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How to not feel insecure about my WIP writing duration (1 Viewer)

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sunaynaprasad

WF Veterans
I started my current WIP in January 2016, but didn't write a full first draft until January 2018. It's November 2020 and I am still working on it. I've actually attempted final drafts for over a year.
But now I am feeling pretty insecure about it taking nearly 5 years to still not complete my story. It's the third installment of my fantasy series, with books 1 and 2 already published. Aside from feeling sorry for making readers wait years, I can't help but also feel embarrassed as well. I know there are writers who take longer, like at least a decade, to complete their stories. But I envy those who can complete a good story within 6 drafts and a number of weeks or months. I probably did hundreds of drafts, or too many to count.
Although my reviews have started becoming great in late 2018, rather than just decent from 2013 to 2018, I know I am not likely at my prime yet. After all, I will turn 27 this month, which is still fairly young for an author. I did come up with another technique for my future books, which should help me get a great book done sooner. But how should I cope with the time it has taken me to work on my current project and still not finish by now?
 

sunaynaprasad

WF Veterans
It's not the writing I'm insecure about, it's the time it's taking to work on my WIP I am a little unhappy about. But I am very confident in my writing abilities.
 

jenthepen

Staff member
Mentor
Hi, sunaynaprasad,
I was going to say that you shouldn't worry about keeping your readers waiting and that your writing skills will keep them loyal but then I noticed that your are a children's writer so I guess there is a bit of pressure to get the story written before they grow up. Good luck with it - I'm sure you'll get there.
 

Theglasshouse

WF Veterans
Be proud of what you did. I feel my disabilities make it difficult to finish a draft in one go so I do multiple. I also need to read more. Going to sign up to some magazines so I can read stories online. I hate the experience on reading on a computer with a kindle. I would prefer to read it with my text to speech software. I use claroread on my other computer. It helps and I think it is the only one I have found that satisfices my needs with dyslexia (this one works differently to other text to speech readers). I suppose reading can be frustrating for me. I definitely will be signing up for one of the big 3 magazines. If I had the ability to work non-stop (without getting too tired from either reading or writing when working) I would actually do something useful and this would help fuel my hobby.

I am still trying to see how to outline a story having bought a microphone. I may have no idea yet when beginning from scratch a story. I use my reasoning and any creativity I have to write or try to express the ideas that come naturally in a story. It's a challenge since a microphone requires you write a quick draft.

One thing many have and I don't is someone to read their work. Take advantage of that and have plenty of betareaders. I wish I had some big accomplishments in terms of more prestigious places published. That is consistency. The ideas can only be gotten it seems by reading other works. Though I plan to journal and do other things. Craft theory in popular guides don't help me it seems. This place is where I get my betareading done. People sometimes are afraid of being honest. I then pay for the mistakes in a rejection slip unfortunately.
 
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sunaynaprasad

WF Veterans
I am definitely proud of my story. In some ways, I did learn a lesson as well as how my writing process works.
The techniques for my remaining books in the series will be several synopsis revisions and fewer written drafts. Of course, I will do my best with those, too.
 

Tettsuo

WF Veterans
Create a realist word count goal and stick to it. So long as you're hitting your goal you're golden.

Personally, I have a goal of completing a scene a day. If I make that happen, it's a huge boost to my confidence.
 

sunaynaprasad

WF Veterans
Yes, I think that would mean a chance to grow and learn. If you're always confident in your writing, it's kind of good, but it's also good to acknowledge places where things could improve.
 

Madchap

Senior Member
Amazingly, you can write, many cannot, many cannot go to the places you go to. The dreams you create, the places and characters you visit. You do the work. It's a nearly in-depth exploration. You will not regret it, never once, even if you don't sell a million copies. You should not feel insecure about the things that bring you joy. I just do it, gain or no gain. I enjoy the process and learning.
 

Greyson

Senior Member
a professor i had in college -- with his PhD in creative writing -- has been working on two books since he graduated with his PhD nearly 15 years ago. Length to develop something to a point you enjoy and appreciate isn't a measure of your worth or the story's worth. :)
 

Matchu

Senior Member
I was considering the 'cheap paperback method.'

- Buy cheap paperback.

- Read a paragraph, remember 'anything' about it, and write for three minutes. Next paragraph. That wouldn't take too long. One year, from the first draft to first book shop?

...

Obviously, change title & setting etc..
 

Sir-KP

Senior Member
You should feel insecure about your WIP time when your income relies on this writing project.

Otherwise, work on it.
 

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
It's not the writing I'm insecure about, it's the time it's taking to work on my WIP I am a little unhappy about. But I am very confident in my writing abilities.

Just a thought. Based on your age, do you think your style has changed over the period of this WIP? Perhaps that is why it is taking longer than your other books. Perhaps your standards are higher now, so it just takes longer. If that is the case, then it should not be a problem for your readership, because if they have matured since the last book, then they also would expect a higher standard. I think you may just be finding a stronger voice with this book.
 

bazz cargo

Retired Supervisor
Sunay, if it is good, it is worth waiting for.
I will tell you a secret.... The best way to write is to turn off the internet.
Good luck
I started my current WIP in January 2016, but didn't write a full first draft until January 2018. It's November 2020 and I am still working on it. I've actually attempted final drafts for over a year.
But now I am feeling pretty insecure about it taking nearly 5 years to still not complete my story. It's the third installment of my fantasy series, with books 1 and 2 already published. Aside from feeling sorry for making readers wait years, I can't help but also feel embarrassed as well. I know there are writers who take longer, like at least a decade, to complete their stories. But I envy those who can complete a good story within 6 drafts and a number of weeks or months. I probably did hundreds of drafts, or too many to count.
Although my reviews have started becoming great in late 2018, rather than just decent from 2013 to 2018, I know I am not likely at my prime yet. After all, I will turn 27 this month, which is still fairly young for an author. I did come up with another technique for my future books, which should help me get a great book done sooner. But how should I cope with the time it has taken me to work on my current project and still not finish by now?
 

vranger

Staff member
Supervisor
Sunayna, I have an opinion on what's going on with your writing. So take that for what it is. I could be wrong, and you are free to agree or disagree, but here is what I hope is constructive criticism. I followed to your web site and read the samples on Amazon.

Let me start by saying I think you have upside with your writing. I do think you need polish, and I do think you can achieve that.

I think you tend to lean towards being pedantic. I thought too many sentences had extraneous content that both hurts your clarity, and at times becomes repetitive. Oddly, it gave me an impression of being choppy, which I would logically think would be the opposite of pedantry, but I believe the repetition is part of what brings the choppy feel to me.

Part of the pedantry is including unnecessary details. For example, in the first book's sample, I was frequently reading how many minutes short activities took. I don't need to know that, and I think it hurts the flow of the things I do need to know. The babysitter is constantly interrupting Alyssa to assign the next task. I completely get that you want to sell that personality and the relationship, but I think it happens too often. To me, I felt this focused my attention on minor chores, when my attention should have been on what makes Alyssa different and interesting ... what compels me to be curious. I think you can sell that relationship with less repetition of that theme.

In the second sample, I was finding sentences with ending phrases that are disconnected from the first part of the sentence, or indeed the focus of the paragraph. You've got backstory and sidestory as phrases that chop into the action. Like, "Alex opened the door, already wearing his suit." I don't believe "already wearing his suit" as a throwaway phrase helps you at all. At that point, I'm wondering about the sudden magic events. You've got me wondering if she's turning to Alex for help, and if he can help. The comment about the suit is a distraction. If it had something to do with the immediate action, that would be different. "Alex opened the door, wearing his best suit, which promptly began to smoke as a flame ignited at the hem of his coat." That would be important to know. LOL

To my taste, I'd rather see the backstory and the sidestory concentrated in their own scenes or paragraphs so I can wrap my head around them.

So here's what I think is going on. I think as you read back you understand that something's off, but you're not putting your finger on it. This may lead you to repeated revision in the attempt to bring clarity to your writing, but without having identified what you aren't comfortable with, you're stirring it without fixing it.

My suggestion is to do some concentrated study on writing effective sentences to polish up your clarity. Get rid of words and phrases unnecessary to the current thought or action. Be careful of repetition.

I haven't read your whole work, so I might not be right on target here, but I'll bet I'm in the ballpark. Once you figure out a concise list of things in your prose that make you uncomfortable, you'll be able to concentrate on this list and knock out your final draft with confidence and finality.
 
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