At the end of February, I will have been writing Mirror of Sparrows for two years! Somedays I get discouraged at the pace I’m going, but then again, I’m super excited about something else: time, study and effort have completely transformed my approach to writing, and I no longer write, read books or watch movies the way that I used to.
Here is a little summary of my journey:
First draft story (end of Feb 2015-fall 2015): Almost everyday, I put in the time and the words, and wrote whatever came to mind. The result was fantastic! Within a matter of months I had a complete novel … a completely unstructured and meandering novel…but I had actually accomplished what I’d set out to do, write a whole novel. Hurray!
Second draft story (fall 2015 – spring 2016): After reading a few books on writing, I reworked Mirror of Sparrows, this time with attempts at structure (1st plot point, midpoint, 2nd plot point and climax). I also hired a freelance editor (or two); but honestly, I don’t think that they had much more of a solid grasp on novel structure than I did. Nonetheless, a few people read my novel and thought it was decent (that was my impression), though not without some issues.
Current draft story (spring 2016-present): My current freelance editor shredded my novel to pieces, and it took me several days to recover. But that’s when I decided I was committed to making it happen, no matter how incompetent I initially felt. I’ve learned how to rework my novel on so many levels since then! Although it sometimes seems like I have little to show for (I’ve been spending a TON of time on it), I can see my words take on life beyond my wildest imagination. You would think that creativity and effort alone would be sufficient to write a novel (and to some extent it was enough…for my first draft), but I’ve found that structure and clear principles of writing are bringing my characters and plot alive.
Goals: My goal is to keep on writing and learning. I feel like a sophomore now. I know enough to realize how little I know…and many times I find out that I think I know a lot more than I actually do : ) I can’t wait to see the end product!