Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Figuring It Out – It Isn’t Always About The Speed

by Jennifer Faye

In this age of electronics, everything moves so quickly.

Because things can be instantly posted whether to an editor, agent or self-published, it creates a sense of urgency. It seems like writer should be doing more and doing it so much faster. And to some extent that might be true, says the queen of procrastination. ;-)

But a writer still needs to slow down and create the strongest story possible. I know in my case it can take anywhere from a week to two for me to create a fully functioning, detailed synopsis. I need time to get to know my characters and it isn’t something I can do in a day. Even by the time I finish the synopsis, I still have only scratched the surface of what my characters are about and how they’ll react in certain situations. That’s why writing the actual story still holds so much fun for me.

Writing the journey to my H/h's HEA has many ups and downs. There are some scenes that practically write themselves and others where I must slow down and really think it through because my reactions might not be the same as my character’s reactions. And then there are times when I want to skip a scene and put in a sentence or two of narrative before sprinting off to the next exciting scene that I’m just itching to write. The problem with rushing off to that exciting scene is that I haven’t set it up properly and important stuff was skipped over by not slowing down to write that bridging scene.

And you want to know what I’ve found, by going back and writing in that missing scene, I’ve found it holds its own magic and provides an important emotional contribution. So by speeding along on my rush to the “BIG” scene, I missed some important elements for my characters. I find often it’s the small things in life that teaches people some pretty big lessons.

So reaching the “The End” is a mixture of sprinting and walking. A scene by scene process. It isn’t about the speed. Yes, I know there are deadlines but by rushing too much can cause this writer to miss the important elements of the story--the ones I hadn't plotted out. As I almost did while writing Dante and Lizzie's story, book #6. I was in such a rush to get to the big steamy scene that I missed a smaller scene that was a turning point for my characters. ;-)

And when a writer reaches “The End”, they should pat themselves on the back. That is a HUGE accomplishment! And one not to be taken lightly whether it’s your first book or fiftieth. It is still a big milestone.

Now that "The End" has been typed, don’t be in a rush to press ‘submit’. If you are anything like me, you’ll need at least one or two passes of editing. Then there's the final proofread. And don’t forget to run spell check. I know it doesn’t pick up everything, but it will point out if a glaring error has been overlooked, which happens to the best of us after looking at the same manuscript for a length of time. If you take your time and produce your best quality story, hopefully the editors, agents & readers will reward your effort. :-)

Until next month, happy reading and writing!!!

Now it’s your turn. If you have any questions on your mind, feel free to ask them. I won’t promise that I’ll have an answer, but I’ll do my best.

 Jennifer Faye’s new release,SAFE IN THE TYCOON'S ARMS, is available now! Find out what happens when Kate meets up with New York’s Bachelor-of-the-Year. Online at Amazon, Amazon-UK B&N as well as other locations.
Jennifer would love to hear from readers. You can contact her via her website.


  1. Wonderful post, Jennifer! I'm not someone who presses submit quickly (if at all), but once I'm "finished" with something, I am ready to get it out the door and the thought of one more pass gives me the sweats. I just know if I read it again, I'll want to change/tweak something else. When an editor requested a full in a twitter pitch contest and sent me a link that expired a few days later, I didn't let myself take one more look at the MS before sending. Of course, I found a couple typos afterward.

    How do you know when you've given a MS the right amount of time to develop, the right amount of revision, and paid enough attention to grammar/mechanics before hitting send?

  2. Hi. The first thing to know and accept is that no manuscript or book is perfect--no matter how many eyes look at it. That's why I never read my own books after they are published. ;-)

    But don't be quite so anxious to hit 'send'. Editing and proofreading can uncover a lot of things that need changing/tweaking before the editor sees it. And you want to submit the strongest manuscript possible at that point in time. Editors do notice and appreciate clean manuscripts.

    How do I know that I've worked on a manuscript long enough? Hmm...I think it's more a gut thing now or maybe it's a process I've developed. For the most part, it goes like this: I write the draft. Then I print it out and I edit it. There's usually lots of red at this point as I reword things or deepen emotions/reactions/motivations. Once that's typed up I print it out again and start proofreading. And then it's time for me to press send and get my editor's feedback. A fresh set of eyes at that point is always welcome as I want the strong story possible. Hope that helps.

    Wishing you the best of luck with your writing. :-)

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