Monday, October 26, 2009

Quality or quantity

I know I've been terribly neglectful of my blog as of late. I took Tristi Pinkston's challenge to try to write a book in a month (BIAM) so I have been busily trying to achieve that goal. I had given myself a little head start by beginning my current work in progress the last week of September and for the past several weeks, I have been working on the next installment of my Saint Squad books.

Knowing that my editor is sure to want me to edit Backlash (book 4) before too much longer, I've been hoping to finish the rough draft of this one before that work starts. Sure enough, I received an e-mail from my editor today asking a quick question as she was beginning the editing process. In the publishing world, I take it that I'll have a week (give or take) before I'll start getting the e-mails that remind me that it's time to spend some quality time with that project.

So today after spending the last four weeks focusing on just getting the words down on paper (or in computer as the case may be), I realized that I'm nearing the climax of this book and I still haven't quite got it figured out. Now, this isn't really anything new for me. I often don't know who the bad guy is until a scene unfolds, but this does get problematic when I'm trying to tie up loose ends.

Today I decided to take a day and not worry so much about quantity, but rather focus on the quality of what I have down so far. I skimmed through the first 200+ pages, tweaking a few inconsistencies and even giving a few nameless characters an identity to call their own. My word count was low throughout the morning, slowly building as the day went on as I added little pieces here and there. Ironically by the time I finished up, I actually had over 3,000 words, which is around what I shoot for each day.

I'd like to say that quality and quantity don't have to be mutually exclusive, but I also know that I still have a lot of editing to do before this current work will be ready for submission. Rather what I found was that by slowing down a bit, I rediscovered the enjoyment of the story and the excitement of looking forward to what happens next. Now if I can just figure out who the bad guy is!