My Young Adult Fantasy novel is at 61,754 words. It ranges from being the first draft, at the end, to being probably thirtieth draft, in the beginning. I have three possible openings, none of which I am happy with.
I write nearly every day. I get in anywhere from three hours to ten hours at my computer. Some days, the hours are spent in research. Anytime I do get blocked, I start searching for sites on writing Fantasy for Young Adults, writing in general, etc. Doing this, I will find something that strikes a chord and gets me back on track again. About every three weeks, I will just take two to three days off to step away from the whole thing.
I had been doing the first edit as a word edit. It sharpens up the writing but can be tedious. I use MS Words “Find” for Lie and Lay (making sure they were used correctly), and then those little qualifiers that do not add anything: a Little, almost, back, barely, be, could, down, had, instead, etc. I was to Chapter seven, when I realized, in one of those “DUH!” moments, I was going about this all wrong.
Writers are living in a wonderful age of information. Editors and Writers are some of the most helpful people on earth to newcomers. Talking Books is the website of Senior Editor, Cheryl Klein, at Arthur A. Levine. It has some great information on it. My first edit, is now based on Aristotle, Austen, Plot, and Pleasure by Cheryl Klein.
A few years ago, while I was painting full time, I listened to a book on tape about writing, by Stephen King. It was in between my Mystery Novel, for adults, completed but not edited, and my Picture Book, just never sumitted. He gave everyone permission to just write. Do what you have to do. If you are not a “plot it out in detail first” kind of writter, don’t worry. Get that story down. I am a little of both. Ms. Klein seems to be agreeing with King and it makes a lot of sense to me. My story is written, now it is time to make sure things are working in it, to make it a book a kid wants to read and can’t put down once they have started.
Ms. Klein’s article (Aristotle, Austen) showed me why the opening I had chosen was the wrong opening. My protagonist was being too self-centered in it, although he does have a good reason at the time. But, it si something to fix and that is worth a lot to realize. I’m not going to spend time here, covering her points. If you are interested, the link is above. It will really clear up Plotting for you.
There is also a link to her web site in my web site links.