I guess this won’t be a secret any longer!
I’ll admit that drafting a novel is not my favorite part of writing. My favorite part? Revising! I truly love it more because drafting always feels like squeezing blood from a stone for some reason. I love working with clay more than I love making the clay, I guess. That’s how I view it.
Currently I am working on my novella, Scales. It’s hard for me because it’s in the drafting stage. New world, new characters, new plot twists, new everything. And dragons! That’s the best part, of course. I love this book. It’s fun, but draining on so many levels, and I haven’t even reached the dragon part yet. Sigh.
When I get too exhausted to draft, I turn back to revising/editing/tweaking my novel, The Breakaway, which is due to my publisher in September. So, you may ask, what is this little revision secret of yours? I’ll tell you! I used to print out my drafts on paper. It was such a pain. Now, when I reach this very, very last point in my revision stage before turning a book in to my editor, I print it out using Lulu – a self-publishing site. It’s pretty simple to format the book and design a cover (although you don’t have to do anything fancy for the cover if you don’t want to). This way, I have an actual printed book. It’s incredible what I catch reading my work this way. It’s even better than on my Kindle. I can write directly in the book, too. Notes and scribbles and arrows and all sorts of junk. Can’t do that on my Kindle. I still have my copy of Monarch that I did this with before publishing it.
There’s something about holding my book in this form that helps my brain get into the – “this is going to be published soon, so you’d better make all the necessary changes NOW” mode. I think this is a good mode for any writer to get into if they’re about to send their book out for querying, submissions, anything of that sort.
To give you an idea of price, The Breakaway cost me $8.70 to print, plus shipping (usually $3 something). Monarch cost me $10.58 to print, but it was way longer than The Breakaway in draft form.
Anyway, that’s my little secret. It has been fun to keep these marked-up copies on my shelf, and it sure makes editing a lot easier for me. I only do this in the last stages, though. I couldn’t afford to do this for every draft. I use my Kindle and my laptop for those.