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  • Danielle Keil

My first draft sucks

Yes, I said it. I'm currently writing book 1, and honestly-- it sucks. I had to skip from writing the beginning of the book to the last half, because the beginning took too many turns I didn't want.


Now this back half was mostly plotted out, but it's still not going the way I wanted. My main character is having difficulty figuring out what she wants and how she feels about things. I'm leaving out characters that should have a bigger role. I'm re-using the same phrases over and over again, not bothering to figure out a better one.


And guess what? THAT'S OK! Because that's what first drafts are supposed to be-- a steamy pile of written poop.


Since I'm writing it for NaNo, I keep going. I'm not going back to fix things, I'm not going back to edit, I'm not going back to re-write. Every word counts for NaNo, and pushing forward is the better goal.


Because, as a friend said to me last week, you can't fix a blank page. Getting the words down, no matter how horrible they are, still allows me to go back and fix it later. You can't build a house without the frame, right?


Camp Wildwood, the novella, has been pushed through the first draft, the second draft, and the first round of edits. It's with the beta readers now, so I can get their feedback, and go back for round three and another round of edits.


There are only 2 people that see things in the first draft stage, and they are my author besties. Because sometimes someone needs to look at the pile of poop and tell you that you're on the right track.


There are 2 other people that look at it in the second stage. They are readers, not authors. And they'll tell me their opinions on what is working and what is not working.


It takes a village to create a book. You cannot write a first draft and hit publish.

You write the first draft. Let it sit a few days. Go back and re-read it, edit as you go, and re-write what needs fixing. Send it to a trusted author friend.

Then you self-edit it.

Then you go back and do the third draft.

Send that to the betas.

Send it to the editor (or two).

Fix all the edits. Maybe send to another beta or two.

Then send it to a proofreader, who goes over with a magnifying glass to make sure typos and grammar is correct.

Then it gets formatted for ebook and paperback.

Then it's sent out as an ARC (advanced review copy).

THEN you hit publish.


It's a long road, and you need a good tribe behind you to make it.


So let that first draft be a pile of poop. That means you accomplished something not many have. You have something to work on, to fix, to publish when it's ready.


You can do it! So can I..


... off to get some more garbage words in, so eventually I can create the best book EVER for you!


<3

--Danielle


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