Megan Hannum is about to help you face your first draft without fear.
Have you ever been writing away, actually building some momentum in your writing only to have these sorts of fears creep in: “Is there enough detail? I’m only writing plot, how is anyone going to know what anything looks like??” Or perhaps yours is “I need to do a LOT more research before I write this. I have no idea what the dating customs of medieval Mongolia actually are. Guess it’s back to the drawing board for the next six months.”
I have suffered from these fears, as have the members of the Coffeeshop Writer’s Group and when Megan joined us recently as a guest expert, we all started to feel a lot less freaked out by simply getting on with a draft knowing that everything will not be answered the first time around.
I had Megan on to talk about what you should worry about in the first, second, and final drafts of a project, and what you can set to the side for each of these drafts until the next time around. Finally, we talk about when it’s time to get an editor involved and what you should look for when seeking one.
This promises to be an episode you can return to again and again as you progress through your projects. I hope you enjoyed this conversation as much as I did. And… woohoo for 60 episodes! I cannot believe we’ve gotten to such a big number. Thank you all for listening and supporting the show. It means so much that this project makes you as happy as it makes me.
Discussed in Episode 60 with Megan Hannum:
- What to worry about in the 1st draft
- Laying down the bones of the story
- How plot makes the difference between story and a series of unconnected events
- Learning the rules of story
- The inciting incident
- How writing a book is like building a house and should progress in a similar fashion
- Outlining for pantsers
- How outlining inspires creativity
- The beauty of Scrivener’s cork board view
- How much research you need at the beginning
- When research becomes procrastination
- Things to focus on in middle drafts
- Secondary characters
- Working with word choice
- Sentence structure
- The danger of infodumps. AKA “As you know, Bob…”
- Having faith in your readers
- Avoiding excessive backstory
- The purpose of detail
- Final drafts and when to go to an editor
- The different types of developmental editors
- The role of an agent versus an editor
- Choosing the right editor
- The joys of bookstore tourism.