First draft crazies and self-imposed deadlines

Hi all! Sorry the blog's a bit late today, but I've been getting ready to go to Boise for a wedding. I leave on Wednesday, and I've had to do all the usual stuff.




Write the last 15k words of my new middle grade in the space of four days...


Here's the sad thing. I do not HAVE to finish this project before I leave. It's a new book and it's a companion (sort of) to a book I've already written. And we're not submitting again until the publishing process for House of a Thousand Dolls is well under way.

Basically? No one cares if the first draft of this book is done by tomorrow night. It will do nothing but make me feel better.


I hate first drafts. I mean, there are some good moments, but mostly it's endless pages of slushy writing and hastily marked notes. "Finish this metaphor with something interesting!" "That sentence is awkward!" etc.

And with historical fantasy (which is what this one is) it's even worse. I do a LOT of research before I start, trying to get a sense of the time period and the culture, but I always have to go back and fill in appropriate details. At some point I abandon all pretense of trying to get it right and enter the no man's land of "make crap up and fix it later."

Actually, make crap up and fix it later is pretty much my first draft motto, and this always makes me feel vaguely guilty. I don't like the feeling of making things up about another culture, even though I leave careful notes and always do several research passes afterwards.

But there's always that little voice in the back of my head that says OMG if anyone sees this mess, not only  will they think I'm an awful writer, but they'll think I'm a horrible historian because all these details are WRONG. AHHHHH!!!!!

And that's why I'm sitting here. My house is a disaster, I'm only half-packed and I haven't showered in *cough* way too long, but if I can crank out 5k words tomorrow, I'll be done. The draft will go on my hard drive to age properly, the nagging voices will shut up, and I can go to Boise with a clear head.

And then come back and start first-drafting the sequel to House of a Thousand Dolls.


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Fabric art in the header by Carol Riggs.