About Me

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I am an aspiring writer living and working in Hull. I working on a novel, as well as writing short stories to keep my writing skills fresh. I decided to start a writing blog to connect with other writers. So please, take a look around and leave some comments - I'd love to read some of your writing blogs too. Nari X

Thursday, 12 July 2012

That Editorial Itch...

In my last post I spoke about setting myself smaller goals and working on other things as well as my novel, nomatter how small. Well, this evening I have written a letter to Good Food Magazine, and I intend to post it tomorrow. I buy Good Food quite a lot these days, and I love to cook (and eat), so I thought, why not? Besides, the star letter prizes are quite extravagant. 
It's a small achievement, but for a while I have been wanting to write another letter to a magazine, considering how well my letter in Writers' Forum went down.
It might sound odd, but it has really helped me to reassess  my writing style and was really refreshing.
Having to get your point across in a way that is concise and yet captures your voice with a limited word count is a great way to focus and hone your words.
Believe it or not I found myself editing my 90-odd word letter, refining it until I was perfectly happy, and this I found really refreshing. 
I think I'm itching to edit my novel. It doesn't feel right not going back over everything every time I write and scrapping loads, refining each single scene. I feel dissatisfied with what I have written because I know it could be better. 
Ok, I'll come out with it. I'm considering a cheeky editorial session. Would anyone judge me horribly considering I said I would push on until I had a first draft?
Is there any such thing as a partial first draft?


  1. I think it's whatever works for you. I know a lot of people advise against editing as you go because you might have to scrap a lot when you go back to redraft, but if you've got your book planned out from the beginning I don't see why you shouldn't. Just don't get too caught up in the details and forget to see the bigger picture.

    And getting a point across concisely is something I struggle with. It's one reason why I don't think I'd get on with Twitter. I'd want each Tweet to be witty and have loads of meaning packed into 140 characters and I'd fail miserably!

  2. I got the star letter in Good Housekeeping and my prize never materialised!

    I think you just have to be sensible about editing. I usually advise against it, if it's just for reasons of perfection. Your work isn't going to be perfect on a draft - get over it! But if it's because you want to change something major or you're finding it hard to continue because you can't get the voice quite right and want to work on that first before going further then go and edit!

    I always feel really depressed by the end of a first draft because I know it's rubbish. But that's part of being a writer. Nobody has to see a first draft after all. I reckon first draft is for getting the plot straight in your head, second for refining the plot and getting the voice authentic and third draft is for actually doing the good writing!

    One thing I would say is that second drafts involve a lot of cutting out the junk. If you've spent ages working and re-working the first draft it will be harder to cut stuff. You'll feel more attached to it and won't want to waste all that time you spent going over and over it. But if you want your book to be good you may have to cut it anyway. So long as you remember that anything you write on a first draft has to be open to being completely cut from the novel if it doesn't work in the context of the finished book - do what you're happy with!