Writer Wednesday


While on the train to Milan I had plenty of time to think (and to read, but that’s a topic for another post) and tried to express how my way of writing changed in the 21st century. So here goes:

Before 2015: first drafts (or Draft Zero like I called them) were written longhand with almost no corrections by the seat of my pants. I did the research (ex. for historical novels) and then wrote. Then I typed everything in the computer, rewriting as needed so that I’d have a clean draft. I type with 10 fingers, so that wasn’t the hard part. There were no hard parts, since I’ve been a one-draft writer for the whole 20th century and started redrafting only after reading that I was supposed to do that. Wordcount was available only after publication at that point.

After 2015: I started typing Draft Zero and cycling through the first draft. I had a writing netbook with internet access and could stop and Google anything from a translation, a word check to anything else needed. Then I synched with Laptop through Dropbox. I was then able to figure out how much I wrote every year in real time. Like I said in previous posts, I wrote 450K in 2015 and 470K in 2016.

Now Netbook is dead, so the same applies to Laptop. Except it has considerably slowed me down, especially with contemporary or historical works, because I’d stop and fact-check for almost every scene. What might have been quick with SFF became a longer process, mostly because I can’t read on screen and need to print out and highlight manually.

I love ebooks, but not for non-fiction/research. So I might be less productive this year, but hopefully I’ve reached the upper lever of storytelling. Sometimes I wonder if that happened because I switched languages and stopped rewriting old stuff. And I don’t want to turn off the internet while I write because I use Google translator a lot – and all that research helped me expand my English vocabulary.

When I translate books into Italian, things I wrote even two years ago (when I abused of online generators… ahem…), I cringe. Hopefully when I start translating the latest works, I won’t cringe anymore. And I hope the change it’s not too obvious in series like Vampires Through the Centuries (even though all the books are standalone so far)!

What I mean is – you need to find what works for you, and it might change through the years. I have learned a lot since I joined the indie world and will keep learning. Whether it’s the new language or simply that I started learning again (I will freely admit that I was pretty static in Italian, but in English I had to find my voice, and it’s not exactly the same as it used to be – at least from one of my Italian first reader’s perspective).

I won’t take Dean’s challenge because I already have too many stories to write this year on my list – going “pick me! Pick me!” – and I don’t think they’re all short stories. I mean, I know I can write 30 stories in 30 or 60 days if I put my mind to it, but now is not the right time. I am already prolific, I don’t need this to write more! 😉

I’m leaving you with some writerly links – Chuck Wendig’s advice after 5 years and 20 books: 25 lessons (special mention #1 and #5, the latter being what I discussed above). David Farlands tips – One Impossibility (to keep in mind when writing SFF, haha!). 14 sites for book cover design @Digital Reader. And more business advice from Kris Rusch.

Oh, and I found a neat marketing blog for indie authors that has both podcasts and written posts! Studied the written parts (podcasts don’t hold my attention, unfortunately) and will try to apply some to that ugly beast called Marketing… Take this post on why FB needs to do something with those darn pages! Until a few years ago, FB gave the option of choosing if one wanted to be herself or the author.

This no longer applies. I was able to attend a FB party a couple of years ago *waves at Joleene* because I simply switched to the author ID. This year it was a nightmare and my private profile showed up a couple of times. Also, this year I’ve seen an option to create groups from the page. But the page still can’t join groups except the one she/it creates…

More coming bundles: Writers bundle @Storybundle and Faery Summer bundle coming soon @Bundle Rabbit. Now I’m heading back to my writing cave to ponder the next bundle and write the next story… Have a great week! 🙂

 

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5 Comments

  1. My writing process hasn’t changed much, but I suppose it helps in my case that I’ve had access to a word processor – basic though it might have been – since I was still in primary school. The only real difference came when I lost my sight, and my scribbled ideas for the next scene, or poems I was inspired to write while nowhere near a computer, could no longer be written by hand. Or, more to the point, they could, but I wouldn’t have been able to read what I wrote. I tried several alternatives to notebooks, and eventually ended up using my iPhone’s notes function. Then I eMail the note to myself, and copy it in to Microsoft Word when I’m next at the computer.

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    • … and that you’re, like, 20 years younger and didn’t have time to “evolve” like I did? 😉 I probably started writing when you were born… and the world is changing so fast!
      I’ve heard that audio books will be where ebooks are now by 2020… good news for you, no? Although I worry for those non-readers… I doubt they can be lured by audio books…
      I wish the world stopped spinning so fast! 🙂

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  2. OK, yeah, being nearly 20 years younger probably does help, especially since my low vision meant I had a laptop younger than most people my age, since the school provided me with one. Hey, they never said it was exclusively for schoolwork, and some of the writing was for school! 😉

    The increased availability of audiobooks is very good news for me, especially since they’re also generally more reasonably priced these days. The increased availability of eBook reading devices that have speach software already installed is also a good thing from my point of view. It used to be extremely difficult to get a reasonable selection of books that could be read by the visually impaired, and even more difficult still to get them at reasonable prices. I have to admit, though there are times I hate how much we depend on technology for everything these days – not to mention sometimes wish things would slow down, since I swear I just get used to how to work one device and five new ones come out – but from the point of view of a blind person who reads a couple of hundred books a year, it’s very benificial.

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    • I didn’t change much for 25 years, then I started attending those pesky writing workshops… I guess I changed more in the past 15 years than in the previous 25! 😀
      Glad to hear at least someone is happy with audio books… although I don’t know when I’ll put mine on Audible or wherever… 😉

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  3. I’m not sure when I will either. I would like to at some point, but it’s one of those “it would be great… I’ll do it some day, but it’s not a priority to me right now,” type projects.

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