Return to Website

Lauren Henderson Message Board


Tart City Message Board
Start a New Topic 
Novel Drafts

Hi Stella and Lauren,

I have arrived at another draft of my novel - the reason I haven't been around lately... and just wondered how, as two seasoned pros, you rewrite/draft your work - I need some ideas because simply going through the manuscript to 'dot i's and cross t's' is driving me nuts!

I am currently giving it a resting period in a nice purple lever arch folder, to season and mature like a fine whiskey. It's calling for me to give it some more loving attention though - despite my best efforts to ignore it via some Christmas decoration arts and crafts. After next weekend, I will have to go back to it.

Any tips gratefully received,



Re: Novel Drafts

ugh, it's tough, Alice, it really is. I'd put it aside for at least a month, longer if you can, so you get less attached to it and can see it with a clearer eye. And I'd join a writers' group to get some other people's input - that's how I started and I found it incredibly helpful. I also had two good friends I sent my first book to and asked to be completely honest with me about what was working and what wasn't...

First one's always the hardest (apart from the second one). Good luck!

Re: Re: Novel Drafts

Thanks Lauren. I shall endeavour to keep my hands off it until the New Year at least: Resolution #1 Finish novel! I know what it needs, it's just putting it in and keeping the excitement there for it.
Luckily, I do have a reliable writing partner who I send my work to. He's a tough and harsh critic - mind you I get my teeth into his work, so it's a fair exchange :-)

Re: Re: Re: Novel Drafts

what Lauren says. though I'd also be careful about getting too many people to read it, and also exactly who you ask to read it. too many people are put off their own work by friends/readers with their own agendas!
I do a lot of re-working/editing, that's where the bulk of my 'writing' happens really, so to me it's a really important part of the process, easily as valuable as the 'making it up' bit. I'd suggest giving yourself a clear day or two (depending on how fast you read!) and reading it all through at once, as you would any other book, without breaking too often to make notes. that way you'll see how it feels as whole, any glaring gaps (or excesses) should become more obvious, and - hopefully - you'll have a sense of what the book's really about. I find that, until I've done the first draft, while I may know the basic story, and what I think it's all about, there's always other layers that are much clearer and come into focus when there's a whole to read. that way I know what I might want to focus on, (or to cut!) in a new draft!
and of course, as you know, editing is not spell-check - get ready to cut and re-write entirely, that's the really juicy bit ...
Stella x

Re: Re: Re: Re: Novel Drafts

Thanks Stella. I've done the 'Spell Check' version that was my last draft. Although some parts of it the print out got covered in blue biro, and it was hard work to see the wood from the trees when I got back to the computer to type it up - but it felt good, it felt like an acheivement, not to mention that it felt like proper growed up novelist stuff :-)

The advice about sitting down and just reading it, totally obvious - but I hadn't actually thought of doing that. I shall set aside a day or so in the New Year to read it.

Don't worry, I'm not the sort to go showing my baby off to masses of people, I have two people in mind, their discerning critiques will be more than enough - also my finances can't run to the postage!!!