Reading Old Notes from my Novel Journal

Three years ago, I was rewriting a novel I had begun in high school. I was 20 and as you’d expect, I had no clue what I was doing. I had written a lot at that point, but revising was a whole other skill I hadn’t developed.

So I turned to the internet for advice. One bit of wisdom was to warm up before a writing session by scribbling down my thoughts for a few minutes. This could be about the scene I was working on, thoughts about my characters, general ideas, or ranting about something else going on in my life.

So, before every writing session, I jotted down my thoughts in a separate Google doc, catagorized by the chapter title instead of the day’s date. Three years later, I found it again, and wow. The entries are plagued with doubts, angst, and regret. They taught me something important:

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How to Write the Second Draft

 

What happens after the first draft?

I didn’t know there was supposed to be a second draft when I began my first novel as a wee seventh-grader. I thought you write the story, tweak it for grammar, send it off to the publisher, and become a bestseller. Simple.

The first draft is just the beginning. The real writing comes with revisions. The problem is, how on earth do you do that?

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Writer Talk #2: Shiny New Ideas

Hello, all. I’m back. Did you miss me during my hiatus? Did you notice I went on a hiatus? No? Well, that doesn’t matter. I’m here now.

A lot has changed since my last writer talk when I was struggling through a new draft of Lethal Shores. Mazel tov to me, since that draft is completed! I decided to take the advice of a good friend who said, “You’re too close to the story. You need to take a break and edit it with a fresh mind.”

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Writer Talk #1: Editing Slump

“There’s nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” — Ernest Hemingway

There are many posts, videos, and classes about the writing craft, but little about the emotional journey.

Therefore, besides for writing advice and rambles, I’d like to include casual discussions about my WIP on this blog for three main reasons:

  1. Additional motivation, (Writing about writing makes me want to write.)
  2. To share my mistakes so others can avoid them,
  3. To commiserate and celebrate with you.

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