Ali Matteini

a life creative

Drafts and Descriptions

Weeks have passed since last blog. Again. However, most of my lapse has been due to actually knuckling down on this latest draft as well as forging ahead with my freelance career.

The next three drafts of the book should now only take a week or so each…Aha! Famous last words! The first ten chapters I’d posted off to a writerly friend came back yesterday. She had addressed all the questions about structure and point of view that I’d asked, deliberately without having looked at my questions first. So, she highlighted the portions of the manuscript I’d already had qualms about, but she also brought my attention to the ‘beginning’ (in inverted commas because it is no longer the beginning) and how, while all else is drowning in description, geographically it was difficult for her to get her head around the main character’s home locale. This portion of the story has been with me since adolescence and I’m guessing this is a contributing factor to the under-described map which is so vivid in my own brain and will need some reworking. As well, the main character’s leaving of her home is a major impetus for the rest of the story and in trying to build tension and surrounding back story she does not leave until chapter five – something I’ve always had a problem with. But how to weave in the necessary information without it sounding like a reference book? Alright, so a week each for each draft may be out of the question, but the rewrite isn’t as violently awful as one might think. See, I keep all my drafts…which brings me to my next segue: whatever you do, however awful to read back on, keep your old drafts! Aside from becoming valuble when one is rich and famous, they are a crucial tool and the font of old ideas. Ideas beget ideas, but ideas are transient; unless you have written it down, you will forget it. My way of working through drafts is to line edit and keep stacks of notes, then type what I have line edited. I back up religiously, twice, once on thumbdrive and again on a rewritable disk, while the messy line edited hardcopies I recycle by printing on the back of them.
Returning to the critique again, all in all the feedback was honest and concise. It did, however, solidify a particular niggling question, that being, would it be considered Young Adult?
More on that in the next post.

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This entry was posted on August 12, 2009 by in Writing and tagged , , , .

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