One Down, Countless to Go!
Now Playing: All That Remains
The first draft of my short story is done! Anyone who thinks writing is an "easy" job...let me briefly explain.
Where some of us have inclinations toward the arts (writing, painting, songwriting, etc) things aren't as effortless as they seem. The only thing I can speak for is writing. So here we go....
First comes the idea. That's the easy part. Most writers get a minimum of one idea a day. Some are page worthy...a lot aren't. Some, still, are worthy of the short or part of a bigger plan...
Then comes the putting it on paper. This is where the work begins. We all have different ways of writing. I float somewhere in between free writing (just writing what comes to mind without pause) and specific (consciously thinking and planning your words). There is no right or wrong way...whatever is right for each individual writer. This can take anywhere from a week to six months. Depending on the size of the project. Hell. Some can even take a year or more.
After the first draft comes the waiting period. The story has to sit in its room and think for a while. The author, on the other hand, needs to forget about the story. Work on something else. This, also, can take different times for different writers and projects.
Once it has sat for long enough, you pull it out and revise. This is where drastic differences set in. Everyone has their own preferences as to how to do it, how many times to do it, what to do when....So I am going to only take you through what I do. Just remember, the work is pretty much the same...
So I pull it out and round it out. I re-read the whole manuscript and find the areas that are thin....lacks description or could be more descriptive. Or even different.
Once this is done I let it sit for no more than half the time that I let it sit the first time.
Once it's done sitting again, I go back through and cut the words down by 10%. All manuscripts can be cut 10%. ALL of them can be.
Once this is done I read through it once more...letting it sit maybe 2 days. This read through is only to catch anything that's glaring. Making sure it comes together and flows.
Once my, personal, final read through is done I send it off to my beta readers. Beta readers are those who read the manuscript from the readers' point of view. They aren't reading it for grammatic errors or even spelling errors. If they pick them out...cool....but a beta reader's main job is to read the manuscript from a reader's point of view. To make sure the story flows and keep an eye out for continuity issues. Beta readers are also good at finding the confusions..."Why did he do that?" "What is a symbiote?" "Why would he have this and not that?" If your beta readers have the same questions, that means something needs to be added or revised to come across clearer.
Once all of your feedback comes back from your betas, you can now start shopping it around. Once the manuscript is done, the work is only half done. All the while, you have started on your next manuscript. But, the footwork is a topic for another day. ;)
So, as you can see, a writer's life is not just sitting and vomiting words on paper and calling it a novel. There is a lot of work that goes into everything we do.
With that said. The first draft of my short story is done! lol. I am starting on the next short at work today. I write during my lunch break...lol.
This new one is actually something I wrote in high school. I am going to update it an, well...rewrite it...lol. However, I want to put the original, unedited, untouched, at the end of the story. I think that would be kind of interesting, to not only see how it evolved, but also see the high school writing...lol.
Anyhow...I think that's it for now!
Posted by kristyselliott
at 2:03 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 8 July 2011 2:47 PM EDT