Tag Archives: rough draft

Draft done

Finished the first draft. My first drafts are way too thin, but the basic plot structure is there and the characters are developed. Now to go build their world.

I’ve been listening to one of my early books that’s been produced into an audio book. WOW. I tell my students that all the time: two musts if you want to be a writer–read a lot and write a lot. I’ve written a lot in the last ten years.

I’m in the middle of reading a book by one of my former students right now. I can’t wait to share more about that book with my blog followers. People are going to love Laney.

Jodi’s posts about Laney helped me with my first draft of the new book. I checked out strong female country artists on spotify and they helped me write more words a night than I had in forever. I love writing to songs that set the tone for my books. (Amy LaVere’s Damn Love Song might be my most favorite song ever!)

Looking forward to working through this draft. I don’t rush revisions any more, though. I’ve found time is a HUGE help on revisions.

People ask about writing processes all the time. To be honest, any time I read about other authors’ processes, I hang on to their every word. But I’ve also discovered the writing process changes from person to person. I used to critique with the amazing writer who wrote scenes all out of order. If something popped in her brain, it went down on paper, no matter where the scene took place in the book. I plotted with a best seller who wrote a scene and revised it to perfection before moving on. When she finished a book it was D.O.N.E.

I have to get my beginning set and then I can write like crazy to get to the end of the draft. Other than my beginning, my draft is CRAPTASTIC with moments of magic. I go through and flesh it out a couple times then let it rest, go work on something else, then come back. I have to handle revisions like this, especially during the school year.

It’s going to be crazy cold tonight again. March and we’ve got a winter weather advisory. STRANGEST winter ever. At least all that cold inspired me to write. 🙂




Permission to Write Crap

Every year I start my J-1 class off with an oath. Students must raise their right hands and solemnly swear to give themselves permission to write crap. I want them to turn off internal editors and just write. As Nora Roberts says, “You can’t fix a blank page.”
Enter my personal writing life. Tonight when I sat down to work on the WIP, I freaked out. Crap times 10 million. That’s what I saw. This character is still all over the place. There are moments, but, yeah, it’s like my life interfered with the character’s life and there’s no continuity and no real rhythm to the words.
I Goggled plot help and found this cool site. It didn’t tell me anything new, but it helped me regroup.
I’ve spent the last two hours getting back to the basics of my main character, comparing what I know about story–what I’ve learned over the years from workshop, what I love to read and what I teach–and I like what I’ve got.
For a few moments today I forgot to give myself permission to write crap, and to be totally okay with that because that first draft turns into something special in the revision process.
Glad the freak out is over. Hope I don’t forget this lesson ever again.


I have a partial ready to send to Love Inspired, and I’m working on edits of a full.
It’s funny how very different these stories are.
I don’t know if either of them will make the cut. But I’m learning from both stories.
It’s a whole new ball game. I hope both stories get to see readers other than the few who’ve critiqued for me. 🙂

Next week is D-Day for Texas teachers not on continuing contracts. We’ll know the full extent of projected layoffs then. It’s going to be ugly. Those of us on continuing contracts are safe, but it’s still going to be ugly. Between pay cuts and insurance hikes, it’s going to be a painful year.

But not as painful as it is for the people in Japan right now. Or several other countries. Sometimes I think we have it too easy.