Thursday, March 10, 2022

Switching Gears

Posted by: Nicole Luiken

 I recently finished writing the first draft of a YA novel, a fairytale retelling with the working title of The Redemption of Prince Charming. Because my process is weird I always let my first drafts "rest" for awhile so that I can come back to them with a fresh eye. However, I don't like to do two first drafts in a row.

Okay, that's a lie. I'd love to write nothing but first drafts and chase all the shiny new ideas that come my way, but if I did I would never actually finish or publish anything so I don't allow myself to do two first drafts in a row. Which means picking a project to rewrite and switching gears into editing mode.

Some writers adore editing mode; I personally enjoy drafting mode more. Sure, I sometimes get stuck, but if I have a decent outline drafting mostly goes smoothly for me. Whereas editing mode is a lot more up and down. Sometimes I'm in the groove and can dig into polishing those sentences up. More often tedium sets in, especially in fourth or fifth drafts where I'm rereading the same scene for the umpteenth time and going over checklists. (Is there enough tension? Is there a scene hook and ending line? How's the dialogue? Does it show character arc? Did I forget to describe what the setting and any new characters look like? On and on.) 

Some days I feel like I'm just poking at the manuscript rather than making actual progress.Sigh.

I think its time to make myself a pretty bar graph to colour in, so that I can see that I am actually making progress, even if slowly.

Back to the  grind...

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