I am working very hard on my first book with my fabulous editor, Jamie, to publish the best story that we can publish. The book is on it’s 15th or 16th edit. When look back at what Tazeric, Sword of Light and Dark was when I first put out a draft, I’m am amazed at all the work we had to put in to get it to a book that can be published.
“I’m writing a first draft and reminding myself that I’m simply shoveling sand into a box, so later, I can build castles.” ~Shannon Hale
What I had to learn was that the first draft is not the final product. The first draft is what it is, a first try at forming a novel to publish. Many authors tell stories of tossing out a quarter to thirty percent of their first draft. When I was writing my first draft, it was to get my ideas onto paper, or in my case, onto a computer, to that I can later, as Shannon wrote, build castles.
“The first draft of anything is shit.” ~ Earnest Hemingway : To put it bluntly.
Don’t fret fellow writers, because the first draft is also a wonderful place to unload ideas, characters, settings, build scenes and so much more that may or may not wind up on the cutting room floor. ( To barrow a film reference.) You should have fun with your first draft, that’s what it’s there for. Reach out your creative mind and let go. Some ideas will work. Some ideas will wow and surprise you, and other ideas may frighten you because you did not know that you were that dark.
“Writing the last page of the first draft is the most enjoyable moment in writing. It’s one of the most enjoyable moments in life.” Nicholas Sparks
“If your willing to do something that might work, you’re closer to being an artist.” ~ Seth Godin
So, lets pull back on there reins for a moment and talk about what it takes to get to the point when you have molded your story into a one that you and your fab editor agree it’s ready to launch. For my book, this process has taken about 3 years. I published my first book in 2019 and was not happy with it. I start to look around for an editor that can take the story through the finish line. I wanted an editor that would work with my vision of how the book should be. I wanted an editor that would communicate with me openly and honestly. I found one in Jamie Aughenbaugh. (Her wed site is posted in an earlier blog. Please go and visit Jamie, she is wonderful.)
So, the final draft and what it takes to get there. In one word, work. It take a lot of hard work to get to a place were you are ready to launch you project into the wilds of the publishing world. It takes being able to listen to your Beta readers. Remember your beta readers, they are very useful in help shaping your book. You have to able to take criticism, positive and negative and turn it into creative energy directed into your book. Then finally, the you as a writer need to turn off that writer’s part of your brain and simply read your book and a reader.
The final draft should bring you joy and a feeling of accomplishment that you have cross the writing finish line! All that hard work, hours of rewrites and arguing with yourself about if you should kill off that one character or not. The feeling that this story is going nowhere and you should just give up. All those feeling go out the window when you read your work, as a reader, for the first time. It’s like seeing color in a black and white world for the first time in your life.
“Books choose their authors, the act of creation is not entirely a rational and conscious one.” Salman Rushdie
I’ll finish by saying that I love to write. I have always loved writing as an creative outlet for all those incredible stories that are running around in my head. Writing is an outlet that I hold close to my heart.
Thank you friends for reading this.