rachelcoker



Writing Q&A: Part Three

Believe it or not, I love answering questions. Maybe it’s because I’m such a talkative person. I’m notorious for diffusing awkward situations by making impeccable small talk. But, in all seriousness, I really do love receiving and answering questions both about writing and my life in general. I guess I feel like I get so much encouragement from all of you, that I enjoy dishing some back!

So this is part three of my “Writing Q&A” series. I have one more prepared for next week, but I’d love to keep it up after that if the interest is still high. Here are this week’s questions:

  • After you finish writing a rough draft, should you begin editing immediately, or wait?

This is definitely a personal preference, but I always wait. Why is that? Well, sit back think about it for a second. You’ve just poured weeks, months even, into writing this piece. You’ve gone through every scene. Over-analyzed every conversation. Maybe even over characters or plot lines. (I know I have!) You are the author of this piece. It belongs to you.

Now think about it from the perspective of your reader. They haven’t lost sleep over any of these characters. They really don’t care how much effort you put into this book, they just want to see if it’s any good. They are coming at it from a completely different angle than you.

Your job as an author is to see the book from that perspective, too. And the only way (I think) to do that, is to take a break and forget about it a little. Stop writing for a while, or at least work on something else. Give your mind some time to get a little disconnected from the book. Then, after several weeks, go back and re-read the whole thing. Chances are, you’ll notice some flaws you hadn’t seen before. Because you’ll be looking at it from the perspective of someone from the outside. You can be harder on yourself if you’ve had several months to unattach yourself to the book emotionally. It’ll be easier to tear apart in editing, if that makes sense. 😉

  • Are you ever afraid if you act on a good idea, you’ll ruin it?

Yes, definitely! I’ve said it before, but my story ideas always come to me in fragments. I usually start by thinking up some amazing character, and build a story around her. But sometimes I’m afraid that even I can’t do justice in describing that character’s dreams and goals, even though I’m the author!

The important thing is to try and act upon it anyway. I’m totally serious when I say that the worst thing you can do is mess it up. I mean, if it’s your idea, then no one else will do it better justice anyway. Try it out, write a few chapters, and see how things go. If nothing else, set it aside and come back to it later. No one’s going to take it from you. And if Paramount Pictures does happen to come up with the same idea and make some multi-million dollar movie out of it, just pat yourself on the back for having thought of a Blockbuster idea before them! 😉

  • Would you give endorsements if someone asked?

Hmmm… Tricky question. I guess I just don’t consider myself famous enough to give endorsements! I think the answer would be yes, but only if I thought the book was very good. I’m very thankful for the people who have supported and endorsed me, but I think it’s important to remember that not everyone is going to have that opportunity. And even if I or some other author didn’t feel God leading them to endorse a book, that doesn’t mean that person should give up! Every author should remember that his or her book will sell exactly as many copies as God wants it to, regardless of how much endorsement it’s been given.

Check back next week for part two, and if you have any more questions, I’m always happy to hear them! 🙂

-Rachel

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