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Does It Ever Get Easier?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I turned in my second book yesterday to my editor at Realms/Charisma House. Sometime next year you will read this book, Chameleon: The Ravensmoore Chronicles, Book Two, I hope you'll read it, after it goes through a few more stages. The first thing I'll get back from my editor is the, Substantial Edit - that's the big one. And from this edit comes the revision letter. If you didn't get a chance to read Colleen Coble's guest blog post at Rachelle Gardner's blog then click here: Joy of Revisions

I want those of you who are on this publishing road with me and those of you who are still striving for publication to take hope, to have hope. It may be challenging and it may be that you're thinking this is way too hard, but I'm here to tell you that it is possible.

A lot of this business, in my limited experience, is about ATTITUDE. You can have a good one or a not so good one. The choice is yours. I had a different experience writing this book than I did my first book. By the way, my first book, Secrets of the Heart releases May 3rd! Hard to believe. I can't wait to hold that baby in my hands.

So what was different about writing this book?
  • Limited Time. Before I got my contract I had time to write at the speed I was able to write. Now, it's all about deadlines. I had some nailbiting experiences this time around. Could I keep my deadline? For awhile there it was touch and go. I don't like to admit that but it's true.
  • Change of Process. I tried something different this time and it helped my creativity but made my personal revision process difficult before I hit the send button. I wrote in scenes and not in a linear fashion. So I had a lot of great scenes but not an outline. I'm not a plotter. I'm a pantser. But I'm learning. I think I need to be somewhere in the middle. It took me more time than I wanted to spend on putting this book together. I'm sure my editor will let me know if it worked well or not.
  • Series vs. Stand Alone. I had to make sure that the characters from my first book melded well into my second book. Those characters I continued to use anyway. That was both fun and challenging. I don't know which is easier, but it does take planning. At one point in the book I was going to bring in three additonal characters from the first book and then I realized it really wasn't necessary. So you have to weigh these things out and that's where it might have been easier to be more of a plotter this time around.
So does it get easier? Not yet.:) But it does take you to a different level of learning that I hope will eventually make the process a little bit easier. If you love craft, and you love to learn, you will get better. I wouldn't be afraid to try new things, but you might want to have a better plan than I did if you are working outside the home in additon to your writing, or if you are raising children, taking care of parents, etc. We all have our responsiblities don't we?

So if you are a writer and you've already written two or more books what can you share that made it easier for you or what did you learn that you hope will make it easier the next time around?

If you are not published yet but have written two or more books, what was your experience?

And if you are a reader and not a writer what have you noticed about authors books after the first one? Better? Worse? The same?


  1. We are on the same learning curve! I have had to learn not to panic about the deadlines. :-) I'm so excited for your release!

  2. Thanks Rosslyn,
    Wish you lived close so we could go out for coffee and chat about all this. I'll try to catch up with you via e-mail.:)

  3. Congratulations on getting that manuscript in. Recently I heard the statistic that only about one out of a hundred writer meets deadline, so it's a great way to distinguish yourself.

    I have tried several different methods for planning and writing a story. The biggest challenge for me is keeping track of all the small things that must matter later in the story and making sure the story arcs of various characters collide in just the right way at a point of no turning back. That stage of writing can look like a lot of other things—folding laundry, buying groceries, cleaning the kitchen floor, all the while listening to the voices in my head.

  4. Hi there Olivia!
    Yes, I hit the send button last night. Whew! I can't believe those statistics! How do they keep their jobs?

    One of the things I never really understood when I turned in my first novel is how much work continues to go into a book after you hit send. :) So I had to give up thinking I was going to have everything perfect. Could it have been better? Always in my opinion, but we have to let go eventually, don't we?

    I understand that list of buying groceries, etc. :)And keeping track of everything is hard for me. Thanks for your thoughts. Hope to see you here when ever you have time.

  5. I'm right there with you, Jillian! Waiting on the edits for my second book--the writing of which was a HUGE learning process! But I learned a ton which will hopefully help if there's a next time. (Under contract, I mean. There will always be another book!) I, too, am trying to find that happy medium between pantser and plotter!

  6. Hi Anne,
    I miss you! We need to catch up. It's fun for me that you and Rosslyn Elliot, and Mike Dellosso and I all seem to be working within the same kind of timelines. I wish we could all pull a Star Trek move and beam into the same coffee shop and have a couple hours of discussion. I want to hear all about your edits since I'm waiting for mine too.