Welcome. Toss a blanket down, sit for a while under the willow, relax, and enjoy what's written below.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Am I Finished Yet?

   Hello from  Under the Willow Tree. I have been here writing everyday to finish my novel for the November NaNoWriMo. It is quiet under the tree. Actually I am sitting in my favorite chair with my lap top in front of me, but I remember back to when the willow tree was my favorite place to write. If you are also working on your novel, I hope you are doing well. I am a bit a head of schedule. My plot line found a life of its own one day and the words shot out onto the screen.
As a novice blogger I always wonder where my next idea will come from. I think it is the same with all of us who write. We sit and wonder and then a lightening bolt hits us and we find a perfect plot or character to wrap a plot around. Or maybe we don't get hit by a lightening bolt and our idea forms from something we hear, see, remember or dream. Wherever our creativity comes from we grab onto it and begin to nurture it.  
   I wrote in my first very short post  I was going to blog about being new at writing a novel compared to the short stories and essays I had written in the past. It is different than writing children's stories. My children's books average about 1,300 words. My first novel is at 92,000 now that I have edited it more. When I get back to it, after this month of writing, I am not sure if it will be longer or shorter, but it will change.
   Working with a good critique partner and reading every blog explaining a way to improve my writing helps me write better and I incorporate those ideas into the changes I make. Whether it is the over use of words such as "just" or "that" or adding more action beats to my dialogue. My WIP is always changing. I am hopeful I am close to the finish and am brave enough to have it properly edited without worrying it will come back so full of changes I do not recognize it.
   How we come to the conclusion we have "finished" our WIP still eludes me. I have tried all the suggestions I read. I have changed the wording. I changed the font style and read it again to get a different perspective. I read it out loud. I found a list of redundant words and checked for them. I did my best to be sure each sentence of dialogue stands on its own without the need for an additional ten words to describe the feeling. Sometimes it needed the words and I left them. When do we finally say finished.
   To be honest, I am not sure since I have not found that spot yet. It was easy with an essay or children's book. You know it must be a certain length, not too long for a little one to read, but long enough to tell a story. In a novel the story is more complex and the plot lines deeper. When I find the place, I will let everyone know.
   Until then, happy writing everyone.


  1. What a beautiful name from a blog! A willow tree is the perfect place to write your heart out!

    I have three short stories to published next year and it's the first time I've gotten a true appreciation for what I write. I write both YA and chick lit and the novels are much longer than short stories! Oh so fun though. I have this feeling of 'finish' product. It isn't necessarily following rules, writing really is all based on feeling!

    I saw your comment over at LWC today and had to stop by!! If you have questions don't

  2. Thanks Jen, glad you stopped by. I voted for Hermione. She was always my favorite.

    Stop by the blog anytime. I am going to try and keep going here with the perils and joys of first novel self-publishing. It is much different than a children's book.

    Be well.