Conversation between me and Felicity Smith (the lead female character in The Spectraland Saga):
Me: Remember when I was writing the first book? Secret of the Songshell?
Felicity: Yeah, so what?
Me: Well, since that was my first book, all I had to focus on was writing it. Now, I'm trying to promote that book while I write the next one at the same time.
Felicity (rolls eyes): Is there a point to all of this?
Me: It's making the second book come along a bit slower.
Felicity: A bit.
Me: Okay, yeah, a lot slower.
Felicity: Wow, so you found out that doing two things at once is harder than doing just one thing. That's groundbreaking. Well, listen, I gotta go.
Me: Don't you want to hear more about the second book? You're in it, you know.
Felicity (sighs): Fine.
Me: So with the first book, I had, like, a detailed outline - full chapter summaries and everything. That made it pretty easy to write the first draft, which I finished in about four months. This time around, I thought, "Man, I'm really busy, but I need to get going on Book Two. I have a rough idea of how I want the story to go . . . hey, why don't I try winging it?"
Felicity (looks at watch):
Me: After a few months, I was able to get about 17,000 words down - you know, close to 70 pages. Then last week, I sat down and re-read them. I mean, really re-read them. And you know what?
Me: I didn't really like them. I thought, wow, you know, this isn't turning out quite the way I wanted. There were parts I loved, sure, but overall, I just didn't care for the direction it was going in. I think I can salvage chunks of it, but I . . . I'm going to start from scratch.
Felicity: You have any diet soda here?
Me: In the fridge. But yeah, I found out that the whole winging-it thing just isn't for me. So I'm working on detailed chapter summaries now, and I'm really excited about how they're turning out. I think that even though it feels like I've lost time, I really haven't, because I wrote, I got some great ideas down, and I learned a good lesson about how to approach writing the rest of the series. I think that once this outline is done, the book will almost write itself, and the whole thing will end up going a lot faster in the long run as a result. And, of course, I'll have a much better book. Isn't that cool?
Felicity (takes gulp of soda): Hey, as long as everything turns out good for me - and Joel, too, I guess - then great, whatever.
Me: Um, yeah . . . turns out good . . . sure . . .