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Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Waiting and Sharing - IWSG June 2021

It's IWSG Day. The goal of this blog hop is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds. IWSG is the brainchild of  Alex Cavanaugh. To find links to other IWSG contributors, click here. Thank you to co-hosts for June:    J Lenni Dorner, Sarah Foster, Natalie Aguirre, Lee Lowery, and Rachna Chhabria

This month’s optional question: For how long do you shelve your first draft, before reading it and re-drafting? Is this dependent on your writing experience and the number of stories/books under your belt?

For me, wait time on a first draft depends on the project. If I’m writing an essay or a blog post, I hammer out a first draft and then wait a day or two, even sometimes as long as a week to look at it again. On return, necessary improvements become obvious. If deadlines allow, I wait again and do a final edit before sending it out.

With novels, it’s a whole different story (Lol—pun not intended but left in anyway). I tend to write chronologically from beginning to end. Whether it’s my first draft or my 12th, I usually go at it for several months. When I’m done, I give myself a week or so before starting back at Chapter one. I don’t feel like I need that much more time, because after writing or editing 80,000 plus words, when I return to the early story, I see it with fresh eyes. The exception is when it’s time to read a draft chapter or two to my writing group. I share pages with them chronologically too, and with wait time between readings they usually get a part of the story other than what I’m currently editing. Once I see the consensus in their comments, I go back to the portion I read to them and implement the suggestions.

This past month when I read pages to my group, in spite of my best efforts, they called me out on repeating a piece of information again, again, and yup, there it was again. I also used the word “coffee,” something like thirteen times. How did I miss that? They nailed me on both of the issues and I fixed it all, which helped me make that part of my book better.

Do I wish it took me less time to come up with a decent draft? Sure. But in my case, taking a breather before looking again and getting a group critique results in better work, so I’ll stick with the practice.

What is your writing process like?