Editing First Drafts

Hello all. I’m back again.

Do you know that I love the act of writing? I love creating something new. I suppose I like it most when I think it’s good, but in the end it’s the act of creating that motivates me.

There’s nothing like staring at a screen for several minutes while your mind tries to discover where you want to start. Then all of a sudden inspiration hits you, and you’re off. It’s those times before you begin that are the hardest. It’s like staring at clay, and then suddenly seeing the sculpture underneath.

It of course helps if you have an idea of a story first. But where should you start? I’ve heard “At the beginning of course”. But what is the beginning? Is it the birth of your character? Is it the first time they have a problem related to the story you want to tell? Is it their call to action?

In the end it doesn’t matter. It only matters that you start. It’s your first draft at that point. If you feel it needs additional material you can always put that in later. Be it after you’ve finished the draft, or if you realize there’s another way to begin your story.

The reason I mention this is not because I don’t have a good beginning to this book. I happen to be very happy with it, and it has the tone I want. But because there may be additional chapters or parts I want to fill this book with. There’s a bit missing now. It could be resolved by deleting a character all together, but that would also lessen some of the impact in the motivation they bring to the main character.

I’ve recently finished my first pass through the draft, and the co-author has done work with the first chapter. Not much was changed, but it did lead us to discuss certain motivations and world building that needs to be polished. Now when I say not much has been changed, you can take that perhaps I added or subtracted whole paragraphs, but the narrative has remained the same. A single sentence or word can make the difference in the enjoyability in reading, so I’ve been working on that mostly.

Right now it’s all about making the world feel relatable. That motivations are clear and reasonable, or at least understandable. That might not sound difficult, but when you are telling a story that you don’t necessarily want to turn into thousands of pages it can be easy to just gloss over certain aspects and expect the reader to accept things. But that’s a first draft. It’s almost short hand, or can be. Now it’s time to fill in the blanks that might have been left, and make it whole.

If I hadn’t found any flaw, I wasn’t doing my job. You need to be hard on yourself. It makes it easier when you have a co-author, or an editor that’ll take you to task. But in the end you need to be willing to accept that you’ll make mistakes, and be willing to re-write whole parts. You won’t be perfect your first time. Even after years of writing you’ll make mistakes. And that is okay. It could even lead to making something even better when you find them. I hope to do so, now and in the future.

As it is, I’m happy with what we have, but not yet satisfied. I’ll be working towards that this next pass through.

I hope you have a good week. Until next we meet.

 

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: An estimated 27% into editing

Steven Oaks

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