Wednesday, September 4, 2013

a guest post || The wood between the worlds.

The wood between the worlds!
source
No, I don’t believe this wood is a world at all. I think it’s just sort of an in-between place. 
—Digory Kirke, The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis

Good morning, writers! How are you doing? I'm rather nervous as school officially starts today, and I've never been to the public high school, having spent all my life up to my junior year as a homeschooler only. Thankfully, I had some experience with "public" school through Washington State's Running Start program last year, though it was all online. But I don't come here today to write about my trials as a sudden public schooler. . .and before I get into my real message, I've promised to tell you that I'm guest posting for our beautiful authoress and blog administrator Brittney Ann, since she's out of town this week.

An "in-between" place is what I want to talk about today, and I'll try to keep it short and to the point. This "wood between the worlds" is actually the wood where you stand when you've finished the first draft of your book and are planning to move on to the second. You might be eager to leap into the pool under your feet, but at the same time part of your brain could be a little cautious. Maybe you've heard that you should wait a while before embarking on that second-draft voyage. Should you? should you not? If you do, what are you supposed to do during the break? Do you keep writing? Or do you just take your well-deserved rest, incubating on whatever great ideas you know you've got somewhere inside you?

I don't want to repeat this entire page on the increasingly popular blog Go Teen Writers, but I do want to answer one question and give you two assignments afterward.
Q: To take time off or not to take time off? That is the question.
I believe that yes, you should take time off. It doesn't have to be six weeks like Go Teen Writers's Stephanie Morrill, author of The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt series and The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet, recommends, but you do need to get away from your manuscript for a while. After working so hard to finish Draft One, you're probably a little burnt out on the story, and if you're not excited about your book, you aren't going to get anything worthwhile into your pages. Because I tend to work better on a schedule or some organization, I would tell you not to sit around waiting for the spark to come back--I'd suggest actually setting your break for a certain amount of time (two weeks, three weeks, thirty days. . .), and I'd also recommend not making that time too short. You need enough time away from the book to "grow" a little, so you can actually recognize the faults your book has (because, let's face it, it will have faults), while you also need to make sure you're coming back to it soon enough that valuable time (in which you could have gotten published!) isn't lost.

Now to the assignments.

#1 If, sometime during the writing of the book you just finished, you had an idea for something new, now's the time to begin working on that project.
The idea for my "next" book, a fairy tale retelling, started trying to complete itself only six or seven weeks ago. I'm pretty sure it has a long way to go, but I'm working on it by following some of the guidelines of the article I linked to above. I wrote a synopsis of it in July, and by now have exposed the illogical points of the fairy tale and have also started "composting". If you click the link above ("this entire page"), Stephanie Morrill will explain what "composting" is. 

#2 Start reading up on writing articles, writing books, and anything else that will help you in your potential writing career.
If you need a place to start, click here. There's a lot of articles (most of them from Go Teen Writers) to help you in various areas, and all it requires is some time spent reading through them. I hope to go through that whole board (deleting pins as I go, so that I can fill it up again during Draft Two) before I start on my "serious" book again. 
What do you think about taking time off before you commence your next draft? 

Hannah is sixteen. She's tall, brown-headed, loves detective shows, and is very excited to have finished the first draft of her book, The Bridge Between Heaven and Hell, on August 27, 2013, after 972 long days and about 225,000 words. She's an amateur fashionista and a professional dreamer. You can find more of her ramblings on life, writing journey, and thoughts on various literature by visiting her blog, walking in the air.

Already done with your allotted break from Draft One? Click here to find a sample schedule on getting ready for, and writing, your second draft.

4 comments:

  1. LOVE THIS, HANNAH!!!!!! And really excited to hear that you have finished your 1st draft!!! :) I finished mine too! :) I'm taking 6 weeks off of the novel i just finished writing, and I'm starting the next novel in the series. I'm taking no time off of writing, but Stephanie's suggested time off of that one novel. Thanks for such a great post, Hannah!!!

    Tw

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    1. Oh, good! Yay for finishing your first draft, too!

      I'm trying to follow the assignments I gave above, but I'm afraid I'll just be too busy with my English class (which does involve a lot of reading and writing, so it's not too bad) to keep going with it.

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  2. Thanks so much for posting =) Loved it!

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    1. You're welcome--thank you for letting me post! :)

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