Saturday, September 7, 2013

Focus on First Drafts as a Pre-Pub Author.

With my second round of edits on NO PLACE TO FALL back in the hands of my lovely editor, I'm once again in a space where I'm free to work on something else. Last spring, I started a historical MG and managed to get about 18k into it before my debut needed my attention again.

But now, with time on my hands, I'm finding it so hard to get cranked back up. #5amwritersclub has helped me. I wrote a new 2.5k this week on the MG and it felt great to pass 20k, but I feel so scattered.

For me, I work really linearly. I write the story from beginning to end and over again with each subsequent pass. In drafting, I did once scrap over 30k words and start fresh, but this book doesn't seem to need that. It's just PLAIN OLD DIFFICULT to make myself go.

I think it's because I know an e-mail could arrive at any moment with line edits on NO PLACE TO FALL and I'll have to stop again and switch focus. So my brain is resisting committing to the drafting process. But my inner editor is telling me to get over myself. If I'm going to do this author thing I'm going to have to learn to work differently than in the days of pre-agent or even agented without a deal yet. I don't have the luxury of my time being all my own anymore. Then throw in the fact I'm back at school and my newly trained horses need to be ridden and the bedroom needs painting and there are blogposts to be done, and, and, and....

Then there's the other voice saying "What are you doing writing a MG and a historical at that?" You see, my contract is for two YA books with the first option on whatever 3rd book I write. It would make sense that the 3rd book be another YA. But in my head I'm telling myself, MG equals 50k max. You can finish the first draft by October or November and then draft another YA to be the option book. (Yes, you are allowed to laugh at my bright-eyed optimism)

All of this makes me very happy I still have a day job because otherwise the second guessing would be debilitating.

Anyway - what about you? What's your drafting process like? Do you have trouble stepping back to a project after you've stepped away for a couple of months?


  1. Hmm, I can't say I have too much experience on having to go between projects- but I can see how this would be a problem w/the ol' brain. Plus, you are one busy lady! =)

  2. I am awful with switching back and forth between projects, as I discovered earlier this summer when I tried to work on two at once. I kept staring at both and doing very little.

    I'm also a linear writer - I've tried to work on this random scene or that, but my brain resists.

    I think the way you're writing your MG (a little bit each day) may not feel helpful to you now, but it will be in the end. You'll either end up with a first draft before you know it or you'll have a creative spark and the story will just flow right out of you.


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