Book In A Year Series: Month 9-At Peace With The Final Draft

Writers love control. Maybe that is part of the reason why we write. However, the hardest thing about drafts it letting go of that control! Now, make no mistake. Every writer has their own process, and how many working drafts they create before they call a story finished.

But eventually you have to call the story done. If you can’t, that’s a separate issue that we will tackle later (Trust me). For me, I use 3 drafts before I call a story done. If I think that I can’t let it go after the second draft? I save it. Why? I clearly (again is this just me!) I have either more to say, or don’t know quite what know what I need to say. When that happens, I save it. This way, I can come back to it.

However, with that said, I know that if I desire to have a book be read by someone other than myself, then I need to allow someone else to read it. So, it is with that wisdom I give to you: If you want someone else to read your work other than yourself, you are going to have to let it go!

Here are three questions to ask yourself when you considering whether or not you are at the end of a work, where you either have a final draft, or entering a final draft:

1.) Is this all you wanted to say?

2.) Did you want to say anymore?

3.) If you wanted to add anymore, where would it go?

Besides, if you feel there is more to say–you can just write another book, right?

Book In A Year Series: Month 8-What Does It Mean To Rewrite?

As we head towards September and BACK TO WRITING MONTH, it is important to celebrate the progress you have made while doing your WIP. No matter how great the progress, or how small–progress is progress! Be proud of it.

Here are 10 tips on how to get through a rewrite:

1.) Edits are made to be implemented and questioned.

2.) Make time to process what it is you are writing (Don’t do DIRECTLY into a rewrite after finishing a draft)

3.) Give yourself a reasonable deadline to finish your rewrites.

4.) If you have a professional editor, ask where the darlings are (remember ON WRITING).

5.) Don’t be afraid to ask beta readers about their thoughts–they can only help.

6.) Don’t be afraid to rewrite in parts.

7.) Don’t be afraid to change a POV if it will help.

8.) Give celebrate as you go.

9.) In the case of collaborations, present all edits/rewrites and get a plan together to implement these changed.

10.) If the deadline doesn’t meet your needs, change it.

Remember I am proud of you, and keep going.

See you next month!

Encouragement Pages-08/27/2021

Writers are weird people. We are in this state of recording the world while creating our own! The most potent things about these skills is that they are on going.

They are always being honed. Always being sharpened. Writing allows you to take what is and make it what you want.

Keep going. You can do it!

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

Book In A Year Series: Month 8-What Does It Mean To Rewrite?

“You can’t edit a blank page.”-Nora Roberts

Every writer needs a map. This map needs to be beyond an outline! While I am an advocate of outlines (when the story demands it), I am a bigger fan and proponent of letting the story write itself. I am a bigger fan of letting the story tell itself. This is what the first draft is for! The first draft is meant for you to fumble, stubble, and figure out what its you want to write about.

Yes, Hemingway was right. “All first drafts are shit.” Yes, this is a direct quote. As coarse as it is, he’s right! First drafts are chaotic, messy and they make you doubt your sanity. This is why there is a tug of war between writing and not writing! There will always be this tug of war because first drafts are hard to get through. But, to add to something, something must be there first.

Rewrites are not punishment–they are needed direction. Get through the hard stuff, to get to the good stuff. Writing is a discipline, and rewrites demand that level of focus. Your future writer self will thank you.

Encouragement Pages-08/13/2021

Notes are your best friends.

Journals are your friends.

Remember that ideas always in their raw form in your head. Don’t be afraid to flush them out. In that mining of information, be aware that getting what you want from that idea is going to require you to be consistent.

But keep going. Time is your time and guide about this.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris