Monday, December 29, 2014

Rough Draft. Finished.


I typed the final scene of my novel this morning. Lastima the mermaid is happy, everything is resolved (okay, not everything, but those things will have to wait until later novels in the series), and my first draft is over 65,000 words, as projected.

I feel so light, as if I've also lost the 20 pounds I've been wishing to lose for the last year and half. As if part of my brain has disappeared. As if my clothing is made of mist, my hair is a balloon, my blood is mere air.

Now I sit on the draft… but I am on the fence about something, and I need input. I have several new readers--readers who have never read a word of my stuff except perhaps news articles or Facebook postings--and they want to read the draft. Now. Not in a year, after I've completed two full revisions of it (which is usually the first time I allow anyone to read ANY of my stuff), but NOW.

What should I do? Should I risk losing all three as readers by giving them a recent draft, one with countless holes, and erratic narrative voice, and goodness knows how many errors? Or do I force them to wait anyway, until I take a month off from the work, return to it, and revise it?

What would you do?


  1. It isn't just losing readers that's an issue with early reading. But it depends on how much and how personal you want your writing journey to be.If there are still many large things you know you need to fix, the comments you'll receive right now are going to be substantive and might suggest changes that are far from your original plans, vision, intent.

    That's not necessarily a bad thing, but, if you are very personally connected with your work (as I am so I'm projecting), taking the advice, even if you agree with the reasoning, may have other effects on your plan or always sit poorly with you like it doesn't feel like it ought. But, if you don't take it, especially if the feedback has some validity to it, you might always wonder if it's not as good a solution as it could have been.

    I have a hard time with major substantive suggestions and I always struggled to feel like I own them when I take advice. On several occasions, I've undone the suggestion because the final result didn't work for me and, when I've left it in, I find myself nodding ("I knew it") if someone dislikes the change I made.

    On the other hand, if you're adaptive and receptive to substantive changes, this may be a great way to find creative ways to address concerns you noticed but didn't solve in the rough draft. In which case, that would be just what you need and can set you up nicely for the next rewrite. Only you'd know what works best for you.

  2. One other point, however, and, again, I'm projecting, there is nothing, NOTHING, more inspiring for me than a receptive audience. When someone is eager to read it or has read something and clearly loved at least some aspects of it, it really really fires me up.

  3. Congrats.... Hope to read it, let me know if you're interested. BTW, hope to be around more.