RB: My First Draft Does Not Completely Suck

I sent Callie’s Story to my Kindle for the first read through. My initial thought: It’s long. Now I worry that it’s too long. At least 10%, if not more, will be gone by the time I’m completely finished editing, but even still it will be a long. Does anyone know if high word counts are an automatic no go for YA editors? The latest Twilight and Harry Potter books certainly exceeded the normal length, but the authors’ first book in their series was considerably shorter.

The beginning of the story was surprisingly good. I laughed. Congratulated myself. I must admit I felt a bit smug. Wow. I AM a good writer. I doubted myself, too. Did I really write this?

Then I left the beginning portion of the book and doubted no more.

The middle sucks. Completely. It’s boring. Callie is wishy-washy to the extreme. There’s no tension. I completely dropped a sub plot I’d started in beginning. One that would have made the middle more interesting at least. I wanted to pull Callie aside and slap her many times. “Make up your damn mind. You’re even giving me whiplash!” She’s very weepy. I bet she cried enough tears to fill up a 5-gallon bucket.

Thankfully the book ended on a high note. As I left the middle, things grew considerably better. There’s definitely more to fix in this section than there is in the beginning, but at least it was able to capture and then keep my attention until the end.

My next step is to analyze the story scene by scene. Does this scene move the plot? Where’s the tension? What’s the scene’s goal? What’s each characters’ goal?

Hmm, as I’m writing this post, I realize that I actually started writing all of that stuff down in the beginning before I wrote each scene. Then…I grew lazy. I just wanted to start writing, not think about writing. Note to self: Don’t be lazy next time. It doesn’t pay off in the end.

Helpful links:

http://blog.janicehardy.com/2009/06/re-write-wednesday-first-look-at-first.html

http://nanoedmo.blogspot.com/2012/03/taming-revision-beast-by-becca-puglisi.html?showComment=1331753102869#c3257612529744491356

http://www.advancedfictionwriting.com/articles/writing-the-perfect-scene/

http://www.writersdigest.com/tip-of-the-day/4-questions-to-ask-yourself-when-writing-scenes

 

 

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12 thoughts on “RB: My First Draft Does Not Completely Suck

  1. High word count isn’t really an issue unless you want to published the traditional way. YA readers will pick up a thicker book, especially ebook, with no problem at all. In fact, some studies show that longer ebooks sell better than short ones.
    Congrats on your first read through and finishing your first draft.

  2. *facepalms* I can’t believe I never thought of sending manuscripts to my ereader for the post-writing and post-edit read-thrus. Very smart!

    *clicks on last two links*

    Nice to meet you, ladies!

  3. Boy, do I feel you. My internal editor apparently has multiple personality disorder. Some days, she thinks I’m funny and smart. Other days, she sneers at my every word choice. I think all middles suck for a while. Good luck, and know that you certainly aren’t alone.

  4. This is so encouraging! I’m working on a novel, too, and today was tough. I’m glad you included those links! Thank you!

  5. I just LOL’d all the way through this. I felt the exact. same. way. Good luck woman! And on the word count, although some places may not bother if you’re over their word count, not all are like that, I think they’ll at least start to read your blurb (or sample if they ask for one), and if it a good solid story, they can and will work around the count. XOXOXO!

    • Thanks, J.R. 🙂 I thought I was doing so good until I reached the middle of the story… And thanks for info about the YA editors. That’s what I’m hoping will happen. Although from my list of edits, it will be a while before I’m ready to shop it around. I love that you stopped by 2unpubs. -RB

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