply turned it in as is, but you know what? That’s not me. And I like being me, ten rewrites and all. It might have taken me five years to figure it all out, but I finally feel like this manuscript’s draft is the one I can be truly proud of.

I’ve learned to accept I go through many phases while writing a novel. It normally starts with a dream, moves into an out-of-order screenplay, then an in-order screenplay, then a first draft, then a second draft, then a third and fourth draft, and then, it’s done!

That, for me, is when my novel is born. Finally. And more often than not, a few years pass between the initial idea and the collection of words sent off to my editor. I’m okay with that. I am. But don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t always okay with that.

There is a lot of pressure in the industry to be a “fast” writer, to release a new novel every few months, to use less curse words, to have more sex, to avoid clichés, or add romance. There is pressure everywhere—sometimes conflicting pressure—but I think it’s more important to not break under that pressure. I believe it’s important to be you and to be the best you that you can be.

Stand your ground. Be yourself. Write slowly.

Original posted August 22, 2015

~SAT

You can officially sign up for Bad Bloods Book Blitz through Xpresso Book Tours! I hope you’ll sign up to support this little author out. (You might also win some awesome prizes while you’re at it!)

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wattpadMicheleAlso, the next short story in the Bad Bloods Prequel released on Wattpad! If you didn’t get a chance to read it, check out Michele’s story today. Who is Michele? Well, in Bad Bloods, she’s the “mother” figure of the Northern Flock, but in the prequel, she’s just a kid. A kid with a gift. And her prequel story actually shows up in November Snow, so reading her story will give you more details when you read the novels this July….which brings me to my next point.

If you want to find out what happens to Calhoun, Daniel, Adam, and Michele – the four characters so far discussed in the Bad Bloods prequel – you can pre-order both Bad Bloods books today! 

November Rain, Part One, releases July 18, 2016

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

November Snow, Part Two, releases July 25, 2016

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

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16 Responses to “#MondayBlogs Confessions of a Slow Writer”

  1. WiseSerpent May 9, 2016 at 12:41 am #

    I feel your pain. I am also a slow writer, though I don’t usually need to do as many revisions as you, I feel like I labor over each page. I’m at the point where I just accept that’s my process, and we all have different paths.

    • Shannon A Thompson May 9, 2016 at 12:45 am #

      Exactly! Finding your process is what’s important. Thank you for reading and commenting!
      ~SAT

  2. Jason H. Abbott May 9, 2016 at 7:06 am #

    As a fellow slow writer, I stand in solidarity with you. Remember the tortoise and the hare! 😉

    • Shannon A Thompson May 9, 2016 at 4:47 pm #

      Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed the article. I appreciate your comment. 😀
      ~SAT

  3. The Animation Commendation May 9, 2016 at 9:13 am #

    I’ve been working on a draft for over a year now…and didn’t really get anywhere yet, lol!

    • Shannon A Thompson May 9, 2016 at 4:48 pm #

      Thanks perfectly okay! Honestly, as long as you still feel the story is important to tell, I say go for it. Breaks in between can help (I took many breaks from the manuscript I discussed above), but it worked out in the end. 😀
      ~SAT

  4. debyfredericks May 9, 2016 at 9:35 am #

    Yep, I also write slowly. I’ve been working on the first draft of my current WIP for two or three years. I figure the time I take now saves me having to do extensive re-writes later.

    • Shannon A Thompson May 9, 2016 at 4:48 pm #

      Writing slowly can definitely prevent other mistakes for some writers. 😀 Thank you for reading and commenting.
      ~SAT

  5. Renee N May 9, 2016 at 9:41 pm #

    How many rewrites do you find you do on average? And do you tend to write from beginning to end, or pick and choose which bits need to be redone?

    I love getting a look into other people’s processes. ❤

    • Shannon A Thompson May 9, 2016 at 11:25 pm #

      Oh, goodness! That changes with every project, and I guess you make a good point, because a “rewrite” is probably not the entire book, but I tend to consider it the entire book since I go through every sentence whether or not I thought that section needed to be redone or not. It’s difficult to say. The one I discussed in this post, for instance, was a rewrite but mainly due to matching the tone with the 30,000 words I realized I needed to add to the original 62,000. Since it’s been five years in the making, I can’t say for sure, but I’ve gone over the manuscript numerous times – for plot, for characters, for voice, etc. This one was pretty extensive since I added almost all of those elements in those 30,000 words, so although 62,000 were written, the tone and/or situation changed a lot (like a domino effect) because of the changes made before. I know that’s not really precise, but I definitely don’t write one draft and edit it and then call it a novel. I write, write again, change some things, and write again before I ever move into what I would consider an editing stage. To me, an editing stage is making sure everything flows (sound and grammar), so the story doesn’t need much changing (or the changes are very minuscule, like one or two sentences in each chapter), but a lot of authors would probably consider some of my “rewrites” editing stages.
      ~SAT

  6. Alexandrina Brant May 12, 2016 at 3:19 pm #

    Reblogged this on Miss Alexandrina.

  7. Shannon A Thompson May 10, 2016 at 9:54 pm #

    Thank you for sharing!
    ~SAT

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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  3. When Your Writing Issue Is… | Shannon A Thompson - July 24, 2017

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