When you write a story it can be very personal and isolating and although editing is a crucial part of the process it can be daunting … and just a little bit soul crushing. In order to survive this process without losing the will to write, ask people who love you to edit you work.
Your first draft can be very rough and will require a lot of polish before it is ready to be seen by the wider world. The people who are giving me feedback care for me though. They want your story to be the best it can be and they want me to succeed so every piece of advice they give is for my benefit.
Also helps if the copies you give them have double line spacing. Sorry I didn’t think to do that, I’ll make you a new copy.
After a frenzied write to the finish line I have completed my first draft for Coffee, Cats and Murder. This is also the first writing project I have managed to finish, so needless to say I am rather proud of myself.
Now begins the first edit. I have given 3 copies to friends and family and now nervously await their feedback. No doubt it will return to me covered in red scribble.
The late nights and multitudes of coffees have taken their toll and I will problem need a week to recover and as stated I shall be abstaining from coffee for at least a month. Instead I have become a devotee of tea.
Around the middle of Coffee, Cats and Murder I lost motivation and went a few months without writing anything. If not for the constant pestering from one of my friends it may have become another one of my many unfinished projects.
And so I made her a deal. I would complete 1 chapter a week, and if I failed to do so she could punch me. Since making this deal I have been punched many times, but over all it seems to be working.
Now to see if I can finish the last 2 chapters without getting hit again.
Note: my friend never punches me hard, it doesn’t even hurt. It’s just a way to make sure I am writing every week.
While writing I make many typos, and sometimes I think it is my subconscious trying to take over.
“I really shouldn’t think about reducing the amount of coffee I drink
It was supposed to be should, but my brain has a different plan.
Just reached 15,000 words!
I reached 14,000 only 4 days ago, so I’ve been writing like a madman since then. I blame all the coffee I am drinking as well as the motivation of approaching the end.
Right now I am on a roll and I want to keep this momentum going, but time is counting down and I’ll have to leave for my actual job soon. Going to have another coffee and keep writing up to the last minute.
(By the way that makes 5 coffees today so far.)
When I am writing I crave coffee and over the progress of my current story I seem unable to write unless I have a coffee to go with it.
For the most part this hasn’t been a problem. I would have 1-2 cups a day and that seems pretty normal to me. But in the past few weeks as I approach the end of the story I find myself drinking more. Lately I have been having 4-5 cups a day, which is still not as much as when I was teaching in schools, but more than I think is healthy.
To compensate, when I finish the first draft I think I will have to give up coffee for a month or so.
The inspiration for Coffee, Cats and Murder comes from my 2 cats that are actually named Mara and Drake. Though their personalities are very different from the characters they represent.
Drake is a grump jerk who will suddenly bite you when he is tires of your company and Mara is a shy girl who avoids people she doesn’t know and jumps at loud noises.
And they are not my only pets to make it into the story, Nikolai was my cat from primary school until university and Crispin was my dog through high school.
Although none of the characters match the pets they were named for it makes me smile to read their names through the story.
I’m going to make this apology right at the beginning and admit that I have terrible grammar and spelling when writing. I tend to write and think at 2 different speeds and so I often leave off suffixes or even whole words. And if I try and proof read my own work I read over my mistakes and don’t even see them.
This is why I shall have other people proofreading and editing my story for me, but these posts have only me reading them before they are posted.
There will be mistakes and grammatical errors, please just deal with it.
Writing can be a long and isolating process and maintaining motivation can be a serious problem. I also find that as writing is a hobby for me, when my social or work life gets busy I will find its been weeks since I’ve even looked at my story. And the longer I go between writing periods the harder it is to pick it up.
In order to motivate and remind me to write I made a flow chart and set it as my computer wallpaper. Unfortunately over time I stopped taking notice of it and kind of lost its impact.
But here it is, my motivation tip no.1
When I first started this story I gave it a very generic name that I knew I would eventually change, but as the story progressed I found it very hard to find a name that fit.
While the genre of this book could be called fantasy, crime, adventure I felt there was a certain sense of humour that need to be conveyed through the title. I found it equally hard when friends would ask me what the story was about. In the end I found the best way to describe it was with 3 words, Coffee, Cats and Murder. Those words stuck with me and so became the title.