Friday, September 6, 2013

The Blog Chain – Unfinished Business

The Blog Chain question this week is:

Is there a writing project you've failed to finish? If so, why? Are you planning to return to it at some point? Alternatively, describe a book you started to read but didn't finish and why you didn't finish.                                              

 
Writing:

I haven’t started and not finished many writing projects…except for the one I was working on when I got my book deal. Unfortunately my historical fiction was only halfway done when I had to put it aside for two years while I edited IN THE AFTER, wrote IN THE END and edited that same book. I’ve actually started to work on it again, but it may be interrupted by a third book for HarperTeen, a stand alone yet to be determined.

The reason why I don’t start many writing projects I don’t finish is because I don’t start many writing projects. Sure, I have the ideas in my head, but that’s where I try to work them out before I ever put them down on paper. A few people have commented that they’re amazed it takes me 3-5 months to write a book. That’s not where the process begins though. I can think about a book from anywhere to a couple of months to a year before I begin to write.

 
Reading:

I’m one of those readers who will hold on to a book until the bitter end, even if I’m not a huge fan. One reason is that some books start off slow, then suck you in toward the middle. I wouldn’t want to give up on a book a few pages in, when I might actually end up enjoying it.

Another reason is that I see each book as an opportunity. Some books (a lot of books) are for enjoyment. But even the books I don’t enjoy, I can learn from. What was it about this book that made it catch the eye of an editor? What was the author trying to accomplish? What could someone else love about this book? I never ask, “Why was this book published!?” But “Why was this book published?” Any book I don't finish is more because I left if for too long, read something else instead and never got back to it. I always feel slightly guilty toward these books...like I've wronged them in some way!

As an author, I feel I can learn a lot from every book I read, even books I might not enjoy. Being exposed to a range of genres and styles will help me continue to grow as a writer.

Keep following this topic on the chain and check out Michelle’s blog on Monday, or look back at Katrina's post from yesterday.

What do you think? Do you give up on many books/writing projects?

 

8 comments:

  1. I very rarely DNF a book, it's more of a DNF for now, and try to go back to them at a later point, since many times you don't connect with a book cause of the emotional state you're in!

    Btw, In The After is a duology or a trilogy?

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    1. Wrote a blog post about this today! Short answer - Duology!

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  2. It's very rare for me to not finish reading a book. There are a few cases... the most recent example was The Casual Vacancy. A hundred pages in, and it was just getting more frustrating and tedious.

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    1. You're like me...it has to take a book really really not being my cup of tea for me to stop reading.

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  3. I used to be so dedicated to finishing every book that I started to read, but I've started giving up if I don't like it after about 50 pages. I need to have your perspective on that. Also, I'm about to start reading IN THE AFTER! I can't wait--I can already tell it won't be a book that I'm able to put down!

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    1. Oooh, I really hope you like the first 50 pages! I think whatever works for you...though some books take a while to get going if you're just not in to it there's nothing you can do. Except my book. Def finish my book :)

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  4. Whenever I write (like yourself) I take a long time to think, sleep, and brainstorm on the idea. However, when I start the writing, other ideas invade my thinking space. So what was supposed to be a long story turns into a short and unfinished one. Do you have any suggestions? ... When I read. I always make sure it's a book I know I won't be able to put down... So far I'm up to chapter 10 in In The End. Loving every second of it :D

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    1. I think a good thing to try out would be to outline the story before you start...I don't usually but sometimes it helps me focus, especially if I have the plot mostly worked out. You don't have to stay completely faithful to the outline, but it will prompt you to each new chapter. Hope that helps!

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