Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My Publishing Journey--Part 6

Writing update: Yesterday I turned in a non-fiction book with my co-author, Angela Eschler. We are really excited for the book to go through the evaluation process. It's called: Not as the World Giveth: Christ's Gifts to Women.

Read Part 5 here.

My Publishing Journey

Part 6
I started writing “Of Goodly Parents” (my first book published) in the summer of 2002. It came out in the fall of 2004.

27 months.

It sounds like forever. But it’s the business. Some of my manuscripts wouldn’t be published, others would take much longer than 27 months, my 2010-release novel (Alma the Younger) was as short as 11 months from first word to release date.

The difference between writing my “first” book (as in the book that was actually published) and my “second” book was the timeline and the feeling of pressure. My first book was all self-motivated, with a deadline in mind, but very open-ended. My second book was the opposite. Every word written and every hour spent on research was with a deadline facing me. And with the thought of “someone will be reading or editing the paragraph I’m now writing.” That thought was very surreal. Now that I had experienced the creation of a novel from start to finish, it was pretty amazing to begin the process all over again.

It also took a lot of motivation and patience. Motivation to crank out my daily and weekly writing goals, and patience to know that eventually the few pages I was able to write each day WOULD become a full-length manuscript in a few months.

You’ll be happy to know that I did meet my Dec 1 deadline, but Christmas shopping would have to wait. I was called as Primary President in my ward right before Thanksgiving. And as you know, December is probably the busiest month for that assignment. I remember one comment from a lady at a ward Christmas party was, “I guess you won’t be writing books anymore since you’re primary president.” I don’t think the lady knew I’d just spent two months getting up at 4 a.m.

I survived December (and January! Which is also busy) and did so for the next four years. Serving as Primary President did keep me busy, but it also kept me serving, which is always a good thing.

Edits for book two came around, and luckily I had the same editor for my second book as my first. One of the first things he said to me was to cut down the number of points of view in the novel. I had 9 and he wanted 4. I think I ended up keeping 5 points of view, but it was a major undertaking. It didn’t change the plot or the characters, but it took time to go into each scene and revise so that we were in a different point of view.

Now, looking back, point of view is a very important writing tool. The point of view character in each scene should be the character who will be the most effected in that scene.


Michael Knudsen said...

Sounds like this is the time when you really settled into the habits and gained the knowledge that has resulted in the great books you've produced so far! Steady effort and commitment is just as important as talent.

Heather B. Moore said...

Michael, just as with everything, patience and commitment is key :)

Rebecca Talley said...

Wow, Heather, you are amazing. I love reading about your publishing journey and your new book with Angela sounds great.

Heather B. Moore said...

Rebecca, it's fun to look back and write about it now. I guess I should have kept more of a writing journal, but maybe it's best I don't remember some of the nitty gritty things :-)

Tanya Parker Mills said...

"The point of view character in each scene should be the character who's most affected in that scene."

Interesting. I hadn't realized that before. It's made me re-think a couple of my scenes in The Reckoning, wondering if I had it wrong.

Love your series, by the way.