Five Troubles of Being a Prolific Writer by Suzanne D. Williams

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When I set out to write fiction, I decided to go against the grain and put out as many stories as I could in a short amount of time. My plan wasn’t to write sloppy stories (after all, what author plans to do that?) but to concentrate on novellas. To date, I have 42 books for sale at Amazon. This year alone, I have released 19 (novels and novellas)

Now, I put the numbers out there fully aware that my methods are controversial to some. But every writer’s style is different, the method they use to craft a story unique to them, and the time period it takes him or her to complete a single tale structured to their individual lives. What I do isn’t what she does or him or that one over there, and there’s nothing wrong with any of that. We don’t have to be alike.

However, there are a few things that happen when you have so many books released, and they change your behavior. Here’s my top five.

1. Your character names get creative.

A city in New Jersey. Something Italian, sounds like pasta. A girl’s name that could be a boy. A title, that isn’t a name at all.

Name lists are my dear friends. I have dozens bookmarked and can tell you which ones work better for me. Adding in foreign names is a plus; the more unusual, the more I tend to like it. Plus, I try to avoid, as much as possible, the names everyone is using. (I’ve partially failed at this, but I like to think the surname saved them.)

Still, after all that, sometimes I get totally stumped who a character should be. Personally, I have a hard time using the names of people I know. But once you have so many characters, it definitely happens. One thing I will never do is use my own name. I did have a Susan (which is NOT my name), but there will never be another Suzanne. It’s simply too creepy.

2. You can’t remember character names from story to story.

Was his name Mark or Matt? Didn’t I have a Tanner somewhere? Was that Taylor, the girl, or the Taylor family?

For the most part, I remember all my characters, but on occasion, someone mentions one and I get them reversed. I’m not alone. I’ve heard others misspeak. It happens. I think there’s a limit to what a brain can contain at any one time and when it gets too full, something shifts internally. At least, that’s what I tell myself.

3. Ye olde repetitive storyline.

I write romance, so boy meets girl IS repetitive.

Believe it or not, you can start a story in an unusual way, have great characters with interesting names, feel like you’re really on the ball and have good writing flow, then get to the end and realize it’s a carbon copy of another you’ve written, or, on occasion, a story you read.

Truth is, there are only so many times you can come up with something totally unique. At some point, you will start doing something similar in any small way to something else. I have tons of stories I haven’t completed for that very reason. I lost my inspiration when it felt like a duplicate.

On another level, there are storylines out there I refuse to write – the ones that have been overdone. Unless … I find a way to twist it to fit my own personality. When this happens, it’s generally unplanned, and that makes it far more special to me.

4. I don’t have time to read and review.

“I have this story. Would you trade reviews?”

I’d love to, but I cannot put out so many stories, eat, sleep, go to work, AND read. I’m lucky to take in a chapter a week anymore.

Then there’s the difficulty of reviewing. I’ve had to make a policy not to review for authors I know. It’s simply too hard for me to not step on toes. That said, if I read something I love, I’m going to say so, regardless of who wrote it. That’s common courtesy and a Biblical principle—speak the good, not the bad. I wish others would remember it.

5. Everyone’s a critic.

“I can tell you where you went wrong.”

Not every story I write appeals to everyone. I’ve had the same story get both high and low reviews, on the low end, for some of the most ridiculous or offensive reasons. I’ve decided I can’t afford to care. Now, don’t misunderstand me. I care that you read the story. But if I go around soaking in every comment made to me, I’d never move on to other things and come away eternally unhappy at the same time.

The negativity of life will get you down if you let it. Sometimes the best plan is to simply move on. After all, when I released that a story, it was exactly how I wanted it, and I have no intention on changing it to fit one person’s ideas. Drastically altering a book at a later date (and I’m not talking simple grammar or spelling edits) shows weakness on my part, implying I didn’t know what I was doing in the first place.

I’ve learned to be proud of my work and humbled by the positive attention anyone gives me.

There are many other things I have learned along the way – to slow down and enjoy the writing process, to laugh at stupid mistakes, to be grateful for people who consistently appreciate my work, to support other authors because we all depend on each other, and lastly, to be generous. From what God has blessed me, I should take the time to share, expecting nothing in return. That is the foundation of Christianity. God gave freely, and so I must follow His example and do the same.

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This was standing in one place and yet seeing nothing but his face. This was thousands of miles between them and home, and yet having beside her all she’d ever need to feel complete. This was long days and longer nights dedicated to the look in his eyes, the brush of his hands, the sound of his voice. This was one beautiful kiss where the world fell away and nothing remained but the mingling of their breath.

—–

When Celia Boyle asked Gator Lawrence to take her on vacation, she had no idea that such a simple request would become so incredibly complicated. All she wanted was seven blissful days of beach sand, ocean waves, and tropical sun.

But now, her sister’s sudden visit, her own misspoken statement, and a threat by Gator’s dad to send him out of town, jeopardizes everything. Unless, they take things in their own hands and go anyway.

Yet sometimes life has a lesson to share that only experience can teach, and it could be what they’re both looking for has been with them all along.

A sweet romance by best-selling author, SUZANNE D. WILLIAMS.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Best-selling author, Suzanne D. Williams, is a native Floridian, wife, mother, and photographer. She is the author of both nonfiction and fiction books. She writes a monthly column for Steves-Digicams.com on the subject of digital photography, as well as devotionals and instructional articles for various blogs. She also does graphic design for self-publishing authors.

Suzanne Williams

To learn more about what she’s doing and check out her extensive catalogue of stories, visit http://suzanne-williams-photography.blogspot.com/ or link with her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/suzannedwilliamsauthor.

 

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1 Comment

  1. This absolutely resounded with me! The only thing that I don’t do is write many stories in a short amount of time. I want to, eventually; but right now, I’m simply honing my craft at a very slow pace. Thank you for the post! =)

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