I am not going to give you advice – well, not too much anyway.
Since I write historical, I like to do my research before I start putting words on the page. Doing the research early prevents the internet and research books from becoming too big a distraction during my writing time. Seriously, I have to set limits on this because there is so much information waiting to lure me to a quiet reading corner. I also find plotting very helpful for goal setting: Write three chapters this week – glance at storyboard and I know what I have to do. Simple right?
While I was optimistic at the beginning, the experience has also taken an odd turn. My heroine has shown a very dark and twisty side that isn’t particularly loveable and I’ve realised she wasn’t really my heroine after all - she was just the loudest female voice in my head. I have wondered whether I might have noticed my mistake if I had outlined the novel in the first place. But I don’t wish to stop and map out the rest or my story could grind to a halt. After spending a day reading and tweaking the beginning to add notes for a third POV, the story is moving forward again. Whew!
FINDING YOUR GROOVE
No matter what anyone tells you, how you write is your own choice. There is no right way to create your story except to get the words on the page. Seriously, you can plot down to the minute details of their childhood, but all that pre-work means nothing if you do not make a commitment to write the story down, not in an outline, but in a document another can read.
I know how lucky I am to be able to write full time and my family has adapted to ignore my ignoring them. They understand how important writing is to me. It’s hard work and often uncomfortable if you sit for too long a stretch. So, I scale back my writing to three days on new work (3000 words per day goal), two days of edits and critiques where I can leave my desk a bit more and not stiffen up. I’m striving to find a balance.
Adapting to suit your time, suit your goals, and suit your limits is your decision. You just have to want to stick with it. What sacrifices have you made, or are prepared to make to reach your goal?