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In which the writer starts another draft

Every time I finish a draft of my novel, I am absolutely certain that this time I've got it as good as I possibly can. Really, I've pounded every last wrinkle from it with a steam hammer and polished it until it's as shiny as a very shiny thing. Before I sent it out to my generous critiquers, I was damned sure that this was it. I'd made it as good as it could be. Every last word was exactly how I wanted it.

Then, of course, I got the critiques and much head-slapping occurred. How could I not have seen that? Did I really write that? I dived back in, full of enthusiasm and determination. I stripped out those unnecessary internal debates, fixed the contradictions, tightened the pace, worked on the character arcs, until finally I was done.

This time it was sure as good as it could ever be, or as I could get it.

Fast forward to now, and I've received the incredibly insightful notes from my agent. Cue more moments of revelation about how the book can be better, and a launch back in. This time it'll be as good as it possibly can be.

Expect the final, final, final draft sometime in the next millennium...

#

In other news, if  you haven't already done so, pop over to congratulate aliettedb  who has just sold her debut trilogy to the Angry Robot Books imprint of HarperCollins. Anyone who's been following Aliette's short stories over the last few years will know this is going to be something special. I can't wait.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
jennreese
Aug. 4th, 2009 06:54 pm (UTC)
How cool is it to say "my agent"? Woot!

And I am just going through the same revelation with the series of book critiques I got in this week. I was just intending to polish, and now all of a sudden, something like twenty head-slapping moments in a row. (Your brilliant wife is to thank for the biggest of those.)

Consider this a reminder -- you promised to send me another draft!
psamphire
Aug. 10th, 2009 10:38 am (UTC)
Yeah, yeah, another draft. :D

I'm such a crappy friend. I haven't even read Above World yet, and now you've gone and revised the opening again. Sigh. Let me know if you want me to look at any other future versions of the novel and/or synopsis/query and I shall try to be less crap.
jennreese
Aug. 11th, 2009 05:04 am (UTC)
Oh, please, you are not a crappy friend. You're an incredibly busy friend, and my silly book should not be anywhere near the top of your to-do list. Besides, I have several unread books and scripts in my "to critique pile." I live in a glass house -- I won't be throwing any stones!
reneesweet
Aug. 5th, 2009 12:18 am (UTC)
Dude. You have notes from an agent. EEEE! :) That has to make up for having to do a final final final draft, right?
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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