Thoughts on Having My Novel Critiqued

Fourth (left) and partial sixth (right) drafts of my WIP

It’s the worst feeling in the world.

The end.

But of course that’s not the end at all.  Indeed, the realization of how wretched having your work critiqued can be is only just the beginning of a new stage of your writing journey.

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I’m Celebrating My 10th Writing Birthday! (by answering your burning writing questions)

Every writer has two* birthdays.

The anniversary of the day of your arrival into this world.

And that of the day you actually became a writer.

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Thoughts on Reading Through My Novel’s Third Draft

Three drafts of my WIP: first (in the box), second (blue), and third (clear)

In truth, the title to this post should actually be as follows:

“Thoughts on Reading Through My Novel’s Third Draft and Completing My Fourth Draft at More or Less the Same Time”.

Because that is how it went down.

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Thoughts on Completing My Novel’s Third Draft

And then there were three: first (green), second (blue), and third (clear) drafts of my WIP

It almost happened too fast for me to have any thoughts on the process at all.

Compared to the marathon of completing the second draft of my historical fiction WIP—which amounted to a complete rewrite of a draft written years ago—there was no way, I told myself, that I’d spend another year on draft three.

Or even the better part of a year

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Thoughts on Reading Through My Novel’s Second Draft

And then there were two: first (left) and second (right) drafts of my WIP

I’ve been down this road before.

The first time I did a complete read-through of my novel, I was terrified of what I’d find.

This time, I was excited as hell.

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Thoughts on Completing My Novel’s Second Draft

Thirty-one chapters rewritten and accounted for

It took an entire year.

In not even counting the two months where I purposely did no writing at all, it took an entire year to write the second draft of my historical fiction novel-in-progress, which amounted to a complete rewrite of my first draft.

It took longer to write than the first draft itself, which I completed in 10 months back in in 2005.

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On Recognizing the Interim Rewards of Writing

My chapter revision tracking system, with special emphasis given to chapters 7, 15, 21, and 30 (formerly 31)

My chapter revision tracking system for draft 2, with special emphasis given to chapters 7, 15, 21, and 30 (formerly 31)

The ultimate reward of writing, obviously, is publishing a book and having it read to widespread appeal.

But long before reaching that point, should a writer reward the intermediate stages of his/her writing journey?

In the past, I’ve written not only about both the importance of goal-setting, but also of ensuring your goals have corresponding plans to power their fulfillment.

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