Monday, January 19, 2015

First Drafts

I'm well into the first draft of the last book in my Warriors of Gaviron science fiction romance series. Like most first drafts I write, I think it's terrible. And this time I'm right.

It seems every sentence needs fixed. Every scene needs rewritten or deleted. Half of them don't move the story forward or add any layers of depth to my characters. My heroine come across as shallow and  not as the tough, smart person I meant her to be. Yes, lots of work to be done on this one.

"Any activity becomes creative when the doer cares about doing it right or better."
John Updike

But even with that work looming over me, I've managed to read for a short while each day. Usually right before I go to bed at night, I read for at least 30 minutes, sometimes longer. Most writers agree that being a regular consumer of books makes you a better writer. So I'm actually reading to improve my craft and not for simple enjoyment or procrastination purposes. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

"Read in order to live."
Gustave Flaubert

One week from today is one of the most exciting days of the blogging year. The sign up list for this year's A to Z Blogging Challenge will open. It's never too early to think about your theme for this mega-networking opportunity and all the new blogging friends you'll make. Mark the date, January 26th, on your to-do list. Maybe we'll set a record for first day sign ups.

And to remember why so many have work off today, a quote.

"We may have all come on different ships, but we're in the same boat now."
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Don't forget to visit IWSG for a new post of encouragement.

So for me this week is hot tea, an hour workout every day and redoing that awful first draft.

Do you have the day off or are you self-employed like me and work on holidays? What things do you usually have to fix in a first draft? Thinking about A to Z yet? Did any of the quotes I used speak to you?


  1. All of the quotes were great. Especially King's. It applies to so many things, beyond the original meaning. I read each night to unwind enough to hopefully fall asleep. That's been my solution for insomnia for a long, long time. Good luck with your editing!

  2. There are no days off when you work on a farm. :)

    Re: reading
    I prefer to read a different genre (or nonfiction) than what I'm writing, otherwise it interferes with my thought patterns for my own book.

  3. I'm off work today!
    Already have my Challenge theme planned and am searching for images now.
    I've been reading a lot more these past two months. Trying to catch up on all my blogger buddy's books. At this rate, I'll live forever...

  4. Great quotes, Susan! If I don't read for a little while every day, I get cranky. Just ask my poor husband. :)

  5. First drafts I edit as I go so mine aren't terrible. I did it once without editing and cringed as I went back through it haha at the 9-5 today, fun fun

  6. Struggling with the beginnings of a first draft now too. This time, thought, I've stopped. I'm thinking on it...and then I'm going to do some planning, so I get to where the story needs to in the end, without too many detours. That means, (dum, dum, dum) the dreaded word, outlining!

  7. I always worked on holidays like today. As a teacher my wife always had the day off and didn't understand why as a person in business I had to work.

    Love that boat quote by King. Never heard that one before.

    Tossing It Out

  8. Hey, at least you have down the words. You can't fix what's not there. You'll get it.

    My job is one that I work holidays,like today. :-) I have some leeway in my scheduling though, which is nice.

    Sia McKye Over Coffee

  9. LOL - I'm self-employed, so I'm always working.

    Kick back with some tea and happy editing.

  10. King's words always speak to me - The Great American Sage.

    I wasn't supposed to have the day off but the weather had other ideas: snow day.

    Best of luck with your revisions.

  11. Reading is one of the best things a writer can do to learn more about the craft.

    I can't wait to sign up for A to Z!!!! :D

  12. Got your comment. Fire sounds super duper nice. We have one too, but not like yours as ours is the fake NetFlix fireplace on the big screen TV, in the Lemon Tart Room.

    And even if it's fake, I still really love it.

    Have a great week ahead and boogie boogie.

  13. You're not alone, Susan. We all think our first drafts stink and worry if we can ever make it right. Somehow it turns out okay in the end. Looking forward to the A-Z!

  14. My first drafts lack tension and flair. Often there are huge holes in the plot. Most times the protagonist comes across as whimpy and sucky. Sounds like there isn't much to love about my first draft. There isn't. But I couldn't give up for anything. And I never do. And no, it never gets easy.

  15. First Draftitis is so miserable. I feel for you and all of us who must experience it. For without the first draft there can never be the last.

    The quotes you chose were wonderful.

  16. Well, all my first drafts suck. You're not alone there! I'd recommend a break before editing and trying to read afresh when you come back.

  17. I love writing first drafts. I usually need to delete all the extra stuff that is not relevant to the plot. Sometimes it's painful when it's a witty piece of dialogue or a juicy description. Great MLKJ quote. :)

  18. Good luck with your revisions. You'll get there. :)

    I work a regular job (neo nurse) AND I'm self-employed (author & editor), AND I take care of a husband, three kids, and a dog. I NEVER have a day off. LOL

  19. I usually love my first draft until the half way point which is where I struggle. My current one is killing me. (as always)