Tuesday, December 18, 2012

My Rough Draft is Crappier Than Yours!

So you get to the end of your rough draft! Yay! Congratulations! Sure, it's rough- I wonder if that's how it got its name...yes. It is because rough drafts are supposed to stink like last month's dirty diapers. Thank goodness mine doesn't disappoint.

Okay fine. So maybe I'm being overly critical (or dare I say it...dramatic?!) but I haven't been able to take my eyes off of it since I completed it and since it's been hard to concentrate on anything else (see date of last blog post for confirmation), and the more I look at it the more I feel like taking a red pen and marking out every. single. word.

Then I "talk" to my Facebook writer's group- a collection of people from whom I receive a huge amount of support (which is something fantastic indeed since a lot of online writer's groups post a lot of self-promotion and not a lot of writer-to-writer talk)- and I read about what to do next, and I'm told by anyone who has walked this path to step away from it for a good long while- 4 to 6 weeks to be exact- which may seem like a small task, even a blessing, but when you are wholly vested in the 60,000+ words of your story and you have a date in mind when you want to see it on your shelf (summer 2013), you don't have time to dilly dally with letting your story marinate and your eyes see it fresh. Fresh. I can look at it with fresh eyes after only 4 days- just watch me. Oh wait, go back to previous text...It stinks. Mark out every word. Start all over again.

Seriously, people, at this point, I've totally rewritten about 2,000 words with a totally new voice, a new story line in mind, and you guessed it- a new working title. Know another way to describe this...yeah- writing a NEW BOOK. I don't know if that is covered under the guise of editing but I'm about to find out.

If you clicked on this post hoping to get a tidbit of advice from an old pro- back up in your browser and try the next article- this girl is as green as green bowl full of green peas in the green grass covered in moldy green mint cookies. Green, green, green. However, if you clicked on this hoping to commiserate, laugh at a completely disillusioned writer, or perhaps feel a little better that you only want to mark out every. other. word, then let's hug and have a good laugh because that's what I'm here for.

If you think that this is a sign of me giving up. Forget it. Not happening. If you think that this is the sign of me reading any and everything regarding editing, rewriting, and bugging every person I know that has published a book for sage-like advice, then ding-ding! you're totally on target. (And no, I am not feeling aggressive, just passionately convincing myself that failure is not an option.)

Get your red pens ready...in 4 to 6 weeks.

Uh-huh- I've cartooned myself editing without a shirt on. I work from home, aren't you glad?


  1. Breath...just breath! And LOL I love your cartoon freak at the end. Reminds me of the one (I still have btw) that we took turns drawing in Paint and it looks like this ones elf brother. LOL. Hilarious. I wonder where that is for me to dig out. In some box somewhere I'm sure. HUGS, sis. You are doing great. What I read was fabulous. You should listen to the pros and take the required break. It'll still publish in plenty of time. Breath!

    1. :) Thanks, though I cannot believe that you still have that thing. We were so hip drawing on the computer in the early 90's.

  2. I attended a webinar hosted by Writer's Digest by James Scott Bell on Revision and Self-Editing. It was AWESOME! He has a book of the same title available for sale on the Writer's Digest website. I purchased it and it has already been helpful even though I haven't finished my book.

    That having been said, I'm so PROUD of you for finishing your novel and I bet it doesn't "stink" as bad as you think it does!! I look forward to reading it!!!!

  3. Thank you Lee Ann. I will send it to you after I get the next draft done...I have that same book on its way to my door. I've read his book, Plot and Structure, and it was really good too.


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