Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Switching Gears

Thank you for your excitement and good wishes, everybody! You'll hear all about what happens, never fear!

Now that the revision has been sent off to meet its fate, I'm back to working full-force on As Long As I'm Lying (which is just a working title). I'm about halfway through the first draft.

First drafts... they're both insanely beautiful, with all their unlimited potential, and hideously ugly, with all their spelling and grammar flubs and absolute plotlessness. Switching the gears from 'polish-polish-polish' mode to 'messy first draft' mode is hard! My brain is still of the mindset that everything I write has to be perfect, every i has to be dotted and every t has to be crossed.

I think I need to write a detailed letter to my brain, instructing it on what to do.

Dear Brain,

This is a first draft. The characters are going to be all wonky, especially in the beginning. And that's okay: we don't really know them yet. The voice is going to inconsistent. That's okay: the POV character is still a total stranger. The description is going to be clunky. That's okay: we're not at the stage where it needs to be perfect yet.

Once we've gotten to those marvellous words, The End, that is when you can get back into this editing-frenzy you've got going on right now. I'll really need you in that mode then. But for now, please tone it down. Please just take joy in the messiness of this first draft. Please laugh at my clunky, terrible descriptions and adverbs instead of beating me up over them. Please try to have fun with creation instead of getting way too serious over it.


PS - but please don't take away my ability to spell correctly. Without it, the editing stage will be that much harder for you.


  1. I wish there was a "like" button for blog entries.


  2. Sometimes it's really difficult to not jump ahead and plunge into editing mode, isn't it? :P I have found it's like that for me!

  3. I'm back to say...
    I gave you an award :)

  4. Ooooh I have been stuck in draft-mode for so long that I can't imagine going into strict edit mode.


  5. This is how I fear I will be with my next novel. It's so hard. Usually when I write I just write without thinking, and after three pages I go back and edit like crazy. Gosh darn perfectionism!

    <3 Gina Blechman

  6. I'm an editor too! I always want to go back. I try to handwrite a lot of my first draft and then type it up. It alleviates the editing a bit.