Things I Learned While Writing Miasma Part I

I’m finishing up the final draft of Miasma.  I learned a lot about my writing on this book.  Miasma was seriously messed up when I started on Holly Lisle’s How to Revise Your Novel one year ago Thanksgiving.  It was so bad that I was stumped through most of the class, trying to figure out what the problem was.

Some things I learned along the way:

Word Count Goals:  I’ve had a history of running too short, resulting in a bad relationship with word counts.  I spent so much time doing workarounds to get the word count up and focusing on the number that I lost the story.  I made the most progress with the revision once I decided to let the word count go — it’s going to be around 60K, which means I’ll be going indie.  Word count goals are out.  I’m still thinking about other options to show progress.  I’ve had great fears of being under contract for a book and running too short.  It’s a major fix that takes a lot of time. 

Details:  For years, I thought I was detail-oriented.  Turned out I was over compensating for my not being detail-oriented.  The details vomited themselves all over Miasma, so bad that it was hard figuring out what to revise.  It’s not a matter of me creating a spreadsheet and tracking the details; rather, I can’t tell when I’ve used too many, so the solution has been to let as few get in as possible.  A style sheet during the editing process will help make sure what’s in there is consistent.  I will likely trim more details in the editing.

Part II will be the vexing things that I learned during the course of the story.

What new discoveries have you made with your writing?