What I have/What I need

A few posts ago I mentioned a book by Carolyn See “Making a Literary Life”.  It was because of this book that I was able to finish my first draft. The advice of writing 1000 words a day really got me to my goal faster.  Now it’s editing time.  I’ve turned to her advise again. She suggests making a page divided into two halves labeled:

What I Have                                                            What I Need

The purpose here is to read through your first draft with honesty.  Realize that my own first draft is FAR from perfect and what I’ve just printed will most likely be nothing more word vomit by the time I’m done with it.  But that’s sort of the point of this process: to sort out what you’ve actually got in your novel, and what you actually need to turn it into something someone would actually pay money for.

So far, I’ve gone through my prologue and first two chapters with this method.  I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but here is a sample of what my have/need list looks like:

What I Have                                                          What I Need

*A political rant that has no purpose                  More action, less crap

*An unaffected Main Character                          A sympathetic M/C

*A long winded prologue                                     A better way to get info out

Things get a lot more gruesome in terms of the sort of crap I’ve actually written as opposed to what my mind thought I wrote, so we’re still several months away from anything even close to a legit novel.  But that is all part of the process. The hope is that there are enough wet wipes in my brain in order to clean up what I’ve just spewed out onto the page.

Bring it on. I’m ready.

2 thoughts on “What I have/What I need”

  1. I can’t wait to start reading it. This weeks has been long, as you well know, so I’m hoping to get some reading time in this weekend. Bring on the red pen! Hehe.

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