"I write for the same reason I breathe - because if I didn't, I would die." ~ Isaac Asimov

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Writerly Wednesday - Timing is Everything

Hello, everyone, and welcome back for another week of Writerly Wednesday. I originally started this meme to allow me to talk to you about all things writing, whether it be progress on a wip, update on what's going on with the book I'm getting published, or to share websites and people with you I think you will enjoy. :) Today, I talk about the timing of a novel.

I was recently hit of the head with the Timing-Is-Everything stick. I'd started writing a new project after months of writing nothing. I was excited about this book (I still am). I had my MC going to a new, much smaller school where she runs into and ends up in the middle of two warring werewolf packs. So on her first day of school, in about 12k words, I put my MC through everything. Both Alphas flirted with her, took her from the other, and fought over her. By the end of her first day of school, their fighting had resulted in a fistfight. And let me tell you, I was excited about it. I couldn't believe how well I'd done. I had something exciting happening at every turn. It was going to be the greatest book ever!

Then I had a very good friend of mine read it. Here's what she had to say:

 "It starts out like Twilight because of moving from a big town to a sort of small foresty town. She knows she hates it. Then later at school she is being fought over by boys like crazy on the first day..... I think the whole experience of being in a new town and seeing everything and her emotions about it without boy involvement needs to be drug out. For example right away she is thinking about Caleb, which is not all that unusual, but I would think she would have talked to Brittney or her boyfriend on the phone before a week of living there. Then once school starts, I would think she would be comparing in her mind where she came from to where she is now. I don't think it is odd that she goes looking for Caleb, but there seems to be too much tug of war going on all of the sudden. I haven't really gotten to know Caleb and Sebastian or even Jessica very much before there is this major war between the boys. And I was a little irritated with Jessica for one minute being gaga over Sebastian and then the next being mad at Caleb then vice versa. It feels like she is too emotionally involved with these guys this early on in the book."

To say I was crushed when I read her thoughts is an understatement. I was furious. At myself for not seeing this. So after a day of fuming and trying to figure out how to fix it, I declared the honeymoon over and got to work. Now I'm back to chapter 11, have just more than 20k words and that same friends is gaga for Caleb but also falling for Sebastian and might even like Jessica by now. Having added roughly 8k of story has helped immensely, allows the reader to get to know the characters before all the tug-of-war crap begins in earnest.

So what exactly is the point of this blog post? Exactly as it's said: Timing is everything! I've learned the hard way that you have to allow the reader to get to know the characters through the first few chapters of the book and spread out the real action of the story, letting things progress at a natural pace instead of the insane 10k one-day fiasco. Now that I've learned my lesson, I know it's one I will remember. :)

To my dear, lovely friend, you know who you are. Thank you for being who you are. This book would not be where it is without you.

Happy Writing, everyone!


  1. Haha, I can't believe you posted being ripped apart. LOL I know it comes across as a disappointment, but in the long run you will be a much better writer and happier with you work :) Keep up the great work. I can't wait to read more. OOops I just gave myself away. Hehe Erin you know I'm always here for you and if it weren't for you, well I wouldn't be anywhere. Happy Wednesday!

    1. It's okay that you gave yourself away. ;) Helping each other is what being friends and writers is about, right?