Spread Your Wings & Fly or Before, After, Wow! What a Difference!

Here are the pictures you've been waiting for all your lives. The back of my head before and after my hair straightening. No, no, you don't have to thank me. I'm here to serve.

Um, sure, Debbie, whatever. You've finally cracked just like we knew you would.

What, if anything, does my hair have to do with writing, you ask? Plenty! I've done several posts on the difference between first drafts and final drafts, but the subject - at least for me - never grows old. These pictures of the back of my head represent "first draft" vs "final draft." For my purposes here, final draft means the point where you, as the writer, decide you're ready to submit your work to agents. From there, the manuscript is almost always edited further by both literary agents and editors at the publishing houses, so rarely is it ever the final, final draft.

The picture with my wavy hair represents the first draft. Every piece is there, ready to be teased and combed into place. However, it's a mess. It's gnarly, knotted, unruly, and not too nice to look at. My straight hair illustrates the final draft. It's perfectly structured, well-defined, and elegant. Months of focused, detailed, concentrated work is needed to transform the unruly mess into well-defined elegance.

If you're anything like me, getting to the point where you feel your work is "done" is one of the most difficult aspects of the writing process. I could literally edit my "final" draft over and over ad nauseum until the cows come home or until hell freezes over or until (insert your favorite cliche here) and never feel "done." So, when I got one request that quickly turned to three for a novel I'd finished months ago, I felt I needed to "review" my final draft before I sent it out.

Over the last 10 days, I've had the pleasure of revisiting my novel SPARKS FLY SOMETIMES: CONFESSIONS OF A ROCK PRINCESS. While it still needed editing, it was better than I remembered. I read through the entire manuscript, deleting unnecessary words, tweaking dialogue, and tightening scenes. It was a gift because it allowed me to see how far I'd come as a writer in such a short period of time, and because it gave me a chance to fall in love with the characters and story all over again.

And, I'm happy to say, SFS is complete! Until an agent or editor tells me otherwise, it's a "final draft." Like my sister, Laurie says, "Before, after - wow! What a difference!"

I've sent my baby off to those few select agents and, like a good parent, hope it will spread it's wings and fly.

And now it's back to the wild, unruly mess that is the beloved first draft. YA novel, look out, cause HERE I COME!!!
You have read this article final draft / first draft / Sparks Fly Sometimes / The Secret Keeper with the title Spread Your Wings & Fly or Before, After, Wow! What a Difference!. You can bookmark this page URL http://loriescorner.blogspot.com/2009/10/spread-your-wings-fly-or-before-after.html. Thanks!