by Dave White
When I sat down to write the book I'm working on, I had a great idea.
Write fast and revise a little.
I outlined. I banged away at the keyboard every day 1,000 words. I finished the book. I had someone else read it. I took feedback. I revised.
And now, more than a year later... I'm still revising it.
And with good reason.
The book, that I worked really hard on, that I slaved away at... Just. Wasn't. Good.
But I'm working at it.. and now it's almost done. I think one more round of major plot changing revisions (but not too much) and then some cleaning up... And the book'll be ready.
But I had to learn that. I had to learn that I am not a good writer when I'm writing fast. I can't just barrel my way through a story, dust it up and hand it in. I have to wring my hands over it. I have to think about each and every character and each and every motivation.
I have to write and outline and write and outline some more and then write and character sketch.
And, yes, there are days... weeks, where I just want to put my head through a glass window.
But I realize why I have to do it. I don't want to put out any old thing just to have a book out there.
I want to put out a damn good book.
And I can't do that writing fast. I just can't.
It's taken me two years to come to terms with that. I wrote WHEN ONE MAN DIES in 2 and a half years. And the revisions on that book put it through the wringer. I wrote THE EVIL THAT MEN DO in about 9 months, but it was constant work because I was on deadline. I am always writing and re-writing.
But I want this book to be the best thing I've ever written. And I want my fourth to be the best thing I've ever written.
And sometimes you get a note from your agent that puts a smile on your face... and even that keeps you going. Like this one, from my agent: "Writing's a big steaming jobby, isn't it? You're almost there, pal."
So, if you're a writer, and you're out there struggling with something that's taking FOREVER... take a deep breath... and keep going. You'll get there.
You gotta want it. You gotta want to finish...
But keep working and eventually the end will be in sight.