A recurring topic of mine is how it is very important for one to understand one’s rhythm in writing, that you should never compare your own writing pace and style to other people’s because it is all unique.
I’d like to explore this topic further today by saying that you must also understand that your own rhythm will vary depending on which story you write.
I’m working on three major stories at the moment, the first one is what I have called “The Project” which is my own piece of original writing that I’m working on in the blind hope that one day it might get published. The other two projects are fan-fiction series, one called The Darkest Hour which is a saga length look at one young woman’s life and the other is the epilogue to my “Touch” series which is a very popular Kim Possible fan fiction story which essentially takes a look at how one even can change a person’s life.
Each of these stories are very unique, the flow, feeling and tension is each is different and I’ve discovered that the pace on which I write with each is different as well. With The Darkest Hour for instance, I’m working with characters that I’ve known for years, so it’s easy to work out dialogue, pace and plot. I can easily write 2000 words in an hour and finish a chapter in a day or two. With my personal project, it’s a little bit different. I can write fairly quickly but I tend to return to my work a lot, looking at my actions, trying to guess how it will affect my Main Character’s lives. And, then of course – I have the Epilogue (A Touch of Drama). Here, every sentence that I write is so important, and every action so agonizing for the characters (I have not been nice to them) that I can easily spend two hours to write 200 words. At first, I had been devastated by this, and I couldn’t believe that I can take so long at writing something, when I’m essentially a very quick writer.
I then realized that it all comes down to rhythm and that each of these stories deserved their own time and their own pace. And, as the writer, it was my right to take as much time on them as I wished, as long as I continued to move forward rather than letting them stagnate (Epic Fail – See my fan fiction story Children of Darkness – that’s what happens if a story fails. Sigh).
The thing is also that if you try to force another story’s rhythm onto another one, you tend to force the story and force the plot and that’s the quickest way to loose track of where you want to go. And, if you loose track of where you were going, your readers will pick it up because they are smarter than you think. I learned this the hard way a couple of years ago and it was an excellent lesson.
So, if you are a writer out there – remember this. Not only is your rhythm of writing important, but also understanding the rhythm of each individual story. Like people and children, they are all unique and each of them deserves their own attention.