28.11.12

And now back to The Next Big Thing...

Whoops, sorta got swept away in various blog hops & parties and the business of my non-e life and haven't answered a Next Big Thing question in a while. But I'm back at it and will continue to answer at least one a week until I've finally stuck a fork in this thing. As a refresher, I'm answering these questions in relation to my upcoming novel, Divine Temptation, scheduled for release in early 2013.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

6 months.  This story had been playing in my head for years, since well before Three Daves was ever published, but as you can gather from the opening paragraph of this post, I'm easily distracted, and so it took me a year and a half to recover from my squirreliness with the first novel and get serious about writing the second one.

When I decided it was time, I wrote a rough outline of the sequence of events and set a goal of writing out one chapter every weekend. The deal I made with myself was to just pound it out and move on to the next chapter the following weekend, no looking back (other than to check for consistency). I couldn't allow myself to start editing at this stage or I'd have never gotten the whole thing written.

Aha, but my secret weapon during this time was my trusted and talented friend who read each rough chapter as I wrote it and offered critiques and suggestions, which I filed away for the second draft. After letting the first draft cool for a few months, I was able to move through the second and third drafts fairly quickly---and I was relieved to discover that the story was a place in which I easily and happily re-immersed.

How closely does this resemble your writing process?  


14 comments:

Susan Oloier said...

I like the idea of having someone read through it as you go. I always, always edit during the first-draft phase. Though, it often takes me over a year to finish anything :-)

Neurotic Workaholic said...

I like the idea of writing one chapter every weekend. It usually takes me a long time to finish drafts, because I don't set aside enough time to write. But my early New Year's resolution is to make more time for it, because I really do want to finish the final draft.

Jennifer Lane said...

The Next Best Thing? What's that meme? ;-) *ADHD sister* I think 6 months is pretty darn fast, and I'm with Susan--sounds great to have a reader friend throughout the process.

Morgan said...

Sounds like you've got a great system... I agree that the best thing you can do for you MS is let it sit for awhile... and it's SO great to have a CP who reads along as you write, isn't it? Love.

Love your blog, Nicki. :D

Suze said...

I got a lot out of reading about your process because I think it is an airtight methodology. Honestly, I'm thinking of trying your steps to the T.

Christine Rains said...

You've got a good system there. I wish I was more of a plotter, but my muse does her own thing. I write the first draft in a few months, and then pass it on to my CPs. After that point, I can start making copious notes, but not until the story has gotten itself out of me.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I plow forward without editing until I'm done, but no one reads it until dozens of edits!

Tyrean Martinson said...

I've been all over the board with my writing process over the years, but the one that mainly seems to work is: rough draft in 1-3 months, break for 1-6 months, revision over 9-12 months, or thereabouts.
I also write poetry and short stories, and those have a shorter writing process time, but it still mirrors the one for writing a novel. Write in one day, rest for 2-3, and then revise.

M Pax said...

I wish I could outline more. Perhaps my first/2nd drafts would go faster. But as I've gone alone, they get better and I now have few revisions on the polished draft.

Janie Junebug said...

I can't pound out writing and move on. I revise and edit as I work. I know it slows me down, but it saves so much work toward the end.

Love,
Janie

Jennifer Lane said...

Nicki, did I already sign up to help with the Divine Temptation launch? If not, I want to be an angel!

Morgan said...

Oh! And I forgot to say thanks for signing up for the Cheers, Cavanaugh Blogfest! I'm so stoked you're participating... I'm so excited :D

anthony stemke said...

My spouse is writing a novel and I am right there reading each chapter as she writes it. We talk about it and she appreciates the exchange of information.
She likes doing it this way but I realize there are other methods as well.
Congratulations in advance on your impending Divine Temptation.

Jennifer Lane said...

Hey chica, you doin' IWSG? No pressure, just wondered if you forgot (like I did one month!)