Sunday, January 20, 2008


First draft finished and (if I have to say so myself) I'm pretty pleased with it. Some parts tugged at my heart, other's scared me to death. AAAhhhhh, feels like a winner.
However, I've been here before. Finish off a novel. Hundreds of pages of writing that felt sooooo good when I sped through the first time, now I reread it and wonder--what the heck was I thinking?
All chapters aren't that bad, some are coming across damn good. (okay, just my humble opinion) Other's need work. Lots of work!
The rewrite and polishing are even harder then writing the story the first time. Right now I'm ready to move on to my next story-which I kinda started when I was about 100 pages into this one, sometimes things just jump into your head, I can't help it-but if this one is ever going to move from shelf to agent the dreaded rewrite has to be done. I just don't feel like it. I want to move ahead into the next story which is currently mapping itself out in my brain. And then there's the many solitare games that keep me sidetracked. (see photo)
Question: How do you keep up the motivation to get from first draft to finished product?


lainey bancroft said...

I am the Queen of the first draft. LOL.

Love 'em, usually think they are dripping with potential...but then I fall for a new first draft and those characters I slept with for weeks suddenly become exes I want nothing to do with. :(

Good thing my husband doesn't know about my long term commitment issues!

My son rigged Solitaire with a big red X that says virus...the little smart ass. I've replaced endless card games with endless blog hopping. So much more to be learned. Right?

Zoe Winters said...

Sometimes I have to take a little break. I let it cool for awhile and go ahead and work on something else. I've also done edits for one thing while writing rough draft for another thing. And I can't write my rough draft words until I finish a certain amount of edits, so I'm using my enthusiasm for the new project as a reward for editing on the old project. Or you could try doing what I'm doing right now. I feel bizarrely guilty about too much research and planning, like I'm procrastinating and not actually working, but if I'm doing it WHILE I'm editing something else, there is less of that feeling.

I went through this same feeling with the novel I'm working on final edits for right now. It feels a lot like the middle of the rough draft, but once you get started you'll pick up a second wind.

Even if you're just chipping away at it a little at a time, you're still working on it. Novels are big herculean feats, but you can do it.

Julie Weathers said...

Oh, congratulations. I understand completely where you're coming from. I look at parts of Paladin and think they are really good and other parts

Just getting it finished is a tremendous accomplishment.

Aimless Writer said...

I think the biggest problem is that I already have another story in my head and I'm ready to move on. First draft if play time, rewrite is homework.
But I'm trudging along.

Julie Weathers said...

I understand that. I am so mortally sick of rewriting the first chapter of Paladin I want to throw up.

I'm not entering any more contests or inviting any more comments until the book is finished. It just makes me want to throw it away and go to work on Dragon Valley. Or The Bard. Or Gibson's Girl. Or Dancing Horses. Or Autumn Daze. Or Over The Hill.

Yeah, I do need to concentrate.

Aimless Writer said...

Julie, I know what you mean! I have a story I really like but keep rewriting the opening over and over. I need the inspiration to get this finished and out the door.
I really liked the tongue opening in Dancing Horses. Great visuals!

Julie Weathers said...

Aimless, unless the opening will change the rest of the story/book, I would leave it alone.

For me, adding the death of the guard did change the book. That means rewrites on 38 chapters, but it's also what was missing.

Aside from that, I am going back to finishing it.

Compuserve Books and Writers' forum is having a firsts workshop and I foolishly got involved. I am right back to the opposite advice.

I think it often does depend on who is reading.