My latest short story "The Night the Lights Came On"

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

My First Show, My First Novel

Getting feedback on my first book to ever see more than one draft reminds me of when my high school punk rock band played our first show in a real venue. Quite a few kind folks have taken the time to read my novel and give me feedback. I am very thankful for this. Many have had similar things to say about certain weaknesses in my book. This is just what I was looking for and it is really going to help me make a better novel. I took my book through three drafts, changing the story quite a bit in the second draft, and then tightening it up in the third draft. I took it as far as I could. After two drafts I grew familiar with it again and now I need some time away from it so it cools in my mind. I can figure out how I want to change it with the feedback I've received and hit it again with fresh eyes for another draft soon.

Before my band played our first real show, we practiced a ton and got our songs down really well. When it was our turn to play we went on stage and did our thing. This was our time to shine, to finally show people what we had. We did pretty good. We remembered all our parts and played our set. Afterwards a few people gave us some really nice compliments. They said we sounded good, and that they liked our music. The first few times I received feedback on my book people gave me some really nice compliments. I heard it was an enjoyable read and that they could "see" the world I described. I was thrilled.

During my band's first show we videotaped our performance. That night we huddled around the TV to watch our awesomeness. Now we would get to see how well we really did. At first we saw that people were right, we sounded pretty good. Our songs weren't bad and we playing them pretty well. There was one thing though - the whole time we played we were all just standing there. We sounded good, but we were boring to watch. I think that I'm a decent writer. I've been told my book is an enjoyable read, but the characters are just standing there. The climax seemed to have been good, but too little too late. Everything is too easy for the characters. They get along too well. They deal with conflict too gracefully. The teenage brothers act like little angels. My band needed to move around on stage and get the crown excited. My characters need to bump around too, and make it more interesting for the reader.

I'm excited to add more depth to my characters and scenes, make their interactions more realistic, and crank up the conflict. I'm also excited to go into a bit more detail describing the different places they visit and what the people are like in those places. I have been working on this book for a long time now, but I'm learning a lot and that's all I can ask for. I thought I'd have a finished draft sooner for publishing and podcasting as an audio book, but it seems I have some work to do - and that's okay. It's great. I look forward to it, and I'm excited to put more work into this book to make it better because I want it to be as good as it can be before I release it. Once I've done another draft I'm going to send it to some perfect strangers through a website called They will be harsher and more frank, it will be great. Hopefully after another draft, feedback from other writers on Critters, and another draft after that - it will be ready to publish :)

In the mean time I went on The Roundtable Podcast and work-shopped the story for my next novel. I have the first few chapters outlined and I'm excited to get going on that. I'm also about 10K words into a novella, and I have my novella from NaNoWriMo to go back and do a second draft on. Speaking of my NaNoWriMo novella, I'm also making it into a graphic novel so look for more on that soon and see my last blog post for a little preview of it. Thank you so much for stopping by my website! I'd love to hear from you if you care to leave a comment below. Have a great week!


  1. I loved this post! What great imagery on the correlation between your two projects. I'm glad you have such an awesome attitude about your novel- I think I have attachment issues and will have a really difficult time changing mine around.

  2. Thanks Kristin! I think the fact that I wrote the book a few years ago and that it's already changed so drastically in the first 3 drafts helps me to be okay with changing it up. If I had just written it - it would be much harder :)