Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Seize the Tuesday #14: Finished Manuscripts

Seize the Tuesday is a book blogger meme created by myself and the Let’s Get Lost Buddies Street Team, to share stories about how we’ve seized the Tuesday, with a special focus on the particular book we’re reading. We’ll share our posts online with the hashtag: #LetsAllGetLost
The idea is to share little ways in which you may have embraced Bree’s motto of seizing the Tuesday. To relate it to books, you can talk about what book you’re reading, and how you stole some moments from the day to enjoy reading. It doesn’t have to be about reading, but we all know that a well-read day is a day seized. The idea is not just to help spread the word on LGL, but also to remind people to live fully, even/especially if that means spending a part of your day reading.

I've come to realize that there are so many of us readers who double as writers, and I've been blessed to become good friends with a few. One of my closest friends (Who happens to be my bloggy intern, so give a nice, warm welcome to Wishes and follow him on twitter @Veriticas) finished his first manuscript recently, and I finished my second a couple weeks ago, so I thought that it would be a good time to write a post about actually finishing a manuscript.

For my first manuscript, it was an Urban YA Fantasy, and it took me well over a year to finish. At one point, I was up to about 80k and cut out around 30k because it just didn't feel right, and though I wanted to complete the story, I wasn't too incredibly motivated. Ended up around 85k.

This time around, it was a YA contemporary. I started it last summer, and finished it early this month, because I felt like this story really needed to be done. I needed to just get the characters and their journey onto the page and see where it went. Ended up around 57k

Wishes started his novel, which is like a mash-up of dystopia and sci-fi with a side of adventure, late last spring/early summer, and finished it roughly ten days ago. He wrote in spurts, and once left me a FOUR MONTH GAP between chapters, but he got it done in less than a year. Ended up around 35k.

And then there's my best friend, who is basically my critique partner, and he wrote a freaking fantastic sci-fi (I don't normally like sci-fi, so that ought to tell you something) in four months. Yeah. I'm leaving that one where it is. I got nothing. Four months... Four... Motivation to the max with that boy. Ended around 80k.

Writing for me is easy once I get an idea. It flows and flows until I hit 30k, and that's where I get stuck. It's my slump number, right in the middle of the story, and it takes me a month sometimes to get past it, but I surround myself with friends who support my writing endeavors, and who can help me through those sticky spots so that they don't last as long. We encourage each other and use each other as sounding boards or vents when we need it, and we manage to finish our manuscripts.

I once met an author who asked me about my writing, and I mentioned that I had two or three manuscripts started, and she told me to just finish one. Finish it, write it, and focus only on that story line. I took her advice, and it led me here. I've finished two of the three stories I spoke to her about, and when I met her for the second time at NTTBF, I told her what I'd done. She was right, and it didn't matter that it had taken me a year or longer. What mattered was that I completed a novel.

And you can do it, too. Don't give up. Keep writing, even when you get stumped. Find a friend, or a critique partner that's always going to be there for you (Though I have to say, I have the best crit partner in the history of crit partners) and WRITE. Finish that story, because one day, if you keep at it, you could see your book out there on the shelves.

That's what I'm hoping to accomplish.

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