Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Random Post is Random. AKA "Laura's Glee Over Pre-designed Speech Bubbles."

At the end of October, I got a laptop as a late birthday present.  I named it Momo, because I am a very big fan of Avatar: The Last Airbender and hello, it's Momo.  He is adorable.

Momo Pictures, Images and Photos

Never mind that my laptop is black and does not have pointy ears. I could easily imagine my power cord being a tail, but this is beside the point. It has been fantastic to have a laptop after about six years of using a desktop.  (Especially during the frantic typing of NaNoWriMo.)  And then I discovered that the Paint program on my new computer comes with speech and thought bubbles. This made me very excited. I was all "YEA!! THIS IS AWESOME!" because they're much prettier and simpler than trying to draw the bubbles with a mouse and a pointer.

Hey, it's the little things.

In the meantime, I have been very bad about updating this blog. I am going to blame November. I did NaNoWriMo and I had a book signing in the middle of the month.


I got very sick right after the book signing, my kids were sick, my parents came for Thanksgiving, I had homeschooling to do, and I finished my NaNo story. It ended up being less than fifty thousand words, because I got to the end and realized that there were no filler scenes that I wanted to add and nothing else I wanted to say in the story. So instead of typing out thousands of more words that I knew I didn't want and that I would just cut as soon as NaNo was over, I worked on another novel to get to my fifty thousand words. (Yes, I suppose I technically cheated, but I don't care. I wrote a book, worked on one that needed it, and accumulated 50,000 words.  For me, NaNoWriMo was a success!)

All of this to say: I have been busy and I am terrible blogger. Here I am trying to think of something worthwhile to say and all I can do is post pictures of cartoon lemurs and my excitement over pre-made speech bubbles.


See, I'm hopeless.

Well, I suppose given that NaNoWriMo just ended, I should talk a little bit about what to do with a first draft. You may need time to just wait and let it sit for a while, give yourself some time and space from it, but when you are ready to face it again, what you do is very simple.

Edit. Rewrite sentences/paragraphs/scenes/chapters/half the book that need to be rewritten. Wash, rinse, repeat. Give your story to people whose opinions you trust so that they can tell you where your weak points are. If they tell you they cried, make sure you know if the tears were because of some bit of unexpected brilliance on your part or if they're weeping because the story is so terrible that they burned their eyes trying to read it. If the latter is the case, find out how you can fix it. Then edit some more. About the time when you are like this--

--then your story might be about ready. You might set it aside for a little while and come back to it again after this stage, because it's amazing what a little bit of time can do to give you a fresh perspective.

For all of you writers out there, what do you like to do once you have a first draft? What tips and tricks have you found work best for you when whipping your newly finished book into shape?

That is all I have for today. I shall return when my brain doesn't feel so much like this: