The Awful Rough Draft

cropped-P8190838.jpgOnce I wrote the rough draft of my novel, I allowed myself to subscribe to Writers’ Digest magazine to supplement what I learned at writers’ club. Why? Because I wrote a book. And with fear of the unknown I joined a novel writers’ critique group. People were kind but honest in their opinions. I revised and revised, and wondered if I had the ability to write. Stubborn like my dad, I forged ahead.

At writers’ club I heard a book editor speak and decided to hire her to proof my manuscript. I didn’t know how to proceed with my novel. She responded with a written appraisal, suggested edits and ways to improve. I followed her advice and continued to submit a chapter at a time to the critique group. More revisions needed. Oh, dear.
About two-thirds of the way through a major re-write, I seemed to finally understand the necessary ingredients to make a book successful. My critique group became excited about what I wrote and encouraged me to continue to work on my novel. I needed that.

I decided to take a writing class, which one of my writer friends suggested. She said it was low key, but good. People took turns reading portions of their writing aloud, and then comments from the class were given on how to improve. One day, I finally decided to read the first three pages of my novel. Comments and suggestions were given, and I gave my teacher a copy. At the next class, she suggested I change the beginning. It needed more tension and she gave me an idea about what to do. I liked it. Another major re-write ensued.

The urge to be done with this tome waxes and wanes. Sometimes I want to quit and start a new novel. But I’ve invested so much time and energy in this book, I will continue to edit it until it’s as perfect as possible.
To keep me motivated, I submit essays, poetry and short stories to contests. I’ve had a few successes, which build my confidence.

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