Tags: novels


Ending a Novel

To go a long with my last post, I was talking about my reaction to ending my novel with my Plotbusters critique group. It was an interesting conversation with Pari Noskin Taichert saying she had the same kind of reaction each time she ended a novel.

Then Pati Nagel sent out this link:


It's a terrific article about the psychology of finishing a novel. Thanks, Pati!


So, what did you do today, Debbie?

Why, I finished the new ending of my novel.

You did! Congratulations..

Why thank you. It's kind of strange, though. I don'te really feel like I actually finsihed it. Now I know I've got some cleaning up to do and everything. But geez. I finished it. Shouldn't I be celebrating or something.

Why aren't you?

Um... I'm really happy. I think it's a kick-ass ending. Much better than the old one.

So why aren't you celebrating?

I think I'll go get that Red Stripe out of my refrigerator and celebrate right now! In honor of Bob Angel, Jeff Spock and all my other CW pub crawlers! Yay!

Short stories vs. Novels

 My website has been updated for the first time since I've had a website!  I love the publications page.  Pati, my new webdesigner, is wonderful.  Check it out at dlynnsmith.com

So now that I don't have any annotations, papers on literarcy influences or third semester projects to write, I found myself struggling.  I really want to finish my novel, but I've been feeling very sorry for myself because I only wrote three short stories last year.  The good news is that I sold two of them and the third is almost ready to send out.  But that's also the bad news in a way.  I get a lot of satisfaction with the instant (compared to writing a novel) gratification of finishing a story and getting it out there.  Of course there's great satisfaction in selling said short story.  

But if I concentrate on short stories then the novel gets put on the back burner.  But if I concentrate on the novel, I start feeling sorry for myself because I haven't finished (or sold anything) in a long time.  Without the other papers to write, I found myself fighting with whether I would take the time to write stories or the novel.  What was I to do?

Finally, I made a deal with myself.  I have quite a number of short stories that need revisions.  So I've set up my days where I spend an hour each morning rewriting on of my stories.  Then the rest of my writing time is spent on my novel.  I've been doing this for several days now and it's working out.  I've got a my story "The Shadow Puppet" about three quarters of the way ready, working on it the last two mornings.  These same two days I turned out 2800 words (1400 a day) on my novel.  Whoo hoo!  Everything is moving forward and I'm a happy writer.  I no longer fight with myself or dread sitting down at the computer.

Anyone else out there make deals with themselves in order to get their writing on track?

I thought I was taking the day off

Yesterday I went to Disneyland with a friend -- another television writer currently out of work.  I thought I was taking a day off from writing.  But then I made a purchase from a young woman whose name badge said:  Chellsea Rae.  I loved the name.  We talked a few minutes about writing, how she loves reading twisted horror, and how I might use her name as a character name some day.

This morning I woke up and realized that Chellsea Rae was the name of the main character in my paranormal novel.  Well, actually it was Victoria Winters -- in honor of Dark Shadows and the late Dan Curtis who I loved.  But I had been struggling with Victoria's character and when I woke up, I knew who Chellsea was in the context of my book.  I have such a strong sense of her.  I feel like I can just sit down and write the entire book because of discovering her true name.

It's simply amazing to me how much of a difference a name can make to a piece.  I have a problem coming up with names.  I have a couple of name books that I look through.  I really hate coming up with names.

I'm so happy I went to Disneyland yesterday.  What a productive writing day for me!