Seven and a Half Chapters Out

I’m nearly done with the first draft of Birthright. There will be a celebration when I get these last chapters done. There always is. I think it’s important to celebrate accomplishments, no matter how small or uneventful it seems. It’s just a rough draft; there’s lots of work still to do, right? Right.

But, the story will basically be done. This thing has lived in my head for six months, and now it’s finally out. It may change, even drastically, but the bones are there. And believe me, that’s something!

The first thing I’ll do after the celebration? Read it. Then I’ll rewrite it, adding in the things I’ve kept on scattered notes taped all over my desk. When I think I have that right, I’ll rewrite it again, adding in more details and fleshing it out. I’ll go back to key chapters one more time after that and give them a good work over one last time. Then, a final read.

That editing is a lot of hard work.  Things that seemed so charming when first written may seem trite and contrived. They’ll have to be cut. It can be brutal to a writer’s ego. Time to celebrate again.

So you see, the celebrations are really rewards for sticking with it. Even when real life interferes. Even when you’re sure you’re the worst writer on the face of the Earth and you don’t deserve to even look at a book again.

I celebrate when the manuscript is accepted.

I celebrate if it’s not accepted, has to be rewritten again and again and again, and then is accepted.

I celebrate when the publisher’s edits are finished.

And then I really, really, really celebrate on launch day. We’re talking a party.

Why? Because it’s hard work. Because I made it that far. Because I deserve it. So does the book.

 

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About Wendy L. Koenig

I was born in Colorado, but raised on a small homestead in Illinois. I served in the USAF right out of high school. After my stint in the military was finished, I returned home and had a horse stable. My first piece to be printed was a short children’s fiction, Jet’s Stormy Adventure, serialized in The Illinois Horse Network. It was a natural fit, given my business. Later, I attended University of Iowa's famed summer workshops and writing programs. Since that time, I have authored and co-authored numerous books. Several of my novels and short stories have won international awards and have appeared in multiple venues.
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