Note to Readers
Feature Article: FIRST DRAFT CHAOS
Best Book(s) Iíve Read This Month
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The next book went out the door a week ago. Ahhhhh. Always a relief to have it done, although Iím always pretty sure my editor will grab it, peruse the first pages, and then wonder, ďWhy in the hell did I ever buy her books to begin with?Ē Neurotic, but true.
Along with my neuroses, meeting a deadline also leaves me with a mile-long list of house and yard chores that I've postponed for months. But at least right now, before my editor gets back to me with her suggested revisions, Iím able to take care of it all while enjoying one of my favorite times of the year: Fall!
I love it when the air turns crisp and the leaves turn colors. I love how the sky sharpens into brilliant blue and how a train's whistle carries for miles. And I love all the harvest festivals and street fairs and arts & craft shows that fill the weekends.
I hope you're reveling in the season as well! Jerri
Uhhhh... has there been life outside my deadline?
FEATURE ARTICLE: FIRST DRAFT CHAOS
Nora Roberts has alternately termed it the ďvomit draftĒ and the ďPOS draft.Ē By whatever term, Iíve finally learned the merits of spewing out that icky first draft without editing, polishing, or buffing as I go.
As a result, that first draft is a mess. A royal mess. I highlight things, type asides to myself, move text to odd corners, and on those days when the writing just. wonít. come., I fill the pages with sentences a six-year-old could write better. Far better. As a meticulous, planning, perfectionist type (read: anal) this goes completely against the grain. A stickler of a grain that likes to insist everything be as neat and tidy as towels folded in triplicate. (Um, which I do.) But Iíve learned to tolerate the bedlam of a messy first draft until Iíve got an entire story down on paper. Iíve learned that no matter what a jewel of a book I have in my brain, when it first churns out, itíll look more like paste.
As a writer-friend says, the construction of a novel ainít a pretty picture. Iíve quit trying to make it otherwise. I... go with the flow.
Because flinging out that first draft means Iím not spending hours editing passages in the first-tenth of the book that I may decide in the seventh-tenth must go. It meansósince Iím memory-challengedóI donít drop the threads of my story. It means I get done a lot faster and can spend more time on the rewrite and revisions.
Which, because of all that chaos on the page, will be copious.
But, as author Roberts also likes to say, itís far easier to work with something on the page than with nothing. If I waited for the muse to grace me with her presence... well, thereís just too many days when the sloth doesnít show up at all. When youíre on a contracted deadline, you canít wait. That is, if you want to eat. Especially as well as Nora Roberts.
BOOK(s) IíVE READ SINCE THE LAST NEWSLETTER:
Since late August and early September were deadline crunch time, I havenít done as much reading as usual, preferring to settle in with magazines like MORE and OPRAH and TIME that I can take in short bites. But hereís the few I did manage...
CRONES DON'T WHINE by Jean Shinoda Bolen, MD
Gems of wisdom for women of, ahem, a particular age.
FLESH AND BONES, by Paul Levine
After enjoying SOLOMON VS. LORD, I'm enjoying exploring this author's backlist.
LOVES ME, LOVES ME NOT, by Libby Malin
I was long overdue to read this book which was published last year. A truly wonderful tale in a smart, witty voice; filled with heart. (This author also writes young adult fiction under the name Libby Sternberg.)
DO WHAT YOU LOVE AND THE MONEY WILL COME, by Marsha Sinetar. I periodically pull out this chestnut to convince myself I'll be able to live on my writing income... someday. :)
Happy Reading! Jerri
Fiction for and about women rediscovering themselves