Friday, March 27, 2015

Fast Drafting and Writing Advice with Dylan Quinn

Hi lovely readers! I hope you're enjoying the various posts we've brought you so far. Today my author friend Dylan Quinn is stopping by The Authorteers with a post on drafting. Dylan is fab and writes amazing characters and some SWOONWORTHY guys. I can't wait for y'all to read all her books.

First Drafts, Fast Drafts and the Best Writing Advice I Ever Got

By Dylan Quinn

           Ten months ago I wrote my very first novel, a paranormal New Adult romance, Gemini. It took me only five weeks, and I wrote most of it *coughs* while my yearbook students watched movies after sending our finished book off to the publisher. I can still recall writing particularly taxing scenes while Mean Girls played in the background.
           I remember telling people about my five weeks of writing and got gasps and surprised reactions. I was asked over and over: ‘How did you write your first book in five weeks?’
           I had no idea. Nor did I have any clue what the norm was for most new writers. All I knew was a dream I had staring me and a hot Norse-God type guy spawned an idea that ruminated for a few weeks, and I had found my muse. The Eternal Sacrifice Series was born.
           I have been a writer of sorts all my life. In the beginning, I wrote poetry and focused my gift with words into my first lofty pursuit as a singer/songwriter. Back then I used my teenage angst to write song lyrics that eventually propelled me into short stories.
           I always knew I wanted to write a novel. “Someday,” I would tell myself. About two weeks before my dream, I read the first two books of the Bound by Hades series by my lovely writer friend Reese Monroe, and I was hooked on New Adult. From there, I went on a reading binge, devouring every romance series I could download and made a lot of writer friend connections along the way. I knew then my ‘someday’ was now. It was time to write.
           Writing as a second career can seem impossible unless we do double time while taking advantage of those scattered free moments like waiting in the car line at school, staying up late or getting up early to avoid the kids, or taking advantage of any spare second—anything to get the words in. Nobody who has ever written a novel would say this life is easy.
           After finishing Gemini, it took me a few weeks to let the dust settle before I dug into first round edits but when I did, I was shocked at what I had created. I had written a book and for the first time, I felt like a real writer.
           Unfortunately, revisions suck.
           As a perfectionist, it took me until August to be ready to share what I had written with anyone. So then I got brave, sent it out to a few choice friend/beta readers and learned that while I had written a pretty cool story, it still had a VERY long way to go before it was ready to submit. After first rounds of beta reviews came in, I knew it needed a LOT more ruminating so I did what any true writer would… jumped into looking for my next project.
           I knew I wanted to write a contemporary romance next, but I was lost for ideas. One day while working on a review for another of my favorite NA series, Off the Map, I was talking to the author, my friend Lia Riley when she told me the story of her covers… I was immediately inspired and once again, had found my muse.
           A few weeks into August, I got an invite to a Fast Draft club from some writer group Facebook buddies and when September 1st rolled around, I began. Two weeks later, my second novel’s first draft, Perfectly Flawed, was complete.
           I knew then I was a writer. I’d found the words.
           Since then I’ve jumped into revisions, and I’m about ten chapters away from ‘ready to submit’ status.

           I’ve learned a lot about writing and revising in the short ten months of my career, but that conversation is for another day. For today, I have one bit of great advice Reese Monroe gave me: Keep writing. No matter how tired you get or how bummed out you may be that you’ve yet to find your story it’s publishing home, keep pushing forward because in this business, only we can write our Happily Ever Afters.

What did y'all think of Dylan's post? Are you a fast drafter or a slow one? Me, I'm a middle speed, I'd say. If you DO fast draft, has it always been that way for you? 

1 comment:

  1. I've written a few first drafts in record time. It's not really that hard sometimes. Other times I've had to drag the story out like pulling teeth.