So I’m getting ready to take another look at my draft of the third book in my Cumberland Creek Mystery series. It’s been sitting for a good three weeks, maybe longer. I’ve used this time to start another book and hang out with my daughters. This week, I only have a few days to work because we are going out of town on Friday. It’s all about balance, people.
With this book, which I’m calling HYBRID and trying to not get too attached to because it most likely will be changed by the publisher, I’m using Mary Burton’s advice for breaking your drafts into steps. I’ve never approached my drafts like this and when I read Mary’s post, it struck me that this process might help me. Instead of trying to catch it all in every draft, just focusing on a few things as I go along seems much more efficient.
So Mary says:
The First Draft/The Sloppy Copy: Armed with a synopsis, set a daily page goal and start writing. At this stage, no editing allowed. If a scene comes to you out of order, write it. The First Draft is all about getting the story down.
Mary’s next step is:
“The Second Draft/A Sound Structure: Start smoothing the story’s structure. Make sure the scenes flow and are in order. Don’t bother with real word crafting at this stage. Start a running list of characters, time stamp each scene and record number of pages per chapter.”
Okay, I sort have a head start on this step because this book is the third in my series. I know the main characters and have a list. But there are a few new characters. So I will list them. Also, I’m going to add a research check into this step. I have phone calls to make, websites to check, and so on. Since I’m going to make lists, this seems like a good time to do it.
The time stamp aspect of this step will be a struggle for me. Time in my novels is always a challenge. Maybe approaching it like this will help. In the past, I’ve printed out my manuscript and drew actual timelines, which was cumbersome.
Mary Burton is a gifted, prolific, and efficient writer—but just because this works for her, doesn’t mean it will for me. I’m willing to give it a go. Stay tuned.