What has had the biggest impact on my writing? November 20, 2014Posted by rhoagenda in Rho Agenda Updates.
I started trying to write while I was still an officer in the United States Army, when I began work on a fantasy novel titled “BLADE”. It was a big project and the more I wrote, the more my writing style improved. Noting that my later writing was of higher quality than when I started, I would go back and rework the beginning and then pick up where I had left off. This happened repeatedly and each time I had more to rework before I returned to write new material. As the book grew past one hundred thousand words and eventually past two hundred thousand, my progress slowed to a crawl, as I continued to rework what I had already written.
One day my wife, Carol, looked at me in frustration and said, “Just finish the damn thing! You can edit it later.” As obvious as that seems, it was an epiphany to me. My job as a writer is to tell the story that’s in my head without worrying about the imperfections, at least until I am finished with the initial draft. Get it done. Then go back and fine tune the verbiage, the descriptions, and the dialogue. That one simple change to my writing process is what has enabled me to complete seven novels, four of which have already been published, with the fifth and sixth scheduled for release in January and June 2015.
As I talk with aspiring writers, I find that many suffer from the same problem; they are overcritical of their work while they are still writing it. This often leads to a new writer giving up in failure. Always remember that the first draft of every book is an ugly baby but, having finished it, you can be proud that that it has been given birth. Then, with a bit of loving care, it can be transformed into the beautiful adult you always intended it to be.