Tag Archives: Final Draft

The Final Draft, The Writing Blurb, and Fair Weather Friends

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I feel like in the past week I have grown not only as a writer but also as an editor. That’s not to say I am hanging a sign out my front door for my services, but all in all, I feel pretty good about how things are progressing.

I finally got my first draft of my final draft done. Yes, you read right, first draft of the final. Since I’m not able to use a copy editor at this time * wailing* I’m plowing through it on my own. Alright, I’m also using writing software, which I found out, does not rewrite everything for you, apparently you have to do it all manually…Yay!

Needless to say I was feeling happy and excited to be almost done with my book.

That was until I had to sit and write the blurb.

How do you write what your entire book is about in a few short paragraphs? How do you entice a reader but not give too much away?

I stressed about this for several days. I started out with a glowing two page essay. Two pages which I had to shrink into two-three paragraphs. Finally I had an epiphany. I had made a conscience effort with my first book to write with a sense of realism, what would I say? What would I do? I realized with the blurb I didn’t have to do that. I could be as lyrical as I wanted. After all my book is about magic and fairytales. 

In true fashion I finished it up while cooking dinner and I’m so relieved. I conquered my nemesis. I slayed the blurb dragon. Long live me!

On a completely different side note, I also, made a rather startling realization last night.

For months I hid what I was doing from everyone. I didn’t want to post it out there that I was writing a book. Who cares? Thousands of people start writing books, few though, have the conviction to finish. I’m not saying that to be arrogant, I am merely stating fact. It’s not easy. In fact, it will literally suck the life right out of you. You have to be committed to spending every waking hour for months obsessing about every word, every character, every scene. You have to come to terms with the fact not everyone will like what you’ve written. There is nobody on this earth that will ever love your book as much as you. 

When I did finally post on Facebook that I had written a book I was surprised by how many people just didn’t give two sh*ts. People who I have known for years, even some members of my own family, couldn’t be bothered to even take one second to hit the ‘ Like ‘ button. I’m not asking for a parade but when you do something that means so much to you, you expect, some of the people in your life to share in your joy.

This past week has been an amazing journey of discovery for me. Not only do I have a new enthusiasm for my book to finally be published but I also have a greater sense of human character. To pretend that it doesn’t hurt me would be a lie but I am now armed with a deeper sense of who I want in my life and who doesn’t really belong.

So to summarize: I’m almost finished with my first book. I’m tackling challenges that a few short months ago I couldn’t even imagine trying , and, I’m finding out who my friends are.

*Cue ” I’m Every Woman” by the late great Ms. Houston please*

 

 

 

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Final Draft Anxiety

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” Write drunk, edit sober.” – Ernest Hemingway

When I found this quote I thought it was brilliant but also backwards. I didn’t need to be drunk writing my first draft, but editing it? I could have used a bottle of wine with that package of highlighters. Now that I am halfway through I added ibuprofen, antacids, and valium to that list.

I shake my head and curse myself when I come across a typo. How did I not see the word ‘the’ was repeated twice? How did I not notice that a few words were misspelled? I have spellcheck for Christ’s sakes!

My favorite part has to be though when you read something, and then edit it, only to realize the first time you wrote it sounds so much better.

There is one emotion though that I did not expect. Anxiety. I found myself experiencing several little panic attacks the first few days. It was so curious and strange. I just went through Hell editing my second draft, why am I feeling this way about my final draft? I breezed through the first, which is infinitely harder, with excited exhaustion. Even my second draft, which I dubbed ” The nightmare that would never end”, I still felt  great joy while I slaved away.

What was going on?

No matter how many breathing exercises I went through I still couldn’t seem to catch my breath. After two days of this I decided a little journey into my mind was in order ( I will admit, I stopped myself from performing the WebMD symptom checker, a fact which I am sure my Doctor is very happy about) After several trips down bumpy brain dirt roads I finally realized something. I was terrified.

I thought about the times when I paint and I show someone my latest piece of artwork. Whenever I get an ” Oh.” I laugh. Gotcha Bitch. You don’t get it and guess what? That’s cool with me because I get it so that’s all that matters. When I throw a dinner party or even a BBQ and one dish, which I love, is hardly touched? Well I guess certain people’s palate’s aren’t as advanced as mine. 

That’s what I tell myself anyway. I try to put up this front that it doesn’t bother me but it does. The small thump you heard was my heart breaking a little bit. You see, all these things, are tied together. When you put so much of yourself into something and it gets rejected, it stings.

This book though was more than just a reflection of me. This book is my thoughts. It’s my story. A story that I dreamed up for two years. Instead of painting or cooking, my feelings, are now what I am laying out there. These are my words for the whole world to read. This book is so much more to me than just some story I wrote. This book, at it’s core, is about me. What would I do? What would I say? What are people going to think when they read this? If they hate it, will that mean they are rejecting me in some way?

Here’s the results of my little self help therapy session. No matter what you do, not everyone is going to like or support it, you can’t please every single person. You can’t go back in time and change how you did things. Deal with it and move forward. Lastly, I wrote an awesome book. I love it. It’s everything I want in a story and if 99% of people hate it, then so be it.

All it takes is one person to love your book and that’s you.

So I am going to continue on and finish. When I hit the publish button I know there will be some residual anxiety but I think I now have something else. Pride.

Now where the f*ck is my valium?

* Sorry had to throw in a f-bomb just for Mother. I’m sure her tears after reading this have now been replaced with the shaking of her head and rolling of her eyes.*