So, the other day, I typed the words THE END at the bottom of draft 1 of The Dare Club. fortunately these days I’m experienced enough to know that this isn’t the end at all. Weeks of revision lie ahead of me, but it’s still a good feeling to have spewed all that raw material out so I have something to work on.
When I first started writing – a sweet little story called Star Love aimed at Mills and Boon – I sent the manuscript off almost straight away. I was just too excited to wait. Not surprisingly, it bounced back within 3 months. (These days it would probably take a year, but that’s a different story!)
Now I have plenty of experience of working with editors, and I’m used to typing the words Draft Six, or even Draft Seven beneath the book title. It’s not a reflection on quality, merely part of the process.
For me, another part of the process is leaving my first draft to brew so that I can approach it with fresh eyes. If I don’t do this, then I haven’t got the necessary courage to be ruthless, or the distance to notice plot errors or even typos. In her blog post At First Draft: The 6 (Minimum) Steps to Revising Your Manuscript before Submission, Amy of Wise Ink says that, after finishing a first draft, a writer is: “… in the woods without a map, and the overcast clouds are covering the sun so you have no idea how to find true north.” I think that’s true. Her 6 steps are really helpful – check out the link.
So, what am I going to do while The Dare Club is brewing? Well, I have 3 working weeks left until my son and I fill our time with parks and days out during the summer holidays, so guess what? I’m returning to another sweet romance I started a while back. And while I’m gone, what will my characters in The Dare Club be doing, I wonder? A lot more daring things, I imagine. What’s that you say? They’re not real? they only exist in my head? No! I can’t accept that at all! They make decisions for themselves all the time! In fact, I think they’re having a party right now – I’m sure I can hear music coming from the computer… 🙂