A break from my book.. while I work on something else :P

What’s this? I’m putting aside my first draft for a little while??

Yes, that’s right! In his book, “On Writing”, Stephen King suggests that when you finish your first draft, you should put it in a drawer for 4-6 weeks until you can look upon it with fresh eyes. Only then can you edit your work without sentiment.

At first, I wasn’t going to heed this advice. I started my story eight months ago, so I was looking upon the majority of my manuscript with fresh eyes anyway. But I understand what Mr King is saying, because I can be quite sentimental when it comes to editing.

As it happens, I have another project to work on in the meantime, which is brilliant because Stephen King actually recommends working on another project during this period! The project involves a lot of writing, so I’m still honing my craft with every passing day, and shall return to my book when the time is right.

I’m actually setting up my own business, you know! It’s a creative business too (hence all the writing).. basically, I’ll be writing and selling murder mystery parties! So I’m currently in the process of creating characters, storylines and all the other objectives which are required for such parties. And I must say, I’m thoroughly enjoying the process!

When the website for the business is launched (probably some time in October), I’ll then return to my book and pick up from where I left off. Hopefully, I will have received all of my feedback by then too, so I’ll be able to plough on with the rewrite with completely fresh eyes!

P.S. Here’s a preview page for the business website.. I’m so excited xD (www.mysterycow.com)

And if you’d like to follow the updates of Mystery Cow, then why don’t you add it on Twitter? @mystery_cow

Slow and steady wins the race

Contrary to what most writers say, a first draft CAN be amazing.

I have learned that if you invest the time and effort into producing a quality first draft, then it pays dividends when it comes to the editing stage. I know that a lot of writers advise against taking too long on a first draft, but I believe in getting it right the first time. It saves a lot of hassle later on, especially if you’re not a big fan of editing like moi.

Now that I’m doing my second draft, there’s not much that I have to fix, apart from minor typos and a few plot inconsistencies. But I’m finding it fun because it’s mainly just polishing something that is already edited. Arguably, I was editing as I wrote, because I wouldn’t move on unless a sentence passed a general standard of quality.

Of course, you can’t get everything right the first time. There’ll always be things that need improving, but it doesn’t hurt to try and make life easier for yourself. I understand that a lot of writers just want to get to the finish line (God, do I know), but is it really worth spewing any old crap onto the page? If that method works for you, then that’s great. I just thought I would point out that slow and steady CAN win the race!

Nothing beats a bit of good praise

As a writer, you live for the enjoyment of your readers. If they are happy, if they enjoy the prose that you have produced, then it is all worthwhile.

At the moment, there’s two people reading the first draft of my book. Despite them being close to me, I trust them to brutally honest, and so far they have both given me great feedback!

Before I handed over my book, I wondered how it would be received, because I often doubt my own ability. However, it was truly heart-warming and reassuring to see that my creation was enjoyed by others. The good praise affirmed that I have done an excellent job and has given me an almighty confidence boost.

Of course, there was some constructive criticism too, but most of that has been minor typos. My task now is to comb through my hefty transcript and produce a shiny second draft. It actually shouldn’t take me too long, if I’m being told that there’s not much I have to alter 🙂

Wish me luck!