First off, I want to thank all of you who helped me with the cover! I REALLY, REALLY appreciate your feedback. You’re wonderful! Thank you so much!
I’m terrible at making decision, but – thanks to your assistance – I have selected the third version for the cover of Riddle in Stone.
GOD HELP ME IF I PICKED WRONG!!!!
Second, I want to recap why I’m blogging.
The main reason is because my publisher and agent told me to. Robbie does what he’s told.
But I’m also hoping that I can help any of you who want to become published. I’m not an expert or anything by any means, but I’ve learned a few things over the past couple years and some of it may be of use to some of you.
So what I want to talk about today is “the first draft.”
You see, I think one of the biggest issues new writers (including myself) have is that we get discouraged easily. We write something one day, read it the next, and think, “Holy crap! This sucks!”
And it does.
That’s where most of us give up. We throw the paper in the recycling bend and vow never to write again!!!
Sound familiar my dear reader?
I think it was Hemingway who said, “First drafts are shit.”
No matter who you are or how long you’ve been writing, your first draft is going to stink compared to the final draft. That’s just how it is!
Writing is rewriting.
I have to remind myself of this now because I’m beginning the third manuscript of my series and I keep getting very discouraged whenever I go back and read the pages I’ve written.
They’re horrible! Absolutely HORRIBLE! I can picture my incredible wife reading them and saying, “Honey, I love you. But this is all crap. Please move out.”
But first drafts are supposed to be horrible. That’s their function.
The first draft is a skeleton. It’s where you put the bones of the story. The second, third, fourth, and tenth drafts will be where you flesh out the story, adding details, correcting spelling errors, and so forth.
I’ve written about fifty pages of my third manuscript and there are incomplete sentences all over the place. There are scenes that are half finished. I have characters who are named “X” and “Y.” I introduced a character and I have no idea what his purpose is. I don’t know what he’ll do in the rest of the story. He just popped in! If he doesn’t do anything worth doing, I’ll kick him out. Most of those fifty pages will be deleted by the end anyway!
And that’s okay….
First drafts are shit.
The joy of first drafts is that you get to see, in rough cut, where everything is going and who turns into something unexpected. Maybe this strange character who popped onto my page will be brilliant and steal the spotlight. Maybe he’ll deserve his own story. Who knows? That’s the magic of writing!
First drafts are the creation stage. Everything after that is the “fixing” stage.
Please don’t give up because the first draft is beyond bad. Keep writing and fix it all later. Follow the stream and find out where it takes you!
Well, that’s my two cents worth for today. Thanks for stopping by. And thanks again to all of you who have helped and befriended me over the past month or so. You’ve made my writing, and life, much better. Thank you all very much!
See you in a few days.