Every writer out there will recognize my cheer. The final draft of my current book manuscript is finished! (Well, not the final, final. But the almost final)
I thought it might be appropriate to celebrate the day by addressing a couple of questions that frequently come my way:
QUESTION: Is this the manuscript for your book that is coming out next month or the one coming out March 1?
ANSWER: Actually, neither. Both of those manuscripts have been on the editor’s desk for months and months. This one is the first of the Blessings In India trilogy that won’t be released until next September.
QUESTION: So how many drafts do you do?
ANSWER: Three major ones. The first is just the original manuscript, and it is a delightful experience. I love that new slate, open before me with such possibility! The next draft is the nitty-gritty slog draft. It requires discipline and direction and sometimes can be a pain in the neck. The third draft is like a refreshing rain that rinses off all the dust of hard work. My final manuscript may not showcase the best words ever to grace a page, but, hey, they’re not half bad!
QUESTION: If you’ve finished all three drafts, how come you say it’s not the final final?
ANSWER: Well, because there is one more essential step: Put the manuscript aside for a week or two and let it rest, then go back and do one more read-through—OUT LOUD!
QUESTION: So this will be book number 36? You’re no spring chicken, lady. How long to you intend to keep writing.
ANSWER: At least until I’m 90. I realize that by then I’ll be a really old chick—maybe even a stewed hen—but I want to keep going. Just over the horizon, there’s always one more
“The first line of a novel should propel the reader into reading the second line. Why bother with 512 pages of a novel that bores you on the first page?”
(My wonderful Abingdon editor on her blog The Roving Editor)