Monday, August 14, 2006

Tightening Up

To anyone reading my blog with any frequency, I may appear just doggone flighty. I keep coming up with reasons and ways to change my manuscript that, by anyone else's standards, should be done by now. For instance, yesterday I happened to glance over the scoresheets for an RWA chapter-sponsored contest. You know, just to see how my manuscript MIGHT measure up if I were to be so bold as to enter another one. What I found was that I'm not actually making my heroine's goal very clear. Besides that, her inner conflict isn't obvious in the first, probably 30-40 pages. So, back I go.

Add to that the fact that I keep reading these short, tightly written books that I really love. I keep thinking, 'I want to do that!'. I'm more of a rambler, with side commentary, anecdotes, long descriptions, you name it. And I think that while that sort of style lends itself to historicals, it doesn't seem all that common in contemporary novels today.

I should start counting the number of drafts chapter one has sustained...and there's no end in sight.


kathrynoh said...

The good thing is that at the end of the day, the reader doesn't know how many drafts you've written just want they hold in their hands - so long as that shines!

Amanda Brice said...

I was so convinced that 2 years was completely normal for a draft of a novel but then people were telling me how they write stuff in a couple of months. Blows my mind. Honestly, you need to write at your own pace, not anyone else's. If that requires multiple drafts and lots of downtime revising, so be it.

Alyssa Goodnight said...

Part of my trouble is that people keep asking me when the book is going to be finished. I'm actually a little embarrassed to have to keep saying that no, it's still not ready. Not even a full first draft is done. Sure I have a lot of pages, but they need to be scaled back, and I need to tack on an ending.
Maybe I should set a goal...but then I'd have to meet it.

Sara Hantz said...

Amanda, you're so right. Everyone of us does it differently. And it's pointless comparing ourselves with others.