Thursday, March 7, 2013

First Drafts

Okay, you guys, I'm almost finished with my first draft of The Feast: A Parable of the Ring. I've just got to add the spiritual guide at the end of the book to make it reflect what I did on the first book, Conquering Your Goliaths: A Parable of the Five Stones.

First drafts are kind of like all the warmth and inner stuff mixed in with some awkwardly constructed sentences and paragraphs. There is joy, and there is yet work.

When I finish my first draft of anything, I usually feel a sense of relief, and then reality kicks in and I realize that it's going to need some editing.

I usually do this in one of two ways:

1. I have some of my writer friends read and critique it
2. I put it out to readers who usually read my genre

Either or both options have helped me thus far, though I will admit hiring a paid editor would also work.

I've spoken a lot about editing, but not much about perspective. It seems like when I write something and I see it, that the seeing doesn't always translate into the same reading material for others. Sometimes this frustrates me, especially when I've worked hard on a scene or phrase and someone editing my book doesn't like it, or 'get it.' There are times I wonder if what I've written has really come from my heart.

When I get feedback that doesn't go along with my game plan, I usually do one of two things:

1. I read the book again out loud (with their suggestions inserted and compare it to my original)
Photo by:, courtesy of Flickr
2. I ask someone else reading the same passage what they thought of it. This usually gives me a good clue if the scene or sentence is really working, or if the problem is just a differing opinion.

Photo by: Charles Haynes, courtesy of Flickr
Just because I like chocolate cake, for example, doesn't mean that everyone does. They might like strawberry or lemon chiffon.

The good news is that, in this case particularly, I can see where they're going, even if it's down another lane.

We all travel down different lanes, and we learn what we need to learn from the words we read. Who says we all need to learn exactly the same thing at exactly the same time?

Have you ever written something that a reader took a different way than you originally meant it? I'd like to hear about it.


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