Tuesday, May 07, 2013

The Light at the End of the Writing Tunnel

I got in some quality writing time on [working title] The Hot Pirate's Secret Baby, which I'm fairly certain will end up being titled The Pirate's Governess. I realized while walking the diva dachshund this morning that I could be finished with this first draft by the end of the month. My normal routine at that point is to set it aside for at least a week and do some research. This way, when I come back to the book I'm (ideally) seeing it with a fresh eye.

The next step is to go through it, fix obvious errors, and replace brackets. This is where I've been in the middle of a scene, and rather than stop and take time to add description, unless it's integral to the story, I write [DRESS] and come back later to fix it. I believe I learned that from Diana Gabaldon, so a tip of the hat to a mistress of the craft of writing. If I have to stop to research or check something, it can break the flow of the story. This is especially true when I'm in the middle of a scene with lots of dialogue, so I've learned to skip what's not vital and just keep writing ugly.

That's part of the process, "writing ugly". My first draft is full of sentence fragments, scenes that abruptly stop in the middle with a [FIX THIS] note attached, and lots of typos I pray either I or my beta readers will catch before I submit it to my publisher. I've learned from experience the most important part of writing a novel is to tell the story. Until I tell the story I can't fix what needs fixing, so I've given myself permission, as one writer put it, to "write a sh*tty first draft."

So as of today I'm at 95K words with The Hot Pirate, and I'm fairly certain that light I see isn't an oncoming train.

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