1. Yes, I did finish a middle grade book, and revised it a great deal, mostly dealing with structural issues. I learned so much from this process. Mostly that when I start a long book I can finish it. (Which is good). And also, well, the first draft is, um, well, maybe not so great. Structural issues, over-writing.........yikes. And yet, if I try too hard in the first draft to correct these problems, I get stilted junk. Which means that I have to settle for cruddy first drafts. Followed by very focused revision, and lots of work.
2. Okay, about those 12 drafts....well, the reality is that only 6 of them are polished and shiny, and only 3 of them were sent anywhere. SERIOUSLY. Why?? Why??? (Well, the truth is that I don't like the other half of them enough to do the polishing. I have lost the belief in these pieces so they will sit until either something comes to me to make them brilliant or I chalk it up to learning.) But why did I only send 3 out?? WHY? Because I really, really, really need to work on my organizational skills.
3. So, the true reality is that I write a lot of stuff that will never see the light of day.....and that didn't change just because I became a published author. I sometimes wish it would. I sometimes wish that everything I write would have that faerie-dust sparkle to it, that special magic.
- So, if you look at the stats: I like only half of my drafts (this does not include the non-guided free writing I engage in every day.)
- Only half of the stuff I revise even gets a chance due to lack of business skills.
- Only one of the twelve was liked enough by my publisher.
Or write better.