It’s a Book! First Draft Done, Now the Real Work Begins.

It's a book! 2

I woke up last Friday thinking, “This is terrible. It doesn’t work. I should just pitch it and cut my losses.” But since I was so close to finishing the first draft, I figured I had to bear down and get it over with. I could throw it out later. So, I pushed through the pain, writing and typing, until I was to the end, creating a 95,000 word baby.

Over the weekend, I started thinking about the parts that were missing; what I needed to do make the novel work. I worked on that this week, expanding key conversations, adding others. You might call it delivering the “after birth”.

Now I have a first draft, something to work on before I have a final product. A baby book, you might say. And that is where the analogy ends, I thought at first. We don’t cut away parts of our babies.

But then I remembered what I had learned about the developing brain in babies. There is a lot of brain activity going on during those crucial early years. The brain is busily making connections, creating highways of information as it organizes this mass of cells, carving away parts of the brain in the process. That’s why those early years are so crucial to language development. If the pathways of language are not formed during these early years, they never will be. And I thought . . . the analogy continues.

Now it is time for lots of brain activity as I cut and carve, trying to bring a full-fledged, mature novel out of this mass of words. Now the hard part begins, raising the baby.

What about you? Do you find that you typically go through times in your writing process when you are tempted to just throw it all away? Does the birthing analogy work for you? I would love to hear from you! And if you like what you have read, please share it with others.

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