One Thing Writers have in Common with Their Books

6:00 AM

WARNING: this might turn into one of those, "Hannah-blabs-about-her-past" posts, but hopefully it will lean towards the, "Hannah-draws-from-her-past-to-help-other-people." Imma aim for the latter, but I MAKE NO PROMISES.

This will also be mildly short since I am leaving on a trip and won't get back till Wednesday. I STILL LOVE YOU THOUGH.

Ehem. Anyway.

I am currently editing the first draft of last year's nano book, The Dream Walkers. I picked it up after I finished draft two of The Thief's Conspiracy last month. I had not touched DW since writing the 94k first draft in the 30 days of nano, so you can imagine I was a little nervous when I finally sat down and opened up the document.

After all, my only other nano novel was ... not good? XP I mean, it took me a whole stinkin' year to finish the second draft. Despite feeling good about DW, I was bracing myself for a mess.

But ... I didn't really get one.

I opened the document and started to read, and I was so surprised. I'm not saying it was perfect by any means. It still has its issues.

But it's not a completely hopeless wreck like Draft 1 of TC was. I scrapped pretty much all of that book's first draft. And it still needs so much work.

But DW ...

My point is: editing The Dream Walkers is already a completely different experience from editing The Thief's Conspiracy. I'm actually sending DW to a couple of betas, which I could not do for TC.

Which leads to the point of this post. Why I titled it what I did.

We all know the phrase, "Every writer is different."

But it's the same for books. "Every book is different."

I can see you staring at me like, "Um ... yeah?"

Perhaps I should rephrase.

Every process of writing a book is going to be different.

Each book is going to come with a new set of challenges and a new set of perks. Each story you create will present new problems you have not faced before, and new pluses that you didn't know you were capable of.

Each book you write is going to teach you something new about the writing process, and how you function best. How you create stories best.

Each book you write is going to change you, both as a writer and as a person. It will change how you see the world, and it will change how you see those around you.

Books are such magical things, both to read and to write. And edits can be soooo tough. I've been there. Draft 2 of TC was the most horrible, rebellious child I have ever dealt with. Even though I had a feeling DW was going to be nicer to me, I didn't believe it until I started. (I still don't trust it, actually. I'm waiting for the bomb to go off.) It's turning out to be my little precious baby that's just a doll of loveliness and manageability.

Polar opposite of TC.

But I still love them both.

Where am I going with this?

Writers are different. They have different and unique processes. Some techniques work for them. Some do not.

And the same goes for their stories.

Books are different. They often require different and unique processes. Some techniques that worked on other books won't work for them.

So don't get discouraged if the Snowflake Method you used to plot your last novel isn't working. Maybe this book needs something different! I sure planned this book differently. I realized the other day that I did one of my own big personal "no-no's" in the planning of the story, but that's actually what made the characters so strong.

Keep writing, and don't be afraid to try something new!

Have you ever had a method fail you when it previously worked wonders for you? Have you messed around with different ways to write/plan stories? What have you found? 


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  1. Editing your NaNo drafts? *showers you with confetti* *and encouraging chocolates* (because you obviously actually finished a COMPLETE DRAFT and that's still so awe-inspiring for me)(and I haven't touched mine since, because they're not finished)

    I'm still messing around with planning methods... haven't found what works for me yet, so I'm calling myself a pantser. The Snowflake method was interesting - I should try it again, actually, because I think it may have been the story's fault it didn't work (odd plot structure. still figuring it out. actually I'm not, I'm ignoring it.)

    An interesting post... and also very relieving :)

    1. *dances in confetti* Ooooh I've never tried the snowflake method! I WANT TO DO THAT. O.O *consoling pat* I feel you on weird plot structures though. Mine is just ... odd. XP WE GOT THIS. *cheers*

  2. I love 'Hannah-blabs-about-her-past' posts haha!

    But I definitely resonate with this post. Every book / novella / story I've written has come from a different idea, written for a different reason, and of all, had a different pull on me to keep writing it until it was finished.

    Writing this new idea I have is by far the most difficult?! It's the kind of story that I realized needs plotting before I actually write, so as I'm typing this I'm glancing at the plot outline I have right beside this tab.

    Thank you for this post, and for continually being so honest and encouraging with your writing!

    - Andrea at A Surge of Thunder

    1. Isn't it so fascinating how that works? *happy sigh* Ooooh yay for plotting though! I hope it goes well for you! <3

  3. I have tried to plot and tried to just WRITE, and I've found that plotting is the best route for me... After "just writing" a novella in a month. Yes, every one of our works is different and has different processes!


    1. That's interesting. I'm glad you figured out what works best for you!

  4. This has so much wisdom! I recently spend six months agonizing over one novel, switching the plot and EVERYTHING, and expected the sequel to be the same. But no. This sequel is so different and I love how every novel is a new adventure, a new challenge.


    audrey caylin

    1. Ahhhh isn't that such a relief? Sounds exactly like what I'm going through right now! (except my WIP is not the sequel to the other)

  5. I've messed around with SO MANY WAYS to write stories, you have NO IDEA. Seriously, I've probably written a first draft about five different ways. It's insane xD. I've written a first draft in a start-to-finish way (which is EXHAUSTING), I've done a zero-draft thing and stitched the first draft together (which is SO FUN and I probably love it best?), I've done serial stories that were first draft (when I had a private blog and didn't know what I was doing, so I totally winged it and it was low-key horrendous xD) - yeah, okay, I could ramble all day. But I loved this post, it was AWESOME! <3

    (by the way, are you in a Cabin for Camp NaNo yet? I was going to invite you to mine, but for some reason I was pretty sure you were already in one. But I though I'd ask xD)

    ~ Savannah

    1. Ooooh that's so cool though! I need to be more adventurous myself. I haven't branched out my methods very much. My WIP actually started out as a zero draft! But when I decided to do it for nanowrimo, I knew I needed to write a true first draft, and I think that method does work for me the best.

      And yessss I ammmm UGH. Maybe for the July nano we could be in a cabin? THAT WOULD BE SO AWESOME! :D

  6. This is all so true! I remember writing my previous stories and they were much more fun. Also, the short stories I recently wrote were much more fun. However, I know I can't stick to short stories. I'm currently transferring my story from paper to Microsoft word. I also wanna do the same for a Middle Grade story I haven't finished yet. *sigh*

    1. Ooooh that's good though! It sounds like you're having lots of breakthroughs and making good progress! :D *cheers you on* You got this!

  7. This is so true...every book is different. I am currently working on a draft that has taken me years to pen, and has evolved and changed so much over time! It can be frustrating, but I think the moral of the story is not to compare the process. One book may be a problem child and the other a complete joy, but they are still wonderful in their own ways. Good luck with writing and editing! :)

    1. Yes to that. It's funny how one can be so horrible and the other such a blissful ride, yet we love them both equally. XP

  8. Hey Hannah ;)
    This is Michaila from the Wonderkept life (formerly Mic's Room). Not sure if your doing campnano this year?? But some of the bloggers and me have a cabin, and I wanted to let you in. Your posts are always so vivid!!! Good job!

    1. Ooooh you renamed your blog?! Awesome! :D And I would totally love to be in your cabin, but I've already got one *weeps softly* Thank you so much though! Maybe next time! :)


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