How Does Your WIP Grow?
My First Reading
Halloween. Thanksgiving. Christmas.
Butterflies swirled as I stared at an entire pack of paper. My title page boldly proclaimed Scepter’s Sacrifice. Was it junk, as Hemingway prophesied all first drafts to be? Did it do Deheya justice? Could I just upload it to Amazon and slap $3.99 on it?
Not exactly. Not yet. If I wanted to embarrass myself.
Did I like it well enough to finish it?
When I was Christmas shopping, I picked up printer paper. I thought about printer cartridges and decided to pass. Christmas loomed. I plunged into wrapping presents, trimming trees, cooking, being with my family. At odd moments, I wondered what I would think. I didn’t dare tell my family and friends.
Two days after Christmas, I woke up. Tummy knotted up, I got up. Deciding I couldn’t endure another day, I decided to print it out. I battled Scrivener before getting my WIP to compile. After manually formatting, I finally had it ready. I’d indented paragraphs, selected single line spacing, and took out line feeds between paragraphs.
Holding my breath, almost hoping my printer would die, I hit PRINT. As page after page came out, I suspected I’d picked non-editor friendly options. When my printer cartridge ran out, I sighed in relief. I went to Walmart, twice. I went back to double spacing between lines, and page breaks between scenes. Several hours later, I had 469 pages. My pages.
How-to-write-books book recommended first readings without stopping. I think I had more pages than they envisioned. I started after lunch on Saturday. I finished Monday afternoon. When I wrote my draft, I ran my spell checker. I also used the Hemingway App, flagged adverbs, passive verbs, complicated and complex sentences. Fixing mistakes usually took me about fifteen minutes. My reward? I wasn’t pulled out of my reading experience by those distractions.
Not quite sure what to do, I started reading my hardcopy. Had I been using my computer, I would have begun rewriting, instead of reading. I began using parentheses. When I found remarkable words, sentences or paragraphs I enclosed them. If I wasn’t in love, I used question marks. If I wanted different words, I wrote them in. If I wanted to move it, I drew arrows.
I wrote ideas and other reactions in my margins. My reader’s reaction ranged from loving to hating text. I laughed, cried, gagged and felt lumps of pride. I wrote everything down.
I liked my story. I know I can make it better. I’m sure my new journey will be as surprising as writing my first draft. I will write down my impressions as I go.