Just this afternoon I had cause to talk with Amazingly Awesome Editor Piya Campana about a project for next year. I had sent in a couple of ideas and we'd had some back-and-forth emails, trying to get it right. Today she called to discuss the latest incarnation, and in doing so, gave me the precise idea I needed. I jotted notes, we talked some more, she asked how I felt about it, and I said, Are you kidding? This is great! You did the hard part for me!"
And I meant it.
Ask any group of authors what's their least favorite part of writing a book, and you'll get as many answers as you have people. Some folks hate plotting: how do you decide among all those options? Some folks hate the first draft: so many unknowns! Some loathe revising: I'm sick of this story!
We won't even talk about how most authors feel when asked to write a synopsis.
I think it has a lot to do with our personalities. I've mentioned before that I am a homebody who likes the known, the familiar, the comfortable. Is it any surprise that I really hate starting a new book? Coming up with the concept ... figuring out what scenes will best tell the story ... writing those painful first chapters where everything has to be explained and the characters are still generic blobs to me ...
Basically, I dread everything leading up to and including the entire first draft. Which kind of sucks, since that's the part that takes the most time, you know?
My very favorite part, though comes at the end: the polishing. I love taking sentences and tweaking them, changing up words to make meanings clearer, adding a hint of rhythm or a sly little reference to a song lyric or some other wordplay. I believe this is what's known as wordsmithing. It's my reward and I always wish I had time to linger over this stage because seriously, it is The. Best.
But I can't linger. Because then it's time to start another book. And away we go again.
How about you folks? What's your favorite part of a project - the beginning, the middle, or the final stages? Fellow authors, what are your favorite/least favorite parts of writing a book?