Adventures in Writing a Novel

The final draft….wait, maybe not… #amwriting #writing #writerproblems #writerslife

Last May I shouted from the roof top that my manuscript was finished. I pitched it to an agent, got rejected, and submitted it to six other agents and seven small publishing houses. Of the ten I heard back from all rejected it with a big, fat nope. *That’s a nope with a big, popping emphasis on the “p” by the way.*

An editor of one of the publishing houses was kind enough to send me a rather long, detailed email telling me why she was rejecting it and that I was more than welcome to resubmit after the changes were made. So armed with that email, I began another set of revisions. Why the heck not? It’s only been nearly 3 years since I started. *Insert eye roll.*

I stumbled over bumps, banged my head against a few desks, smacked into a few brick walls, wanted to throw my computer from the Empire State Building, then run over it, then burn the pieces, then bag the ashes, then blow them into space a few times. But in December of last year I once again shouted. “I’m done!”

Not so fast, Angela.

I sent my manuscript off to my beta readers, and printed it out for my neighbor to read. In the back of my mind I knew another set of revisions was coming. Certainly, the beta readers would find things, and yes, for the record they did. But the biggest change that ended up happening was from myself.

I began to read the printed copy my neighbor gave back to me when she was done. I don’t understand why reading it from different hosts (i.e. computer screen, iPad screen, printed paper) always seems to draw your attention to the errors, but for me, it does. I began noticing all these little, pesky problems, and then the koo-da-gra, if you will, a big problem. Luckily, I discovered that around chapter eleven and have been fixing it since, though I still have to go back through one through ten.

I’m hopeful that this will be the final draft, though, my gut is telling me to read through it just once more. I know many writers will say “no matter how many times you go through it, you will always find something so just stop going through it.” Hearing the words, I agree to a point. Certainly, I never will be 100% happy with it. Certainly, there will always be something here or there I could tweak or change. But, I’m not going to ignore my gut, so I guess this draft is my next to final draft. 🙂

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6 thoughts on “The final draft….wait, maybe not… #amwriting #writing #writerproblems #writerslife

  1. Oh my Lord, can I ever relate. I’ve been going over the chapters of my novel endlessly. I’m dying to start my next and this is taking forever. Next, I need to find beta readers. Do you have any suggestions on how to find them? Good luck. Let’s keep the faith that this is the last draft for you.

    1. Hopefully you will get through yours quick. As for the beta readers, I used a few other writer friends. Are you apart of a group or have a group of friends who are also working on books? Anyone who you know who is an avid reader in your genre will work too. Family and friends can be hard, though, if they don’t want to hurt your feelings. So make sure you stress to them that you want their total honesty.

      1. Hi Angela, I actually belong to a writer’s critique group. We go over each other’s work, and they’ve been helping me with the chapters. However, I’d like the eye of a few readers now, instead of critiquers. They can read the whole thing in one chunk and give me tips on the overall story issues, instead of line by line critiquing. I might send out a group email to people I know to see if any would consider it. No way on family though. Too close for comfort. Thanks for your input.

  2. The joys of editing. I wonder if anyone has studied the portion of time spent writing versus editing? Most of us would cringe if we saw the real data!! As for me, I have a novel that’s probably on draft 18 … current plan is to self publish this summer. A labour of love, as they say.

    1. I know! lol. I spent a year writing the darn thing and 2 1/2 of editing. 🙂 I have probably 20+ drafts and some chapters even more (I wasn’t a very organized editor in the beginning). Good luck on yours! My current plan is resubmitting to a publisher that was interested, but wanted changes hopefully by my 35th birthday in a few weeks. I better get on the ball.

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