I’m not sure if writing the first draft is the hardest part of writing fiction or if it is the revisions. When I finished the first draft of The Cowboy’s Baby I let it sit for eight weeks or so and wrote short stories instead. That was fun. And leaving the novel alone let me see it more objectively than if I hadn’t taken a break at all.
Originally The Cowboy’s Baby had a prologue. That was the first thing to go during revisions. Although I loved the prologue, the difference in subject matter and tone between it and the rest of the novel was too jarring. I took out what I needed and integrated it into the rest of the novel. I don’t like reading prologues anyhow so I don’t know why I started this novel this way, but I think it was just my way of getting the back-story down.
When I started The Cowboy’s BabyI was thinking of Harlequin as a publisher and trying to follow their guidelines—a man and a woman “meet cute” and are instantly attracted to each other and fall in love while dealing with a subplot. And it had to be written from each point of view, chapter by chapter (she says/he says, she says etc.). Well, even before I started I jettisoned the point of view changes each chapter. I don’t like to read books like that. And by the time I had introduced the “meet cute” between my two main characters, two other characters had stepped forward and said “Hey, we were here first!” so I changed my mind and wrote the romance in a more mature and realistic way.
Losing the prologue was an honest to God revision. Not going the alternate pov happened right at the beginning of the draft and changing the course of the romance happened while I was writing chapters 1-3, so you can legitimately call those revisions, they just happened in the first draft writing. But I try to save all revisions until the end so I don’t get caught up in a spiral of making the first chapter perfect and never going forward.
OFF TOPIC What I read this week—Fires of Azerothby CJ Cherryh and Masterson by Richard S. Wheeler.
I want to comment about Richard S. Wheeler. One of the huge benefits of Kindle books and Amazon.com is the opportunity it gives you to discover new or new to you writers. And if you will read through some of the discussion boards on Kindle you will discover lots of possibilities. That’s how I found Wheeler. I chose Masterson at random (and by cost). I will be going back to buy more of Mr. Wheeler’s books and I would never have found him otherwise.