Ellie emerges from her writers cave shocked to find the Kardashians are still on TV
When I finished my first book I happily typed the words THE END with one hand while popping a champagne cork with the other. I had done it, I had completed a book. Little did I know that it was not the end it was only the beginning of countless rewrites, critiques, arguments, more sweaty meaning of life moments and many word documents saved as round 36, 37, 38 etc.
On my third book, I am now wise and bearded and I write THE END OF DRAFT ONE, which really is draft 19, but who’s counting. And I send it out to a select bunch of mostly friendly critics. I thank them in advance and I tell them I want their honest, honest opinions. I don’t want them to sugar coat it. I need straight up criticism. Now I say that but what I mean is, tell me you loooooooove it.
Because I love it. I have birthed this baby, and I will be very upset if you feedback harshly. But the truth of the matter is I know I have to listen. The problem with writing is that you become tiny Timmy lost down the well. You have been stuck in an enclosed space for so long with your own thoughts, as genius as they may be, that it becomes very difficult to find another way out of the well, even if it’s the ladder staring you in the face. So what may have been a good sub plot on draft 1, by draft 8 just looks weak and meaningless. And only a fresh reader with fresh eyes can see it. And sometimes as a writer I’ve noticed I like to cling onto things, characters or ideas, that don’t have any place in the new draft. Being a good writer is a lot about being a good editor and knowing when to cut and when to add.
The good news is my third book is underway, and I am excited, because I have loved this process this time around, it looks like I’ve definitely grown myself a tougher skin.