YA Writing

What I’m learning about my book

One of the things I am both excited about and frustrated by is the process of revelation. My new book examines a more serious subject than my first and as it is progressing I am seeing how all the elements fit together in a different way. First of all I decided to write this book in first person. I am finding that it is requiring me to dig deeper to show how the characters around my MC react to and interact with him. I am also working harder to prevent what I keep hearing happens so often in first person: boredom. I can see how that would take place since you must remain in one person’s head. That is why I have been working on ensuring his personality is strong and apparent in all he says and does. That has required that I really know him well — his personal agenda, his deep seated desires, his weak points. It has been very interesting developing him and I learn more each time I sit down to write.

The difficult part has been not overdoing his reactions to the external forces coming at him while at the same time showing his feelings in a human way.

I am also struggling with revealing the background info; I wanted to allow other characters to bring out. Writing in first person really limits this and I am having to find creative ways to bring it out without stating it as exposition. This is teaching me a lot of about my writing and making more aware of different techniques.

Since this book is so close to my heart I am determined to take my time and get it done well. I have about five chapters left to complete the first draft and am forcing myself not to go back and rewrite early chapters. But I am re-examining them to ensure they fit together and I am telling the story I want to tell. I am an outliner so I do have a direction; a shell so to speak that is guiding me. But I have enough flexibility to adjust as I go and allow for a lot of creativity.

All in all, the writing advice I have read and heard over the last few years from books and authors and agents and critique groups is all coming together now. It’s a great feeling to know you are working on something that has personal meaning and I hope that once it’s complete it will have meaning to my readers as well.

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