When you publish your first novel its a feeling that you will never forget. It’s like an achievement feeling. You’ve worked on this book for so long and you finally have the printed copy in your hands. And your crying and excited because you wrote it and its finally in print. And you think back to all the hard chapters you had to rewrite a 1,000 times and you finally did it.
BUT… there’s always that moment where months and years later you look back at it and read a chapter and you sit there and think… hmm, I could have written that better. I had plenty of those moments months later after I published The Wish.
If I didn’t write The Wish and publish it I would not be where I am at today. And I’m so happy that I took the publishing process into my own hands and it made me a bigger person because I did it all on my own. I wrote the book and made the cover. Once I started working on the 2nd novel and finished it then started the 3rd novel I noticed how much my writing has changed from book 1 to book 3.
So today I wanted to talk about the different ways my writing has changed since my 1st novel The Wish got published.
When I wrote my 2nd novel to The Wish I did not plan it out. At that time in my life, I didn’t even know what a plotter or a panster was. I just went for it and wrote it. Years later down the road after I published The Wish I went back to the 2nd novel and I read the first chapter and I knew right then and there I knew I was going to have to do a lot of rewrites because I thought back to when I had people say the characters are too mean and too selfish. Or their too this, too that and I knew I had to fix this novel before sending it off to my editor. So I learned a lot about Character Development. At first, the characters weren’t real enough. So I did a lot of hand on hardcore research. I read Carrie by Stephan King and it helped me learn about Character development and how to make them real and relatable.
Another thing that I have learned about my writing after publishing my first novel was developing a good backstory for each character. When I was rewriting the 2nd novel I wasn’t liking who the people were and how they were acting and thinking. So I rewrote all those characters from head to toe. And yes it was a long process and not an easy job to do because there were so many characters, but I got through it in a slow process. And I gave them all a different and unique backstory. I did take a lot of things from my life and my childhood and put it all in the characters. That was an easier way for me to relate to them.
Another big milestone that I have taken in and did a lot of research on was the Setting. Writing a good setting can and will, in fact, develop your story and make it stronger. And it will help you the writer understand your character a lot more and the plot. When I first wrote The Wish I didn’t do a good job writing about the woods where Alivia wonders off in and now when I think about it I’m shocked because I grew up in the country. I use to run around in the woods and I enjoyed that. So I did go back and did a lot more rewriting in the setting. And now that I’m 30 I love to write setting. I did a lot of setting in my 2nd and 3rd novels and I think it shows.
So when you write about a character in a story and you give them emotion’s it makes them who they are as a person and it also makes them real enough for the reader to love that character. When I first started out writing as an aspiring writer I struggled with emotion so bad that I hated the character and I hated the story and I didn’t want to finish it, but as the years went on I learned from the writer’s group I attended and by reading books.
I discovered while I was writing the 3rd novel that I was a plotter, not a pantser. I wrote down each chapter until the last chapter and I had to plot out each one. I always do this for each book I write because sometimes I forget things and I have to go back and look. And I was a panster when I wrote The Wish. I did not plan anything out or do a chapter outline. I just went for it and it took me a whole month to write it.
When I first started to write I never wrote any ideas down or thought about the next big project. I just wanted to write the book or the short story because I didn’t want to get overwhelmed with other ideas while I was writing another one at the time. As the years went on I learned to take notes and write those other ideas down because they won’t stay in your head forever because other ones will come and take their place. So I would write down whatever came to me and I would leave them on my desk or put them in a folder. And when the time was right I would pull one out and read it then go ahead and write it.
When I first started out to write I didn’t think about publishing my stories, I just had this overreactive imagination and I wanted to write all of it down before I forgot it. So publishing a book wasn’t on the menu, just writing. And then when I wrote The Wish, my first novel I still wasn’t thinking about publishing it. It was a short story before it was a 200-page novel. Years down the road I wanted to be a singer and be in movies and at that time I was writing song lyrics and movie scripts for me to play in, but then I realized this isn’t what I really want to be. I can’t sing. I can’t act. So I thought about all the short stories and novels that I had written through the years and that’s when I made a decision and wanted to a full-time writer.
As a writer, I also kept a flash drive to put all my projects on. When I first started out I didn’t have a memory stick or to think to type on the computer. I handwritten everything and of course the handwriting days are over now. I do a lot more typing now these days then handwriting. The only time I hand write something is if I’m on the road or if I don’t have my computer or phone near me, then I just go ahead and grab a piece of paper and write it. I don’t hand write like I use to. I don’t know if I miss it, but I do like to type because its a lot faster.
As a newbie writer, I never went back to my handwritten stories and revised them or rewrite them or edit them. But as I got more into wanting to be an author I did do a lot of reviewing each chapter and making sure they were right and sometimes they were crappy, but at that time I didn’t know how to make the story better because I didn’t know you had to write the setting, the five senses, character development. All that important stuff. As I got older and started to attend the writer’s group I have to say my writing has changed a lot and I’m glad.
Being patience as a writer/author can teach you a few things. When I first wrote my short story I didn’t get the whole thing down because toward the end I thought of something else to write, so I put it away and started the new idea. I did finish that one and I was very happy. Back then I would start too many short story ideas or books and I wouldn’t get them done, but it never stressed me out. I would think about it and say “I’ll finish that someday.” And I did or years later I didn’t like the idea, so I never did finish it. The unfinished writing is probably still on my memory stick as we speak.
So those are my different ways that my writing has changed since the 1st book.
Thank you so much for reading my blog.
My novel The Wish is available for e-book and paperback. have a great day. God bless.