Monday, February 15, 2010

Hardest Part of Writing?





Recently, I happened to discover the hardest part of writing, at least for me. You see, I'm struggling to finish a proposal for my next two full length books. The synopsis part is hard enough, but trying to figure out exactly what I want to say about this series, which I didn't know was going to even BE a series when I wrote the first story, has been like pulling teeth. Nothing puts you in a crappy mood quite like writing a word AN HOUR! Ugh!

Okay, it's not quite that bad. But I did figure out that thinking long and hard before I started writing it has proven more effective than sitting and staring at a blank document. Once I had a few ideas of what I wanted say about this series, the words came easier. Soon, I had something that I actually liked. There's still more to do before I can turn in the proposal, but at least the document isn't collecting dust anymore!

While I was working on this over the last few days it occurred to me that maybe I'm in the minority with writing outlines/synopses. Maybe other writers don't struggle through these things the way I do. So, it got me to thinking, what IS the hardest part of writing for you? What aspect of creating a story do you find the most difficult? And how do you get yourself through it?

For me, I finally had to bite the bullet and ask a few of my fellow authors for help. While I have created synopses before, working up a proposal for two books in a series is foreign territory for me. Much to my delight, several authors came to my rescue and offered up their thoughts, support, and their own outlines/synopses as a guide.

Today, I'm here to say that I love this business. Romance authors are some of the kindest people! It's so great to see that there are so many willing to help out. To take their time, even though they have deadlines of their own to deal with, makes me feel extremely appreciative!

So, I ask you...what part of this business do you hate the most?

Oh, and btw, chocolate and wine, not necessarily together, really does help! LOL

13 comments:

Molly Daniels said...

I'm still new enough at this; my hardest part is calling people to set up signings or media interviews. And since I discovered I was doing the synopsis' wrong...I guess I need help in that category too!

Someone told me to do chapter summaries; but that still made the synopsis two or three pages long, and I've heard they're only supposed to be one page?? Correct me if I'm wrong here.

Regina Carlysle said...

Ahhh the sucknopsis! Hate those. I try not to write them unless I just HAVE to. Yes, I know they are subject to change once you get into the story but it's hard trying to imagine the story all in one sitting. As to just writing period. I'll have little pauses in between scenes where I'll just stare at the screen. Getting up and doing something mindless always seems to help me. And middles! OMG. Middles drive me crazy. HA. My list is growing here.

Sophia Danu said...

I made myself take a small break for a month - after a couple of releases, the holidays, crazy work schedule, etc. and now I'm having a hard time getting back to it. The story is there (dying to come out) but it's simply making the time to sit down and get it out. I seem to have very minimal time for me these days...so right now, the hardest part of writing is simply making TIME to write. :(

:) And don't even get me started on the synopsis...lol

Sophia

Bonnie Lea Elliott said...

EDITING! Period, hate it, period....
Oh, and the freaking synopsis. To write about what you wrote about? Redundant but required LOL Otherwise, I love writing.

linda_rettstatt said...

Rewriting! It drives me nuts. When I've finished the story, I want to move on. But my critique partners won't let me :) I rewrite because we all know a work has to be polished in order to be ready to send out there. But I really, really hate doing it.

Mary Ricksen said...

The worst part is when your muse disappears. And then the editing. Ugh!
The best part is when it flows out of you and you're on a roll!

Anne Rainey said...

Molly--a synopsis can vary from publisher to publisher. Seems most epubs like 1 or 2 pages, while print pubs want something a bit more detailed. The general rule is 1 page for every 10,000 words.

However, after seeing several examples recently from authors who have gotten contracts based only on their synopsis, I can easily say that it all depends on how the thing is written, not so much the length. A couple that were sent to me where no more than 2 pages, but they captured my attention to the point that I FELT I was reading a book. Another synopsis that a NY Times bestselling author sent me was around 15 pages long, very detailed, but again, engaging enough that I didn't want to stop reading until I'd reached the end.

The biggest thing I've discovered as I attempt to figure this all out for myself is to make it exciting, hit all the high points and never ever leave the editor hanging.

Hope that helps!

Anne Rainey said...

Regina--I never quite understood what authors meant by hating writing the middle...after writing a 79k story though, yeah, I get it now. LOL! By the time I got to the middle, I was ready to kill off my characters and turn the book into a damn thriller instead! Making sure the pacing is right, making sure you don't resolve things too fast, making sure they discover the 'love' at the right moment, it's enough to make a person nuts! LOL

Anne Rainey said...

Sophia--I hear you about the ME time. I had to finish my full length, then just as I was getting close, galleys came in for another book. I finished those only to realize I had this proposal to put together. Also, there's a short story I NEED to write like NOW. And then I need to get started on my next full length. Oh, and I just got the first round of edits on another story.


I freaking want some me time too! LOL Maybe we should take it together!

Anne Rainey said...

Bonnie and Linda-- I HATE HATE editing and rewriting. Ugh! When I finish a story I want to put it to bed and get to the next bunch of characters calling to me!

Anne Rainey said...

Mary--I hear you about being on a roll. I recently wrote like 10k words in about 3 days times. It may never happen again, but damn that felt good! LOL

Debra St. John said...

Synopsises really are difficult for me as well. I usually cheat and write them after I've written the story, which you can't do if you're selling on a proposal before the book is written.

I've found the balancing of all aspects of writing to be difficult. It's been a whirlwind for me since I've gotten published. Right now I have a new release coming out in April, so I'm working on publicity for that. I have a book under contract that will need edits soon. And I'm working on a new book. It's difficult to juggle all of that and have time for my real life and real job. But, it's been a fun ride so far, so I won't complain too much!

Fiona said...

I hate the marketing of the books the most! I'd rather sit and write all of the time. I LIKE to edit my stuff, because I enjoy living in that world over and over again. But having to search out reviewers, publishers, readers? ARGH!