novel is a huge task to undertake. You can'tonlyfocus
on the novel, you have other things to worry about in your life, too. It's easy
to become muddled and confused. When writing your story, maybe you accidentally
change a character's name, or say one thing happened and then make something else
happen. You'll find these sorts of mistakes in your first draft.
Trust me, I
did. It's not easy to remember every little detail you put in. That's why you revise and edit multiple times.
But go back
through your story and check to make sure everything lines up as they should.
One little shift can make or break a reader's trust.
#2. MAKE SURE YOU TELL THE RIGHT SCENE AT THE RIGHT TIME.
While writing the first draft ofEmbassy, I threw down every little thing that popped into my head. In the first draft,
it's important you keep every idea. You don't know which ones you might use or
In the second and third drafts, I found that there were some scenes
which didn't quite fit into their places. I had to shift some scens whole days
or weeks into the past (or future) of the story. Maybe a character feels more
emotion here, or less there. Maybe a scene might justwork better
And nothing unexpected...ever happened.
up, experiment. I rewrote the first chapter of Embassy 47 times. I was constantly shifting things around to make them fit better and adding/deleting
things to make it flow better. Same with the other chapters.
#3. DEEPEN CHARACTERS AND GIVE THEM UNIQUE VOICES ASAP.
In the second
draft ofEmbassy, several of
my characters completely flipped personalities because their original forms
JUST DIDN'T WORK. The story was bogged down by these oh-so-perfect
people and very little was happening.
In draft two, one guy became a
jerk, the MC became depressed and lonely, and another character went from being sweet and shy to stuck-up and clingy.
Everyone's favorite trio!
Characterswill do that
naturally. I'm not in control of what my characters do,they are. I can only
#4.FIND THE MEANING OF YOUR STORY.
How many of
you were ever interested in a book that didn'tteach you
something? The people kind of just moved around, things just happened, and at
the end, you didn't quite care who lived and who died.
interesting, huh? So create a story with a lesson. Present a scenario that the
reader can relate to. Change the original draft of your story and rework it in a
way that readers will attach themselves to the characters.
#5.LET OTHER PEOPLE READ WHAT YOU
on the fourth draft ofEmbassy. Here is my process: I read one chapter at a
time in order. I edit that chapter, working it out until I see fit. Then I post
in my writing group and people volunteer to critique for me. They come back to me with comments, I look at
everything, revise and edit with those comments in mind, and send out the draft
again. Usually they'll offer one or two more suggestions.
Then I moved on to the next chapter and repeated the process. Each chapter took 3-4 days.
people read your work gives you a feel for how the General Public will like it. That's what you want, right? You're here because eventually, you want to be
published. If you want the public to read your book when you're finished,
let a small portion of the public read what you've writtennow, because the
feedback will usually be honest, and can save your writing from disaster.