peadarog (peadarog) wrote,

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Precious Virgins of The Final Draft

Or, why you owe it to yourself to do your job, you lazy, lazy git...

Nothing curses the needy writer worse than impatience -- I should know, I want the rewards of having written a good book, but without all the necessary work. And so, as I head into draft 3 of Eat the Drink, the draft that will go to my agent after Christmas, I have to force myself with cords and nails, to stay in front of the screen and finish the bloody thing properly.

Yes, properly.

And what do I mean by that?

I'm excited by the manuscript. I love the world-building and the two main characters. But as I read through it, there are passages that I know are not quite right. There are plot elements that need fixing, clarifying, polishing. And to fix them will require weeks of work while everybody else is out partying.

That's when the voice starts whispering in my ear: "It's good enough now. Why not send it off? You'll get pleasure when your agent says he loves it. You'll get your answer *instantly*. Eat cake now, my pretty, and sleep."

That voice is a liar. It's even more of a liar than the one telling me to kill my neighbours or the one that warns me I'll fade away if I don't have extra dessert after a feast.

Because my manuscript has a LOT wrong with it. An awful lot, but to see it, I'll need the help of Virgin readers, people who don't know that the butler did it and who can still be caught out by that killer twist if I've done it right. And virgin readers are expensive. You can't take just anybody. You'll need another experienced writer if you can get 'em and they will be cheeky enough to demand that you read their work too.

And remember, you can only use them once. It's not that they can't be useful in further drafts down the road, but now that they know it was the butler, you'll never have the opportunity to catch them out again.

It's easy to waste their precious eyeballs, especially if you let pass all those things you should have known how to fix by yourself. Every shoddy scene adds more noise to the signal and takes them out of the plot and makes it that bit harder for them to find the mistakes that you would never be able to find yourself.

So, don't be a lazy sod like me and do it right. Or my voices will tell me where you live...
Tags: writing
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