Writing Tips

Writing Tip: The 3-Draft Rule

Today, I’m going to offer you some advice about how many drafts you should have before you consider sending out your full manuscript to a publishing company.

I consider the magic number to be 3: Three full-length drafts and let me tell you why.

Draft One: Getting it Down

Your very first draft should really be focused on just getting your writing out of your head and down on paper. In this draft, I encourage you to just write. Do not focus on getting it perfect, or saying everything you need to say. Create the bones of your manuscript. Or, in other words, consider it the road map for the rest of your drafts. This first draft is all about getting your words on paper and it will be messy, it will be disorganized, it will not be perfect. And guess what, it shouldn’t be.

Draft Two: Buffing it Out

After “completing” your first draft (meaning that the bones of your manuscript are present and arranged), it is time to start adding the “meat” (the muscles, sinews, and veins, etc.). Draft Two can be accomplished on your own or with a friend or writing colleague. I personally believe that it is beneficial to have outside opinion for this draft. What I do, is I send my Draft One to friends and receive BETA reader comments. What needs flushing out? What drags? What doesn’t make sense, etc.? Once I have their comments, I comb back through my first draft and begin addressing both their comments and add in my own. After this, you should have a completed, flushed out draft, but you’re not done yet.

Draft Three: Cleaning it Up

Once you have completed crafting your narrative (it has bones, and muscle, and skin), it’s time to make it pretty! If hardcore editing is not your thing, ask for outside help whether that means the family member who is an English major or paying for grammar edits. Trust me, nothing lowers the quality of a good book faster than bad grammar. This is your one chance to impress a publishing company, so spend some time (and maybe some money) improving your manuscript until it shines.

 

Well, there you have it: my three-draft rule!

What do you think? Is three drafts too many or too little? Be sure to comment below!

***Extra Tip: It is okay to have some time take place between Draft One and Draft Two, distance can be a good thing for your own writing! It can give you perspective.

 

Happy Writing Everyone!

***If you enjoyed today’s tip be sure to check out my Writing Tips section under the main menu for more great tips and tricks on how to improve your writing!

 

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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The Agency Games

The Agency Games: An(other) Update

Hey Guys!

So, here I am with another update on my upcoming non-fiction analysis of The Hunger Games. My book, The Agency Games (working title), is currently in the editor’s and peer reviewer’s hands. As some of you may remember, my book already underwent round one with peer reviewers. One of my peer reviewers LOVED it and the other was not quite a fan.

So, to break the tie, the editors wanted me to revise, rewrite, and resubmit my book to a third peer reviewer. After making some pretty crazy tweaks and adding in more content, I sent back my book and it was placed in the hands of a peer reviewer about five weeks ago.

Then, I received an email a couple days ago from my publishers. Unfortunately, something happened with the third reviewer beyond their control and they had to back out. This means that my book is back in limbo as I wait to hear back from publishers as they attempt to find a different third reader to peer review my book. Once they find a new third reader, it will be another 6-8 weeks before I hear back from the publishers with the third reader’s comments.

While part of me is super bummed out (my book will definitely not be published by the end of this year), I am rolling with the punches. And honestly, this timeline might work out better for me. If I am lucky, I will hear back before Christmas and have some time over Christmas break to work on revisions, but we will see!

Thank you to everyone who has encouraged me and supported me through this long process! As a first time author, everything is new to me and having all of you along for the ride is so comforting! I’ll let you know what happens next!

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Happy Writing Everyone!

Blogs / Life, Writing Tips

Highlighting “Rejection” Day 1: KaylaAnn

Hello there friends!

As many of you are aware, I finished up my latest round of The Agency Games last week and I was feeling pretty good about myself. That is, until I got the rejection letter from another publishing company that I had submitted my children’s series to a couple months back. They responded,

We have read and reviewed it with care, but we’re sorry to say that it doesn’t seem quite right for our list. We appreciate the opportunity to read your work, however, and wish you good luck in finding the right home for this project.

Overall, it’s not actually a horrible rejection letter. It is kind and considerate, and while I may wish they had told me why the book was not the right fit, I appreciated their encouragement to try again elsewhere.

Now, you may be wondering, why am I highlighting my failures online for everyone to see? The answer is simple really:

I believe in presenting my authentic self, every time.

And honestly, I refuse to see a rejection letter as a “failure.” Lately, I have been blessed enough to be able to focus and celebrate my accomplishments, but I am a writer, and our lives are definitely not only made up of achievements. The life of a writer is overflowing with feedback and most of it is not going to be positive (not if you’re allowing yourself to be vulnerable). There is going to be negative feedback, hurtful criticism, and yes, enough rejection letters to plaster your office walls.

So what? That does not mean that we stop writing. It means that we sit our butts back down in our writing chair, we open our computers, and we go to work.

This week, in honor of my latest rejection letter, I am going to post up a new famous author every day who went through multiple rejections on their way to becoming successful. Are you a writer? Have you received that rejection letter? You are not alone! Stop by my blog each day this week to read about how all the “great” authors have stood exactly where you stand now with rejection letters in hand.

My hope is this, that as a writing community we will not equate “rejection” with “failure.”

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©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Agency Games

The Agency Games (Peer Review: ROUND TWO)

Alright guys, I did it. I successfully took the comments, compliments, and critiques from my two peer review readers and over the past four weeks, I have edited, revised, dissected, pulled apart, set-on-fire, re-arranged and re-written parts my manuscript.

I won’t lie, that was rough!

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The most recent draft has nearly 4,000 words more than the previous draft which I believe to be a good representation of the amount of scholarship, development, and clarification I have added along the way.  Beyond addressing any grammatical issues, I focused on developing and clarifying my overall argument as well as the individual arguments for each chapter. Also, due to reviewer request, I worked on inserting more outside scholarship to help substantiate my interpretations of The Hunger Games trilogy.

As hard as it was to read those criticisms, I am grateful for them, because I honestly believe that my book is better for it. I sent out my latest draft yesterday evening and am hoping to hear back from the publishers within a week to let me know that they have received it. After that, it will be another 6 to 8 weeks before I hear back from my third reader. Meanwhile, I’ll just be over here like . . .

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I am praying that this reader will have a more favorable response to my improved draft! I would greatly appreciate your prayers as well in this matter as I now have to force myself to not focus on what they may say about my book. I am plagued by anxieties and self-doubts, but I will choose to focus instead on the positive. In the effort to stay optimistic, I wanted to share one of the kinder things one of my readers had to say about my book:

This text takes a different approach [to the series], considering the role of agency in the text . . . Unlike previous scholarship, the writer suggests that these novels can help readers identify opportunities for agency (empowerment) in their own chaotic contexts.

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If only one person in the whole world enjoys my book, that is enough. I am so grateful for this opportunity to pursue my dream and I am so encouraged by each and every one of you! Thank you to everyone for your support and your understanding these past few weeks as I have taken multiple Tuesdays “off” from blogging. While life is still crazy, I hope to become more actively involved in this awesome community!

If you are interested in receiving updates for when this book becomes available, be sure to leave a comment on the post: The Agency Games – Sign me Up!

Blogs / Life

Please Pardon . . . this Extension of Absence

As some of you may recall, I took off the last two Tuesdays to work on my book. Overall, I am pleased with the progress I have made! However, at the same time, I am perhaps a bit overwhelmed with how much more I still want to do.

Therefore, I asked the publishers for a two week extension. Over the next two weeks, I really hope to add even more scholarship to my book, appealing to both the reader and the scholarly professor.

I know that part of this process is simply overcoming the negative critiques that I received. We all have that annoying critic in our heads, don’t we? The one who says our work is never good enough. I’ve been arguing with mine all week and I plan to prove her wrong!

Therefore, I ask for your understanding as I refrain from my normal postings on Tuesdays and if I seem a bit more aloof or slow in responding for the next two weeks.

Thank you to everyone who has offered me their support.

You guys are truly amazing!

Writing Tips

Writing Tip: Scrap Your Work . . .

Yup, this one kind of sucks.

But before you just start dumping all of your work in the trash can or incinerator, read what I have to say.

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“Scrap Your Work When Necessary.

As you all know, I am typing away furiously each and every day in the attempt to finish my 75,000 word manuscript for The Agency Games by May 31st. That means that every word counts. Just this week however I had to scrap entire chapter… over 4,000 words…

Yea…

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Let’s just say, that was not easy, but after giving it to a trusted Beta-reader, I had no choice. The chapter was attempting to discuss both Haymitch and Cinna at the same time and my Beta-reader just ended up more confused than enlightened. Not the response I was looking for. So, it had to go.

And guess what. I’m re-writing those characters into two separate chapters and I’ve already received some positive feedback from the same Beta-reader.

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Writing is hard and scrapping your own work can really suck, but it can also be necessary. So don’t be afraid to toss those sentences, paragraphs, pages, and yes, even chapters!

Happy Writing Everyone!

 

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Writing Tips

Writing Tip: When should you be revising/editing your work?

Revise/Edit AFTER Your First Complete Draft
So often I hear this question: “When should I revise my work? Should I be focused on editing the grammar and syntax as I go along? Should I edit after I finish a chapter? A scene? A paragraph? Within the sentence?”
First, let me say that different writers write and edit differently. However, I highly suggest that you do not edit AT ALL until your first draft is completed.
Editing IS important and this cannot be emphasized enough. However, trying to edit as you write can often be detrimental to your creative processes. When you are first writing it is important to simply write, to let the words go, and get the sentences out. When you first write, you do not want to be encumbered by thoughts of grammatical error or plot holes.
I am not saying that grammar and consistency are not important, they are, but not when you first start drafting. The point of the first draft is simply to create. Once you have finished the first draft, then it is time to go back and edit.
Therefore, once you have finished, I suggest editing chapter by chapter. Check and make sure every chapter has a fully developed arc and correct your grammar. After that, do a second revision to check that all of your chapters flow into one another and that the story is complete with no gaps.

Happy Writing Everyone!

***If you enjoyed today’s Writing Tip, be sure to check out other tips under the “Writing Tips” section on my home page!

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Blogs / Life

GOING LIVE and I want to hear from YOU!

Good morning Writers, Readers, Poets, and Caffine Addicts!
Just a reminder that I will be going LIVE with an awesome panel of authors in just about 3hours at 11am PST! FREE BOOK giveaway and tons of discussion about writing, editing, and publishing! 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻
While I’ll be asking questions, I really want to hear from other writers too!

So how can you watch the livestream? On my homepage you will see my Facebook page on the right hand sidebar. Click that!

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Once your on my Facebook page you will see the top pinned post. Click “Get Reminder” and then around 11amPST Be ready to watch, comment, question, and enjoy!

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Hope to see you there! If you end up missing it, don’t worry! I’ll be sure to post a recap and some interesting thoughts I’ve had with this whole experience.

Happy Writing Everyone!