Take it away, Misha!!
The Trials and Joys of Drafting by Hand
It’s actually rather strange. Every time someone asks me about my writing method, I have to casually mention the fact that I rough draft every single novel by hand. And people freak out.
The first time I did it, my mom kept saying that she didn’t think it was wise, because I’d never be able to write any substantial amount of words by hand. At that time, I was well over 40k words in.
People don’t believe when I rattle off my word counts either. They always think I over-estimate. I don’t. In fact, I only estimate how many words I’ve written when I’m doing sprints, and I don’t want to take the time to count exactly how much I’ve written.
But count my words I do. Every single day.
So today, I thought I’d answer some frequently asked questions. Starting with…
Easy. I have a problem with being too perfectionistic with my drafts. Which means that if I type on a computer, I’m always tempted to delete something I’ve just written in order to “improve” it. I’m putting “improve” in quotes, because my off-the-cuff improvements in-draft never improve on what I’ve written. In fact, after switching to pen, I realized that a lot of stuff I would have been tempted to take out because I haven’t planned for them, turned out to actually make the story work.
Doesn’t it make your hand hurt?
A little, if I haven’t hand-drafted in a while. (Usually because of edits and rewrites.) I minimized the pain by investing in a fountain pen I only use for drafting and writing (occasionally) story notes.
But… doesn’t it mean you have to rewrite all your drafts?
Yes. All of them. And you know what? It’s awesome, because I rewrite knowing what I want, which means that I can type an average story out in about six weeks at the most. If I’m not distracted by other projects that need to be done. This also gives me a much cleaner draft to edit.
Doesn’t it impact your writing speed?
Yes, it does. I type approximately four times as fast as I write by hand. I like this, though, because it feels like I’m lingering over my words more as I write. In turn, this gives my mind the ability to see more implications of what I’ve written.
You hand write for NaNo too? Yeah, right.
Actually, I absolutely do. My record is 50k words in a bit more than three weeks. Outside NaNo, my word counts lie somewhere between 15k and 30k. More if I’m typing rewrites at the same time.
Do you always win NaNo?
No, but usually, what stops me is not related to my writing by hand. (Such as my day-job going crazy and taking all of my writing time.)
Aren’t you worried that someone will just open your notebook and read what you’ve written?
Not with my handwriting, apparently. I read it fine, but I’ve given my drafts to friends, and their eyes all screw up within five pages. So I figure I’m safe.
Any more questions? ;-)
The Vanished Knight
The entity living inside Callan’s soul orphaned her at age eleven. By the time she’s sixteen, it’s ensured her being shunted from one foster family to another.
Her thirteenth foster assignment should be routine. Except... it's not. A psycho in medieval armor kidnaps her and she ends up in a magical world. There, she accidentally discovers a secret her parents had kept until the day they died.
Both actually came from this magical world, but left before Callan was born. To cover their tracks, they’d lied about everything. Even who they really were.
Driven to find out where she comes from, Callan’s trapped in a race for life and death. Walking away isn’t an option, but if she stays too long, the entity will find its next victim.
In this world where secrets are sacrosanct and grudges are remembered, finding the truth will be near impossible. Especially when Callan has her own homicidal little secret to deal with.
One with a taste for destroying her life.
The Heir’s Choice
After discovering her parents had kept a whole world secret, Callan races to discover her past. Not easy to do with an increasingly agitated entity living in her soul.
Going to her long-lost elvish roots should answer all her questions. Instead, she ends up in the middle of a nightmare.
The elves are on the verge of an apocalyptic war. Their enemy, King Aurek of Icaimerith, will only be appeased if Callan marries his heir. It’s either her life getting messed up, or an entire country’s lives lost. Simple enough, right?
Because when the entity wants the elves blotted out of existence, saving them gets taken to a whole new level of complicated.
Misha Gerrick has been creating stories long before she could write and is currently going after her dream of making a living as a writer.
If you’d like to see how that’s going, you can visit her on her blog (http://Sylmion.blogspot.com), where she also discusses all things related to writing and publishing.
Or, if you’d just like to know what she’s reading and get updates on what she’ll be publishing next (Sorry, no newsletter just yet.):
You can follow her Tumblr (http://mishagerrick.tumblr.com)
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