Thursday, January 14, 2010

Phase Two - Revisions

Last September I was at a writer's conference, and took a class taught by Anita Stansfield. I have several pages of notes from that class, filled with great advice for aspiring authors. One part stood out to me stronger than the rest. It was something like this:

The first draft is to say what you want to say. The final draft is saying it how you want to. (And unfortunately, there is no magical number for how many drafts are done in between.)

When I started writing this manuscript, I had a general feel for how it would go. I knew where it would start, most of the main events that would happen, and how it would end. As I wrote, there were many times I found myself taking a jaunt down one path, realizing it was going somewhere I didn't need to go, and trying to find my way back. I now have several thousand words worth of completely useless ramblings.

I don't, however, feel like I wasted my time on those parts of the story. I learned so much during the writing process. I can actually see how my writing has improved, the further into the story I get.

My revised first chapter is completely different from the original. The first line is almost the same. The first paragraph is similar, but improved. After that, it's pretty much a re-write. I threw out most of it, and pulled things into the first chapter from several chapters ahead, which will cause me to do even more re-writing. But that's what this process called writing is, isn't it?

I don't know how many drafts I will go through, but at least I've started into this new phase of a writer's life.


Lance said...

You amaze me!

Andrea said...

Wow, I enjoy seeing the 'inside' of what a writer goes through, from start to finish. It's quite the adventure!

elizabeth mueller said...

Woohoo! So excited for you! I think I should probably write my musings down regarding my work, too, hu? I find it extremely interesting how other writers do it. What do you think????

Ronda Hinrichsen said...

Good for you! There are so many "wanna be" writers who never make it as far as you have. Again, congratulations and good luck.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to all for your encouragement and kind words. I hope to not disappoint any of you.