Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The End, Part 1

I finished another book. I don’t know how many this makes. I could count, but the number would be depressingly high considering how many I’ve had published (a big, fat goose egg, by the way, although considering some of my efforts, that’s probably a good thing :P).

So it’s the end, but not the end. Draft one is done, but it’s, well, not something I’d share with anyone. Ever. Not that it doesn’t have the potential to be better—far from it! I really love this story, even if I’m not sure how popular a future-fiction-action-adventure book would be with readers. It’s still great though. Or it will be once I get through with editing.

Editing is a big process, bigger than writing the book itself. Right now, MALICE is just under 100K, longer than it should be, full of subplots that went nowhere but are in because I thought they would (outlining! <shakes fist>), and words I just stuck in there because I could figure out exactly what I was trying to say (anyone else have writing moments like that?). Plus I think the book has unacceptable levels of telling instead of showing. And all the things I need to research, world building details I have to add, and, what’s it called? Descriptions.

So. I have my work cut out for me. It took something like two and a half months to write. Editing is going to take considerably longer. I need to do a read aloud, take notes of what needs to be fixed, fix said notes, about a billion other things. Then beta reads. And more notes to fix. Always more notes.

I can honestly say I don’t know when I’ll be able to write “The End” and mean it, or if that will ever be the case. All I can do is keep typing.

What do you do after you finish draft number one? What’s your editing process like? Please share, and don’t skimp on the details! : )


  1. Two and a half months, huh? That was fast! Only once did I write a whole first draft that fast, and it was a sequel.

    It sounds like the first draft comes quickly for you, and revision/editing is longer. It's the opposite for me. First drafts are a horrible, torturous process for me, full of self-doubt and confusion.

    My second draft is usually the one where I finally pare it down to the real story -- getting rid of all those subplot lines that went nowhere and refining my character's voice a bit.

    The third and fourth drafts are where I really dig into voice more, clear up plot holes, and shave off as many extra words as I can. Each round of revision usually takes less time than the previous one, and none of them take as long as the first draft.

  2. I hate writing the first draft and enjoy the edits.
    Most say to wait, but I usually start editing right away. By the time I finish a manuscript, I've forgotten how it began...

  3. That's very fast for finishing a first draft.

    I tend to set aside an alloted amount of time for editing before I move onto something else each day. You get distracted easily if you try to exceed it.

  4. It depends on how long it is. If it's a book, I set it up on CreateSpace and have them send me a proof copy. Once I have the proof, I edit out of that.

  5. Two and a half months to write a draft? That's awesome. These days, it seems to take me that long to write a chapter.

    I have lots of spots in my first drafts with things like *INSERT CHARACTER NAME HERE* or *FINISH THIS SENTENCE WHEN YOU THINK OF THE CORRECT WORD*

    When I get ready to edit, I put the manuscript away for a while. At least one week, but usually two or more. That way when I go back to it, I'm seeing it with clearer eyes. Then I print out a copy, stick it in a three-ring binder and go to work on it with a blue highlighter and a red pen. I read the entire thing out loud to myself, too. That always helps me.

    Best of luck to you...

  6. That's really fast for a first draft. I hand write the first draft, and every ten pages or so, I stop and enter it into the computer, so my first edit happens then.

  7. I have a bad habit of editing as I go in the first draft. I end up causing myself more problems than I fix so I've been fighting that a lot lately. I also write a first draft in a month or two, and then I spend the next three or four months editing it down until I'm happy with the flow. Then it's off to betas (at least it was until my last two betas bailed on me) and then I edit based on their notes. I give it one more polish and then it's done. For a while at least.

  8. Congrats on finishing your first draft! I've heard horror stories about the editing process but I'm sure it's not so bad if you know what you're doing. I've never finished a story (except a screenplay like 10 yrs ago -- talk about embarrassing!) so I wouldn't know what that's like. I've lost my writing mojo and I'm trying to reclaim it by writing a story this summer. There will be lots of telling as it's going to read like a character's journal. That's about all i can do at the moment :/

  9. How do I edit? That's a long story. I mean it. It's really long. And constantly changing. One of these days I might even figure it out.

  10. First, congratulations on finishing draft 1, that is awesome. After I finish D1, I'll have a drink (or two) and put my ms away for a few days, then I'll hit the edits. It's great that you're excited about your story, it'll make the edits that much less gruelling. After the first round of edits, you may want to think about getting a couple beta readers before attacking round two. Good luck and I hope you get to write The End (and mean it) sooner rather than later!

  11. I tend to edit as I go. I go back for a read-through or two of each scene, then move on. Once I'm done, I go back for an entire ms read, to see if anything jumps out at me plausibility or story-wise. Then it's off the the betas and critters.

    Of course, somewhere in there is the doc search for common mistakes I tend to make (drug for dragged, etc.).

    The best advice I can give is not to keep re-reading parts. Just get it done, then go back after you've had some distance from earlier scenes. ;)

  12. Congrats on finishing the first draft!



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