I write like a peanut.
It’s terrible sometimes.
We all know the basic anatomy of a peanut. There’s that bulky shell, practically made of wood. Peel that off, and there’s the bitter peanut skin. Finally under that… the raw peanut is kind of bland on its own.
Why is my writing like a peanut, you may ask?
1. Writing the first draft.
It’s inedible. My dialogue is woody. All prettiness in my writing is nonexistent. It’s tough, this stage, because there’s a certain uncomfortableness that comes with all the doubts of a first draft. Is this even a good idea? Am I being cliche? Am I a plotter or a panster? What is up with this character? I’m going to end at 15,000 words, and how do I pad it out more? Writing a first draft makes me feel bulky.
Oh, edits. So many kinds! Typos, word choice, writing, macros, micros, rewrites. And all the rules to remember. Get rid of dialogue tags. Fix typos. Use action beats. Watch specificity. No “ing” words. Cut the “starts”. Kill the adverbs! Make sure the adjectives count. Make sure your FMC and MMC’s relationship is perfect. And be sure your WIP is either MG, YA, or NA, because if it isn’t, your CP’s will say NO. It’s like there’s a whole new language.
3. The Critique Partners and Beta Readers
“Your peanut is bland.” I’m terrible afraid someone is going to tell me that my beautiful, carefully shelled peanut is bland. It’s inevitable, when you think about it. Some parts will still need improvement after all that shelling of bitter typos. But! It has some flavour. And it’s not bad. But it can be better.
4. The Polish Edit
I haven’t gotten to this stage yet, but I can just imagine the process. It would be like putting your book in the oven, only you’re the heat. In this stage, the typos, mistakes, and any traces of bad writing get BURNED. This is the part where the writer gets to be a pyromaniac to their own writing. Half fun, and half stressful.
5. The Querying, Publishing, And All the Mysteries that Come After
And this is where my book will one day be turned into peanut butter. There’s the crushing process of queries and rejections. But then there’s the publishers. The ones who add the salt of their professional opinions and the sugar of cover designs.
Mime is currently craving roasted peanuts after writing this post. She is recovering from post traumatic stress from appearing on radio. (More on that later.) She is currently getting excited about NaNoCritMo, and wondering what she’ll possibly write for NaNoWriMo. She just finished with the eisteddfods, and she’s learning to play the piccolo.