Looking Back to Now

My plan is to finish writing my next novel in six more weeks. I stumbled a bit this past week because it’s nearly half done and already I see many parts that need fleshing out and I have several margin comments saying, in essence, “add a scene here with so and so where such and such happens” and the opening scene is weak and I don’t even have a title. In short, I started wondering if I could fix this.

The Brevity of Roses couldn’t possibly have been such a mess, I thought. Then I looked back at old email and Word files. Tomorrow will be the fourth anniversary of the night I had a dream that sparked the idea for Brevity. I discussed the dream with a friend, and then on 9 June 2008, I sent an email to her with an attached file. The dream had evolved into a short story titled To Be Missed.

My friend urged me to turn the story into a novel. Since I knew from experience how much time that would take, I decided writing a novel was not on my schedule. But I kept thinking about Jalal, so I wrote another story. When I sent that to my friend, it had the title Third Sound and Jalal’s younger love interest was a spoiled, rich girl named Kristen.

Then this emotionally damaged “tough” girl named Renee popped up in my imagination and kicked Kristen to the curb. I completely revised and expanded Jalal’s story. By the end of July, I’d re-titled it “The Brevity of Roses”.

By August, I knew Renee could carry her own point-of-view, so I toyed with the idea of a third story, but then decided she would just continue Jalal’s story. At that point, I saw no reason to keep Meredith’s story separate from Jalal’s. The Brevity of Roses would be a novel after all. Exactly one year later, I announced the writing finished. Then, of course, the long editing process began—including the addition of 30,000 words!

So today I am reassured. Looking back at Brevity’s progress has helped me see that my WIP is still on track. It only seems a mess. I’ll sort it out. And at some point in the future, I’ll be writing my next novel and panic, but then I’ll look back to now, take a deep breath, and write on.

15 thoughts on “Looking Back to Now

  1. Hi, Linda. I’m glad to see that you don’t need my encouragement on this deal. You’ve got it all figured out already! 🙂
    That’s good. Just write, my friend. It’ll be awesome. I just know it.

    Your buddy from down the 99,

    -Jimmy

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  2. Such fast writers around me!
    How you have managed to write half a first draft already is beyond me! Feels like you just began 🙂

    Amazing! Good for you!
    I hope it goes well until the end.

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    1. Oh gosh, Jennifer, I’m not fast at all. I actually wrote most of the part you read last August, since then I’ve written in spurts. I’m buckling down now, though. And thank you, I hope it’s a steady flow of words too.

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      1. A first draft is about one year for me!

        And then it seems to be an eternity of editing! I’ve been wondering if there’s a way to speed up the process–maybe I’ll blog about it.

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        1. I wish I knew how to speed things up, Jennifer. I’m sure you could whip through it, but you probably wouldn’t be happy with the results. Some books will probably go faster than others. I think we have to accept that it takes as long as it takes.

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