Archives for January 2012

New Year, New Draft

cakeI so deserve a cake right now (not just a piece of cake, mind you, but an entire cake). Unfortunately, the one in the picture got devoured a few years ago…(and it was delicious).

Why do I deserve a cake (an entire one), you might ask?

As it happens, I finished the SECOND draft of my current novel today! Though I’ve finished a few first drafts of novels (three), I have never finished a “real” second draft. By a second draft I mean a draft that’s not only been read through and spell-checked with a few details changed here and there, but one that’s been radically morphed from its original state.

I added, subtracted, divided, and multiplied (who knew there was so much math involved in writing a book?). I fleshed out characters, explored motivations, and tightened the plot. Among other things. All in all, the manuscript is about 27,000 words longer now. To put that in perspective, that’s not too far from half(!) of the first draft’s word count.


Writing a novel is probably one of the hardest things I’ve done. Each time I have been in the throes and woes of writing a novel, I felt sure I would NEVER EVER be able to pull it together and even reach a first draft.

Revising a novel is probably one of the hardest things I’ve done. I know, I already said that about writing a novel. Revising, for me, is just hard in a different way. Mostly, I think, because I never feel DONE. An adjustment here, an adjustment there…it’s enough to drive you insane!

I’ll probably end up doing several more drafts of this novel, by the way. I know I will do at least one or two more when I get feedback from my agent and editor. But before that happens, I just need to get an agent and an editor! =)

In the beginning of this post, I told you I deserve a cake (an entire one). I lied. Instead of receiving a cake, I actually should be baking a cake and giving it to my husband. Without his continual support and encouragement, I would have given up a long time ago. There’s several other people who’ve supported me along the way (the people who provided marvelous feedback on my first draft, for example! HUGE THANKS go out to you!!), so I could be making cake all week. Some of my greatest supporters don’t eat cake, though, so…

Ok, enough with the cake already. This post isn’t really about cake, nor is it about me finishing the second draft of my current novel.

It’s actually about you. Maybe this year you are working on the new, improved draft of yourself.

Don’t give up. Just don’t give up.

That’s all.

Ps. I cried when I read the epilogue of my book…again. I hope my readers will, too (in a good way). Who knows, maybe you’ll cry (in a good way) when you see the new and improved second draft you’ve become!