Wednesday, August 1, 2012

IWSG: Not Enough Words and a brief Wednesday's Writing Update

 

Happy Wednesday! Since it is August 1st and the first Wednesday, that means it is time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group created by the fantastic super ninja Alex J. Cavanaugh. Click here to see the other participants.

My concern today stems from what I admit to be a silly fear but a fear nonetheless. I'm worried I won't have enough words in me to write all the stories in my head. I have hundreds of ideas for stories, some short, some novel-length. What if I don't have enough in me to write all those words down to tell the stories properly? What if I only have so many words I can write? If I use them all in one novel, then I might not have enough for the next.

I think sometimes that is why I am a lean writer. I'm saving words for the next story.

Silly, isn't it?

I tend to write in the moment for first drafts and the bare minimum I can write to get that draft down. If I just have the story, then I can always add more, right? Then, I slowly add more emotions, more descriptions, a touch of backstory. I've learned from critiques and reviews that I need to write more. People want more. It concerns me because then I think back to do I have enough words to write more and still write everything else I want to write. So I do add, but I wonder if it'll be enough.

Somehow I think I might just have to work harder to find more words because there are just too many stories within me not to write down.

Do you worry about not having enough words? Or are you on the opposite end and have too many?

 

And a brief writing update.


I'd hoped to have good news about Pull of Gravity, but unfortunately, I didn't get any editing done as I'd hoped last week. I've been working hard, but not on my own work. I'm now looking towards a release date of August 15th or so for Pull of Gravity. It's not an official release date yet, but I think it is more doable, especially since I have August 6-10 off from the day job. I'd rather edit it right than rush through it just to get it out there.

28 comments:

Christine Rains said...

I don't think you'll ever run out of words. You'll surprise yourself. And there's nothing wrong with lean. I've always thought adding more was a bit easier than having to cut beloved words!

As for PoG, you're doing it right. It's the best story of the trilogy, so I know no one will be disappointed for the extra little wait. :)

Nicole Zoltack said...

My first drafts tend to be lean too. And there's no rush with Pull of Gravity. Publish it when you think it's ready. :)

Marta Szemik said...

I think I have the opposite problem and write too much;) Though I've seen a change in the writing and it is becoming leaner, non-repetitive.
I'm sure you'll find the words you need. I find reading helps me as other authors inspire me.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Don't worry. I'm betting your characters will always supply you with the words you need!

I draft with too many words. My first drafts are always ridiculously bloated with stuff that doesn't have to be there. I spend the next 3-4 drafts cutting words.

Kyra Lennon said...

I don't think you'll run out of words. If you have the stories to tell, the words will come to you! :D

Annalisa Crawford said...

You'll always find the words if you have the stories raring to go.

I never had enough words, until I realised I wasn't writing novels. Now I'm a short story/novella writer, there are words enough :-)

SA Larsenッ said...

That's not a silly fear. To be honest, I wonder this same thing about myself at times. But I think I wonder that just before I become totally engrossed in a new project. Jitters, I'd say.

Callie Leuck said...

I think if people want more, it's because your writing is so great :)

But probably you won't run out of words.

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

You must have enough words. Go and buy some more. I'll pay for them. I believe in you Cherie. You've already brought the world a fantastic science-fiction trilogy.

Now what I want is an epic fantasy series based in the world of the Women of Foxwick! Yess! I can't wait to consume it. :)))

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Let's hear it for bare-minimum manuscripts!
I'll give you some words if you give me some ideas.

M.J. Fifield said...

I'm constantly worried that I don't have enough words so no, I don't think that's a silly fear at all.

I also write lean first drafts and then go back and layer over and over again until I think it's right.

Good luck with the edits...

M Pax said...

I used to think something similar, but it was more about ideas ... wanting to save them in case I had no more. Then I went to a sitdown with Ursula K. LeGuinn who said to never hold anything back, put everything in that one story. More will come.

Ya know, they do. So, that's how I write now.

Tracy Bermeo (A2Z Mommy) said...

I've got ideas and I figure the words will come from the idea. It's time I find I'm short on. If only I could clone myself.....
A2Z Mommy and What’s In Between

Cathy Keaton said...

I don't think of words as being things that you run out of. They're like extensions of your energy that will spring so long as you continue to produce energy.

My issue is with having enough great ideas for stories. I just don't like all my ideas, so having a lot of them doesn't really count. I need GOOD ideas and I get worried about not being able to think of enough.

Here's my IWSG post for this month: http://cathykeatonwrites.blogspot.com/2012/08/fear-insecure-writers-support-group-1.html

Ciara said...

I'm just like you! Tons of ideas and so little words. I always have to go back and add to my manuscripts.

Mina Lobo said...

In a way, I think it's not a bad idea to be sparse with words during the first draft and then going back and filling them in later...I think it's good to "get the story down," because I guess I'm worried about just completing the first draft! :-)
Besides which, your CPs can tell you what they'd like to know more about in your stories and you can fill in for those questions, if you feel it's appropriate to the story, no?
Some Dark Romantic

Mel Chesley said...

Augh! I have too many! So I tell you what, you keep writing and if you think you are going to run out of words, let me know. You can have mine, I have more than enough to spare. ;)

Sherri Lackey said...

My first drafts are always sparse. Then other things just start coming to me, new scenes, etc. My current WIP has just under 90K words. I thought it was finished when I had a little over 50K. My husband read it and was left wanting. After I got over being miffed about that, I added those extra words and won't he be surprised by all the changes I made! :)So just let all those words out and more will come.

The Golden Eagle said...

I tend to have the opposite problem--my drafts are usually too wordy with lengthy phrasing and excess description. :P

Rachelle Ayala said...

Cherie, your stories are well paced and not repetitive. Better to be spare with the words than to have the reader wondering how much longer this book will drag out. I have the opposite problem, too many subplots and characters which results in too many words.

Good luck on your launch!

Allison said...

I read somewhere that you should never hold anything back from the story you are working on, because readers can tell when you aren't giving it your all. And you will always have more ideas for the next one!

Allison (Geek Banter)

Stephen Tremp said...

I usually have to edit stuff out. I have a JUNKYARD full of edits. Fortunately, I can plug and play them in future writings so this saves me a lot of time.

Lexa Cain said...

Your drafting approach sounds perfect to me. And don't worry - writers have a special well of words that refills at night when you sleep! :-)

sjp said...

That sounds gorgeous, "Im saving words for the next story"

I find I have my favourite words that I tend to use alot and struggle to avoid them sometimes, I think as you expand you will find new ways of explaining things, I dont think you will run out of words :)

amy gh said...

This is a situation I thought was unique to me! And that I had no business writing if it didn't all flow out naturally.

I am quickly finding by exposing myself to IWSG that every insecurity and roadblock is common and easier to deal with when taken out of isolation.

Now that I have read your post and others' comments, it seems many of us are conceptual writers, starting with an idea that needs to be teased out and explored fully before we are able to imprint it into a full story. Maybe it could be called slow writing!

Rosalind Smith-Nazilli said...

Cherie I am sure your mind is like a bottomless well, and no matter how much you skim off the top, it will keep refilling itself.

Dariel Raye said...

I don't think you have anything to worry about :-) I'm rather sparse with my first drafts, too. Now that I've started completing an outline before I start the draft, I've noticed that difference. You can always go back and flesh out scenes or add details later. I'd rather that than "over-writing." I hate reading books that treat audiences like we're too stupid to put the pieces together if they don't painstakingly spell everything out, and wordiness drives me crazy, so I never want to write that way. Yeah, frugal is better.

Melissa said...

No. It's not silly. I've felt like that, too. I also worried I would never want to write (or be able to come up with a plot) for another story. But I did. And you will. :)

IWSG #179 (At least until Alex culls the list again. :P)