Welcome back. Before I start today, here are my excuses for not posting for over a week: I work hard (at my day job), I started plotting a new book, The horrible shooting at CT depressed me and well… I finished the first draft…
Ever feel like doing this?
Try writing a novel is all I can say… I mean don’t try, just write one!
I was happy to announce the completion of the first draft a few weeks ago and hinted to what comes next (Not without a sense of dread). I knew this was coming and still, I have to admit it’s even harder than I expected.
I’m not saying this to whine or (worse) try to deter anyone who might be considering writing. It’s just what I do. I share my experience here. So I won’t sugarcoat it. It’s not easy.
What am I doing these days, one might ask. Well, I am reading and re-reading my novel. Here’s my recipe (with current status):
- Write Novel (First Draft) – Done
- Read your novel and look for all the spelling, grammar mistakes. Look for logical loopholes (Second Draft) – Done.
- Read your novel and with no mercy slash and cut every word that doesn’t serve the story (Third Draft) – In progress.
- Read your novel OUT LOUD and focus on finding the spots where you stumble or pause. Fix these. Look for characters behaviors, speech etc. Do your characters look/sound/behave the same? Fix it (Fourth Draft). – Pending.
What do I intend to do with my fourth draft? Well, I’m busy lining up about 4 “Beta Readers” who will read it and let me have it! I have 2 waiting for me to get this done.
In retrospect, the first stage was tough. Probably the toughest.
The second draft was actually kind of fun. Once you finish the first draft you can’t wait to read the book. I completed that within 3 days.
Here’s where things get a little hard. You wrote the book. All the energy and excitement and the learning give you a great boost. You sit down to read your handy work, and while it still has plenty of things to fix, you smile with (hopefully) pride at your accomplishment. Sure, you change this or that, you strike this out, you write in a couple of things. You get to the end.
Now, you know you’re not done. But you just read the book… How many times did you re-read a book? I’m talking about a book written by a famous writer whom you love. How many times have you re-read it right after you finished it? I thought so…
You have a book and you KNOW the story. Heck, you wrote the damn thing… Yet, you can bet your life it’s far from being a final draft. So you start with another re-read. At this point you must develop a slight dislike for the writer… “Why did you write this?” or “What the hell are you saying with this sentence?”. Yet you push forward.
Think about this now. When you’re done with this third re-read, guess what?… you have to go right back to page 1 and…
But don’t despair… it will be over. I promise. Because in order to become a novelist you have to complete your novel. I fully intend on doing this.
Regarding my new novel, I’m plotting again (Refer to this post for more musings) and am getting excited about the concept.
What’s your experience with re-write? How do you motivate yourself? Let us know below.
Until next time…