The harrowing journey of my fourth draft

A Whisper of Destiny is now complete. All the scenes are written. I got to type ‘the end’ finally.

Now the real work of editing starts. *whimpers*

I thought I’d take the time to reflect on the lessons learnt so far.

1. Don’t just do a back up in Scrivener. Compile and back up a version in word.

I’m pretty paranoid about backing up my work, but last year I lost a third of what I thought was a completed draft during a scrivener update. As you can guess I was pretty cut up. It took me a year to rewrite everything. Admittedly I had many hiatuses. And…the lost draft appeared, after I was three scenes from finishing the rewrites. I cannot explain this. I had searched multiple times.

I wasn’t impressed.

2. I’m untidy and disorganised. My computer files are proof of this. So are all my hand written notebooks of which there are multitudes.

I need to keep scenes in one file. (I write scenes in Pages, and then export them to Scrivener.) It’s supposed to be a built in backup, but I can never find anything. I need to work out a better system for my notebooks as well. Still thinking about that. I have an idea, I just need time. The notebook situation is a little more excusable, I have been trundling around all over the U.K. Now hopefully I’m staying put, I can rectify this situation.

3. I need to stop freaking out every time there is a controversy in the book world that might affect me.

This is self explanatory. Apologies to those who’ve had to talk me through a panic attack.

4. No more work shopping mid draft.

I just need to finish. It impedes my creative process (did I just type that?), and fills me with self doubt, so much so I go into analysis paralysis, or I lay sobbing on the ground for weeks. What? I’m a delicate flower.

5. The final lesson I’ll share is just keep going. Even when you feel like crap, and everything you write is the worst thing ever written. Write anyway. I’ve gotten to the point that I’m actually quite disciplined, and feel lost if I haven’t at least tried to get some words down everyday. It doesn’t matter if it’s ten words or ten thousand. The key is don’t self edit until you’re done. (I will read back a scene). A year down the track, you don’t even remember you were on the brink of deleting everything the night you wrote that scene.

So here endth my post draft reflection. I have many more lessons, but I don’t want to sound all writerly and boring.

Adieu, lovelies!

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