Saturday, August 10, 2013

More than one way to write a book

My mom used to yell at me for not washing the dishes right. For her, there was only one way to wash the dishes. I never got that. For me, there are probably as many ways to wash the dishes as there are people washing them. The only really essential thing about washing dishes is that they get clean.

Same thing about writing a book. I always thought that there were probably as many ways of writing books as there were of people writing them.

So what of all these people with 'rules' about writing books. Some of the people are successful authors. Others are people educated in the field of creative writing.

I know it bursts their bubbles because it takes things out of their control -- but I'm sure everyone reading this blogpost can think of a book they love that breaks all the so-called rules.

My current favorite obsession author just blew away another 'rule' that has been holding me back.

You know that 'rule' about finishing one book before you start another or else you're just being distracted, chasing something shiny - KRISTEN ASHLEY DOES NOT WRITE THAT WAY.

Consider this from her blogpost 10 Things You May Not Know About the Rock Chicks :

"3) While I was writing the Rock Chick Series, I would send my chapters to my friends Cat and Dena and my uncle Will. I was at the part in Reckoning when Mace and Stella are shot at on the stage. I’d just finished writing that chapter when both of them went down, sent it off to Cat, Dena and Will and I stopped to take a bath. In the bath, Sadie from Regret came to me, full-fledged, history and all that had happened to her.
I burst out crying, big, wet, slobbery tears and pulled myself from the bath. I toweled off, threw on some clothes and sat down at my computer as soon as I could, writing Sadie and Hector, and I was a woman obsessed.
See, when Eddie talks to Jet about his fears that her pathological shyness has to do with her maybe being raped, I knew that his brother would face that atrocity with his woman. So Sadie had been playing at the back of my head for three and a half books. In the bath, it was her time to come out but what happened to her, the life she lived was so awful, I was desperate to get her to her happily ever after.
I was in seventh heaven writing Sadie and Hector. But Cat, Dena and Will were not. They were back with Stella and Mace on the stage and had to wait ages for me to get back to them to let them know all was well. And it took longer than them waiting for just one book, for, I fear, I may have written some other books in the meantime too. I’m flighty that way."

WOW. So that would mean I could sit down to write whichever character was in my head at the time instead of having to decide on a wip and stick with it until it was done.

Sounds very doable to me.

Writers - do you write one book start to finish or work on more than one at a time?


  1. I really have to focus on one. It doesn't mean I don't take notes about another book, though...

  2. Back when I wrote regularly, I generally had several short stories going at one time because my mind was full of ideas and I had to get them all out. Then there was the long shut-down. Now I'm just trying to get stuff out, anything, and right now that's focused on my first novel. I figure, it could change, because my mind is kind of trying to come up with some short stories again.

  3. @Phyllis - whatever works!
    @Skye - must feel good to have the ideas flowing again

  4. Before being published I wrote one story at a time. I now tend to alternate, or juggle two to three. I'm writing one, polishing another, and doing edits on another. My current WIP has been put aside so much that some days I doubt I'll ever get it finished. : )

    1. However you do it, Robena - keep it up. It's working for you and for us, your readers.

  5. I work on more than one at once, but one is always the focal story and one the secondary story. The aim (for me) is to finish the focal story first. It can be easy to start juggling everything while finishing nothing, so it's something I guard against. I honestly think it takes more discipline to work on more than one, because you have to be extra diligent that something's getting finished.

    1. I understand that need to finish something focus. I can procrastinate over the least thing!