Monday, February 22, 2016

Favorite Writing Phase

by Andrea Renee Cox

A question I see often in book release parties for other authors is, “What’s your favorite phase of writing a novel?”

My favorite phase is writing the first draft.

Sure, it’s terrible and needs a LOT of editing. The parts of the first draft I fall in love with don’t always make the final cut. Even some characters must say goodbye before the book is finalized, making them unknown at all to readers. Then there are the grammar mistakes that drive me nuts, since I’m a copyeditor.

So why do I like the first draft so much?

Discovery.

Courtesy of Simon Howden and freedigitalphotos.net.
I love discovering a story for the first time, whether it’s reading a new book, watching a new movie, or yes, writing a new story. There’s nothing quite like unearthing who those characters are, where they live, how they dress and speak, and what their dreams and fears are. I enjoy seeing how they interact with each other, watching them throw their tantrums and eventually mature (hopefully), and finding out if they obtain the dreams the set out for at the beginning. What are the obstacles that stand (or leap) in their way? Who hates them and why? Will that play a big part in the storyline or small? How they fall in love and who with. All of those things and many, many more make the first draft so exquisite to me, even if it is a bit (a TON) stressful and difficult and mind-bending.

Maybe I’m weird to like the first draft better than any other phase of writing. But then, writers are a different breed in the first place, aren’t they? And as my family would tell you, I’ve always danced to my own beat anyway. I don’t expect to be like anyone else in the world, because God made me unique and I’ve learned to thrive in that knowledge.

Another thing I love about the first draft is how it reminds me that God has already written my own story. Long ago He decided to create me. At that time He wove an unbelievable tale from my birth to when I would lose my first tooth to when I would graduate high school to when I will someday get married. All the way to my eventual death, God has designed every moment of my life. Oh, to see those blueprints! Actually, I'm glad I can't see them. I'd rather discover each phase of my life as it comes, not in advance. Thankfully, my heavenly Father has a wonderful plan set in place for me to unearth one day at a time.

Now that you know what my favorite phase of writing is, I better get back to it. I'm still working on the tail end of the novel I began last November for the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Can't wait to see how it ends!

Friends, what are your favorite parts of books? Is it the characters, themes, motivation, plot, time period, etc.? What makes a story a 5-star book for you?


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