Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Book Order and Birth Order
The same goes with writing your first book. When I first got pregnant, I read a ton of books on being pregnant and parenting, like What to Expect When You're Expecting, My Pregnancy Week by Week, and Babywise. (Parent note: DO NOT SKIP AHEAD IN THESE BOOKS, because you will completely freak yourself out and you will think that everything that could possibly go wrong in your pregnancy IS going wrong at that very moment. Trust me, I've done the research!)
Likewise, when I first got the idea to write a novel I started reading up on the craft of writing. I started with The Complete Idiot's Guide to Writing a Novel, because at the time, that's exactly what I felt like: a complete IDIOT. I also read On Writing, Plot & Structure, and Writing the Breakout Novel. Much like reading ahead in the parenting books, I completely freaked myself out writing my first draft, because I was so terrified that I was doing it wrong that it completely killed my confidence. (I recommend reading one book on craft, THEN writing the first draft the way you want to write it, THEN reading the rest of the books to perfect it in the editing stage.)
Did I get everything right with my first child? Only time will tell (and I'm sure his therapist will one day give me a definitive "no" on that one!). Did I get everything right with my first book? I can say with certainty NO. But I've learned...hoo boy, have I learned. And the second go 'round has been much more painless than the first.
What do you think? Does the first child/first book - second child/second book theory hold true for you? If you're not a parent, do you feel like your second book has come easier than the first?