Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Home Stretch---And I'm Not Talking Holidays

By Maggie

That's right. This post won't be about Holiday prepeartations. I've detailed those in previous posts in detail---be it holiday gift shopping, cooking, traveling, new puppy challenges, whatever. This week I'm going to talk about the "other" activity I've been involved in at the same time I've been holiday shopping, cooking, coping with new puppy, and the whatever. I'm talking about my full time job. Writing novels.

As some of you may recall, I had scheduled the last half of this year---July through December 2008--as belonging to the first book in what I call" the Molly Malone Mysteries. The Molly mysteries take place in Washington, DC, and are peopled with lots of fictional politicians. Molly first stormed onstage with her cast and crew in January 2006, and I was able to write the first third of the book during the summer of 2006. I thought I could finish it last summer in 2007, but instead, I was writing the "holiday" Kelly Flynn knitting mystery, FLEECE NAVIDAD, which is in bookstores now.

So----Molly and crew had to wait, and they weren't happy about it. So, I promised them the last half of 2008 would belong to them. I had hoped I would be able to finish Molly's first book and have time to revise it by the end of this year. And you know----I'm going to make it. I'm in the last round of revisions right now. Revising and re-writing during the day. Cooking and wrapping gifts by night. Works for me.

Revisions have been even more intensive for Molly's mystery because there's a lot of suspense wound throughout the story----and upcoming stories. So---I've been doing A LOT of re-writing as part of the revision process.

And I guess that's my holiday present to all of you readers who also write. My advice (and I practice what I preach) is to "tell the story first." Get it down on paper. Resist the urge to revise. Do minor editing only. Get it down. I call it "writing the rough draft." Then---you start to revise. And that's where the real work begins. But----you can't revise unless you have a story to work with.

So, folks-----give yourself permission for the New year to "write your story down." Just get it down on the page. Then let it sit for a week or more. Then. . .go to work.

Happy Holidays and Happy writing to one and all!