Learning as I Write

As I approach the publication of my 3rd novel, I wanted to take a minute to reflect on 3 things I have learned as I write. :D 1. Always have a back-up plan My 1st published novel, Whatever you Make of It, was "done" many years before it was published (and I know this based on who I was dating at the time -- an odd calendar, I know). When I pulled up my "finished" novel, the entire second half of it (or Rebecca's story, for those of you who have read it) was, and forgive me for my technical speak, but the entire second half of my novel was "gobbledeegook" completely and totally unfixable...and for whatever reason, the draft I had written out long hand, also disappeared. I had to redo the entire second half of my novel, and while I tell myself my rewrite made for a better story, I also now have a back up...2 flash drives and an emailed copy. :D 2. Always think about your character names If you're planning a sequel, you better really love your character names. I don't want to reveal anything about Arianna's Destiny, so forgive my being a little vague here. This presented a problem twice between the publication of Arianna's Honor and Arianna's Destiny which is soon-to-be published, where the name of one character I loved happened to share the name of a recent ex, which now leaves an unpleasant taste in my mouth, but I can't change his name in the book any more than I can change the name of a very minor character in Arianna's Honor who plays a bigger role in Arianna's Destiny. This one isn't an ex-boyfriend, it just occurs to me too late that his name doesn't really fit him. Ah well...lesson learned. 3. Always know your limitations. I wanted Arianna's Destiny to be out last December. That was the game plan from last September on...and then the combination of a full-time teaching job which I love and Seasonal Affective that I hate...well it's June now. So I think people can connect the dots. But I should have known better than to try and publish in winter and then it took me too long to be productive and stop berating myself for not having my 3rd novel done yet. Things get finished when they are meant to...and Arianna deserves an ending that is not written when the world is cold and gray.