6 Signs You’re Writing A First Draft

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

You wake before your alarm, stretch, and just start typing. The words flow like melted caramel! Writing is easy and fun for you! You can’t believe the extent of your own genius. The euphoria lasts until the next morning when you re-read the trash-fire drivel you produced. You would delete it all–and you totally should–but then you’d be going backward in your word count. You drag yourself out of bed…

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Dorothy Parker and the Vicious First Draft

    It is one of the minor tragedies of my life, perhaps a major tragedy in my writing life, that no one ever told me first drafts are supposed to suck until I was thirty-eight years old. Yup. Thirty-eight. Now, this is most likely because I never really knew any writers, and I rarely took any actual writing classes. While most writers would probably agree that having an MFA,…

Friday, October 12, 2018
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Rocks Fall, Everybody Dies

Monday, October 8, 2018

I hate first drafts. I didn’t always. There was a time when I loved the thrill of a first draft, the rush of figuring out the story and exploring the characters. But back then I didn’t have a first draft so much as an only draft. And I had a bad habit of getting halfway through the story only to circle around and rewrite it so completely that the new…

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If You’re Not Riddled With Self-Doubt, You’re Not Doing it Right

Thursday, November 30, 2017

This isn’t my real first draft. This is a fake one I created for demonstration purposes. Check out that word count and deadline. Are you stressed out yet?   First drafts. They are a nasty business. They will cut you down, make you weep, and doubt everything about yourself. Sounds fun, right?   I’m fortunate enough to be working on a first draft right alongside one of my favorite critique…

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Telling Myself the Story: Composing a first draft

Monday, November 27, 2017

It’s fortuitous that this topic falls here, at the end of November, as I’ve spent the past 26 days frantically drafting Book 2 of the Aven Cycle as my NaNoWriMo project (with intermittent work on two other projects at the same time). It’s also a bit unfortuitous — I’ve been so busy drafting that I haven’t had a lot of time to think about how I draft. What leaps to…

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Creative Fecundity: On the beauty of NaNoWriMo

Monday, November 13, 2017

I love NaNoWriMo. I’ve participated, in some fashion or another, nearly every year since 2002 — my senior year of high school, when I would print out each day’s composition and read it to friends during lunch. In case you’re not familiar with the concept, National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, or simply Nano, is a challenge where writers across the world, of all ages and experience levels, dedicate themselves…

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Tell Me Again How We Get to “The End?”

Thursday, May 14, 2015

This week at the Deb Ball, we’re talking about drafts. And as much as I’d like to say I have a methodology, it’s really just a mess. As Deb Ball reader Anthony mentioned a few days ago in the comments, you don’t really learn to write a novel. You just learn to write the novel you’re working on now. At least that’s how it goes for me. Oh, don’t get me wrong. Ever…

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Some stories just need to be told

Friday, September 5, 2014

About ten years ago, I was in much the same predicament as Maggie, the narrator of my novel, The Moment of Everything. I’d just been laid off from yet another Silicon Valley tech start-up. I was a little lost and wondering what my next step was going to be. So I of course decided to write a novel. I say “of course” but there wasn’t anything “of course”-y about it….

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Little Pretty Things for Everyone: A Second Book Gets a First Draft

Monday, August 18, 2014

Update on the second book? You want an update? YOU GET AN UPDATE. “The. End.” Typing that Sunday night, last night—after so much thrashing and kvetching—is as satisfying as it gets. Oh, don’t get me wrong. It’s a steaming pile right now. I look forward to revision, for the chance to make it something you’d want to read. I have until December 1 to do that, and then it will…

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