Saturday, May 12, 2012

Does It Get Any Easier?

Often new writers ask me if it gets any easier with subsequent books. I'm not always sure whether they're talking about the words or the stories, but my answer to both would be yes. With qualifiers.

I've often heard it said that writing is a muscle, and I've absolutely found that to be true. The more you exercise it (the more you write), the more easily the words come. 'Born writers', those who were writing books as soon as they were old enough to write, might not always see it that way. I suspect that many of them don't even remember what those early attempts at writing stories was like, they were so young at the time. I remember. If you know anything about me at all, you know I used to be an engineer. (The IBM kind, not the train driver.) I remember clearly my first attempt to put story to paper, and it was NOT easy. Slowly, it got easier and easier, the words coming more quickly as my writing muscle strengthened. I'm not sure I'll ever call writing easy. And I'll probably never be a particularly fast writer. But yes, absolutely, the whole process is a thousand times easier for me now than it was when I started. Without qualifiers.

The qualifiers come in when I talk about the stories themselves, or the plotting. In general, the plotting, or story development, is also a thousand times easier than when I started. Considering I knew nothing of story structure back then, that's probably not too hard to imagine. (Physics, thermodynamics, operations research, yes. Anything to do with creative writing, no.) In each of my early books, I learned something new. Usually what not to do next time, or what to look for when I started to have trouble. In general, the books come together pretty easily once I figure everything out these days.

But every now and then, one of the characters (almost always a difficult one) throws a wrench into the works and sends me scrambling. Jag, the hero of Rapture Untamed was one such character. He was the resident bad boy, and not in a nice way. The guy was an ass and, at first, flat out refused to be the hero of his own book. The heroine, Olivia, and I had to drag him to it, kicking and screaming. He had it in him, even if he didn't see it.

Another problem character has been Melisande, the heroine of A Love Untamed, Feral Warriors book 7, which comes out in December. There's nothing quite like the challenge of making the villainess of one story (Hearts Untamed in the Bitten By Cupid anthology) into the heroine of another. And as you can imagine, she wasn't the least bit cooperative about it. It took four tries to get her story right, but in the end, I came to love her. As did Fox/Kieran (her intended mate), although I will say, he saw her far more clearly than I did at first, and fell in love with her while I was still fighting with her.

My latest character challenge? The vampire Arturo Mazza from my Vamp City series. I hesitate to call him the hero just yet because, like Jag, this male has a looong way to go to earn that title. And no real interest in claiming it. Unlike Jag, he has five books to get there (or I have five books to get him there). Arturo is a bit like Damon Salvatore in the Vampire Diaries in that while there's honor and goodness deep inside of him, they don't always show. Arturo is one manipulative, dangerous vamp. It will take Quinn Lennox, the heroine of the series, a long time to fully understand this male. I understand him just fine and can already tell that I'm in for a rough ride. I'm pushing up my sleeves, ready to dive into the writing of book 2. Wish me luck!

P.S. A Blood Seduction (Vamp City book 1) comes out May 29th. RT BookReviews calls it: “A  wonderfully intriguing and chilling launch!” Check out the book trailer, below.


sin said...

Hi Pamela, Thank you for sharing with us. I agree with what you said about Jag. The bad boy you really wanted to knock into next week to straighten up. :)

As for Melisande. Well in Hearts Untamed I wanted to throttle that woman. Then in Esctasy Untamed I thought it was soooo funny when the new Foxx liked her. Thought to myself "hee she is going to be his mate and is in for it". Can not wait to see how she comes around.

The little bit of A Blood Seduction I read on your blog makes me wish for the end of May to read it. If the lead, Arturo is anything like Damon all I can say is "ought oh". That is one bad boy who really wants to do good for the woman he loves/cares about.

Bonnie said...

Hi Pamela,
It was fabulous seeing you at RT.
Thank you for writing this post. I'm a new writer and have finished the first draft of one of my manuscripts. It's frustrating because I have to take so many classes to learn the revising and editing process. I have a long road ahead of me before I can say "I get it." I'm hoping once I learn all the tools this process will go a lot quicker. Patience is not one of my strong points.
I'm glad to know even experienced authors sometimes have to roll up their sleeves and kick some character butt. I'm also happy that you said it will get easier.
Again, thank you for this post.... I see a light at the end of the tunnel.

I absolutely LOVED your trailer!


Jennifer @ The Book Nympho said...

Great post. I loved A Blood Seduction.

Jocelynn Drake said...

Great post. Eight books written and some days it feels like I'm writing my first. I can't wait to read the new series.

:) Still. Love me some Jag.

Amy Valentini said...

Hi Pamela,
Great posting. One of the reasons why, once I find an author I enjoy both as a writer and as storyteller, I continue to follow their books is because I enjoy watching their talent grow and expand. You're a great example of that. A BLOOD SEDUCTION illustrates just how far you've come as a writer and as a storyteller. Brava! I suspect this series is going to show off your talent at its best.

As an aspiring author, one of the things that holds me back is my leaning toward perfectionism. I go back and rewrite scenes over and over until it's what I believe it should be. I even read my own blog posts over and over a half dozen times before I hit the publish button. How do you keep from getting caught up in the "just let me tweek this a little more" trap? Because I do this, I can never seem to finish.

Happy Mother's Day to you and to all the other Moms! : )

Sharon Stogner said...

I am looking forward to your new series! I love a long journey from anti-hero to hero :)congrats on the new series. Sending you a virtual basket of puppies! don't worry the don't poop or eat.

GLORIA said...

I can't wait for anything you write!! (of course I am DYING for Wulfe LOL)