A short list of what you need from my limited experience (what do I know? I’m just a begonia.)
1. a good story, set of characters, or idea
2. discipline and the time to work on the first draft. (I think the fact that I kept working everyday really helped. I had the same vision for the novel at the end that I did at the beginning. I think any large gaps in my work would have made more work for the revision.)
3. more discipline when working on the revision (I’m finding it’s way less fun to revise than it is to write. You don’t get the satisfaction of having created something new, of seeing the word count go up. I’m trying to work for just a half-hour on my book each day. This is harder than it looks. But when I do get working, I usually spend more like an hour.
4. willingness to change the original story or idea –you don’t have to, but it’s good if you’re willing, I think.
5. seeking out feedback…LOTS of it…from WHOEVER will give it to you
I feel guilty because I haven’t had a lot of time to devote to this book lately. I want to work on the rewrite but I’ve been writing for TV Squad so much I haven’t had to time or the energy. I even feel guilty for not updating this blog. Weird, right? That’s what happens when you’re raised Catholic. And now I feel slightly guilty for saying that.
My first three chapters are pretty much ready to go. I’ve brought them to the writer’s workshop a few times, each time getting great advice from the Mahalo Writer’s Group. I was hesitant to join the group at first because I was worried about being able to produce anything. And now I have a full novel (well, all but two last chapters). It was like I had due dates for my writing. Each time I submitted to the group I had to give in something new. Due dates are good. Really good.
C.K. looked at the chapters last night. He did such a good job tightening them up. I tried to give them one last read yesterday but I found that my head started spinning. So, C.K. took over last night, a much-needed new pair of eyes looking at the text.