I recently finished the second draft of my novel!
...it still has such a long way to go!
Some days I feel like I'm taking too long and need to hurry and get it done, but then I look at how much I'm learning during the process, and I know it's worth every minute. This isn't just about the book I'm working on now, it's about developing my skills as a writer for future books as well. Anyway, for me, when I rush through things, I just get frustrated. I'm a thorough person, so I do better taking the time to get everything right.
Next, I'll be going through and editing the first chapter (again. . . and it won't be the last time either). I'm sending it to a first chapter contest. Grand prize gets $200. But even if I don't win, every entry gets feedback from judges.
Then, I'm going to do a straight read through of my manuscript. No editing or revising, just reading and note-taking. I realized when I was almost done with my second draft that instead of looking at each individual scene, I really need to go through and see how the story is coming together on a larger-scale. After that, I'll get into the third draft.
I was really sick this last week, so while resting I finally read Save the Cat by Blake Snyder. It's been a hot book in the writing community the last few years. It's really for screenwriters, but the principles can be applied to novels as well. Snyder's opening chapter is all about loglines--a one sentence pitch for a screenplay. And he offers insight on what a logline should do and gives tips on writing a good one.
Here's what I came up with as a logline for my novel:
Lone survivor of a species extermination order and a descendant of angels, a 17-year-old prince hides among humans to escape his enemies, the demons, but must face the shameful secrets of his past to unravel their plans.
The most important question is, does it make you want to learn more about my book? You can give me feedback in the comments.
In other news, I'm going to a writing conference in April, and I managed to get into classes by Orson Scott Card (Ender's Game) and Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn and Wheel of Time) before they filled up! So I'm excited to learn from more professionals (and let's be honest--get my books signed!).
I've been working hard on my next story dissection that I'll be doing on my blog. It's long. And, I'll be honest, it might scare some of my followers away, but if you hold my hand, everything will be alright. Other than that, I have plenty more writing blog posts/articles in the works. Here are some to look forward to:
13 Plotting Techniques to Ramp up Tension in Your Story (This is my long dissection)
7 Methods to Make Your Characters Likable
Improving Your Eye for Writing
Making Characters "Stuck" in the Background Pop Out
Feeding Writers Criticism
Creating Complex Characters through Contradictions