Okay, so I am on the second draft of “Under the Night Sky” and this is the title…so far. If you were around me in 1976, you may well be in the story somewhere. Of course, I’ll deny it if you ask me outright.
When I first started writing, I thought that the wonderful free writing first draft was it. After that, you sent it out to publishers and someone snatched up your masterpiece to publish it. As it turns out, it doesn’t quite work like that. My mentorship has taught me many, many things. One of them is that writing is an incredible craft. Yes, the first creative draft is still the most valuable thing. But the next draft and the next and the… is where the work really lies.
Surprisingly enough, I have been persuaded by my amazing mentors to actually enjoy the crafting. It’s amazing how many times you can tweak sentences, add traits to characters and even redirect the story that you thought was set in gold. I’ve been reminded that this is fiction and reality can remain as a mere whisper. Show and don’t tell has been drummed into me and still I find little spots of “telling” that need to be ironed out. Oh and Richard’s cute detector still buzzes at me, even after the second draft.
Yes, the devil is in the detail and I’ve had to learn not to gloss over things in my impatience to tell the story. As I read over my next submission, I go through my checklist and number one is to check for the set up and the pay off, in each scene. The more I learn the more I realize how much I still don’t know. But my enthusiasm grows with each superb course that http://www.allaboutwriting offers and I’m hoping that their September retreat in magical Venice, is going to be the start of a new story for me.
Now to lure a publisher (when my manuscript is ready.) I haven’t got a handle on that one yet. Hmmm… any tips?