Sunday, June 6, 2010


No, I'm not speaking of soccer, although I am very excited about the World Cup starting next week, especially for the photos of the players that will make the rounds through my email. (I might have to share)

No, today I'm talking about achieving one of my goals for 2010. I finished my second book.

Interesting though, I wasn't as excited as I was when I finished the first one, probably because I'm not naive anymore and I know what it takes to edit a book to the point where it's query worthy. Don't get me wrong. I'm very happy to have completed this goal. I wanted to know that I could do it again. That I could write a completely different book, with different characters and plot line. Knowing I can do it makes me more confident about having a writing career, even if it takes me a while.

The first draft of my last book was 100,000 words and I cut it to 70,000. This time I took a different approach. I wrote less words, knowing I would add more later on.

So here's your question: When you write a first draft to you write to add, or write to cut?


paulgreci said...

Congrats on finishing, Patti!!

When I write a first draft I think I do some of both. A bunch of overwriting in some places and underwriting in others.

Tabitha Bird said...

Firstly WOOO HOOO ! You finished the book! How cool is that!

And when I write a first draft I just write. I get it out and once it is out then I worry about the words I used and how many of them there are. It makes for a messy edit, but a very fun first draft.

Piedmont Writer said...

Go you! Yay! Congratulations!!! That's something to celebrate.

As to first drafts -- I over write tremendously, that way I can take stuff out. I'm the backstory queen but I need to see it all down in one place just once, before I start revising and editing.

Kelly Lyman said...

Congrats on finishing your second book! I hope to complete that goal by this time next year! I have only ever written one draft (which I am now revising) and I just wrote and wrote and wrote. I believe when I finished my first draft, my word count was around 87,000. It is now around 64,000 and I am still editing.
I think when I start on my second book, I'll be like you- write less knowing I'll add more.

Jessie Oliveros said...

You finished thsi goal only 6 months into 2010. Lots of time left for all your other goals.

Southpaw said...

First, a big congrats on completing book number two! That’s a big deal. I write to add.

Aubrie said...

Hey, thanks for stopping by my blog! I'm following yours now. And congrats on finishing your book! I love that feeling of accomplishment.

I write too little and then have to go back and fill in the spots. My manuscript came out at 78,000 and now I'll add a few thousand more words in some places to round it out. But everyone is different.

Good luck with polishing it up!

Eric W. Trant said...

Congratulations. I saw another poster who finished her book this weekend, too. I don't know if school letting out has anything to do with it, but there does seem to be a loose correlation to summertime and book finishings.

I try to write to wordcount. I add some, delete some, but mostly I keep my ongoing work as clean as possible to minimize later revision. I edit as I go so I don't have to do it later.

I'll jump back a few chapters, clean it up for a couple of weeks, and then when I get back to my current stopping place I am back on track.

I learned after my first two books that if it was going to be a huge effort to rewrite the piece, I would never rewrite it. The muse doesn't like reruns.

- Eric

Laura Pauling said...

That's awesome you finished your second book!

I'm an underwriter. I usually have to cut some stuff but I usually have to add more sensory details and that kind of stuff.

Carolyn V. said...

Yay!!! Super yay! Your second book is done! I'm so excited for you!

I put my book away for a few weeks and reread it to find those things that just don't make sense and then I can cut and rewrite how ever I need to. (but it's still a lot of work!)

Heidi Willis said...

Woo Hoo!!!! Yay for you!! I never get tired of seeing someone say they've finished! :) It's such a huge accomplishment, I'm excited for you!!

I write thin and know I'll add. It's easier than cutting fluff I know I don't need but am attached to.

Of course, some readers might say I didn't put enough in, so maybe I'm doing it the wrong way. :)

Corey Schwartz said...

Oh, what an accomplishment! And an interesting question. I love hearing about people's processes.

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

AHHHH!!!! Congrats! That is such a great feeling!

patti said...

That's wonderful!!! Praise God.

Hmmm. Add and cut go together and marriage? Coffee and chocolate?
Great to be back at this blog!

prashant said...

A bunch of overwriting in some places and underwriting in others.
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