Wednesday, November 30, 2016

To edit or not to edit

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Just a quick reminder, Albuquerque ladies, Girls Night Out at Sheraton Uptown is tomorrow night at six! I’ll be there with all of my books, as well as some great freebies and the latest edition of Mavguard – come by and pick up some great Christmas presents from some fabulous Albuquerque locals, and share the female pride! Woo!

But for today, it’s still NaNoWriMo, technically, and that means I definitely want to talk about writing… But I’m an editor. You all know that. I primarily think of myself as a writer, but by trade I am an editor. And that’s why you might be surprised by what I have to say today.

Editing is important. So it proofreading. But they’re not the end of the world, if you don’t get around to them.


I know, I’m sure you’re all in shock. Allow me to explain.

See, editing and proofreading are what get a novel to the point of publication, but that’s not always what we’re going for. Yeah, I always say that we create so we can show people, so people will see the beauty we’ve created, but for some of us, that’s not why we’re in this. We’re in this for the joy of it, for the bliss and release of being able to create. I’ll admit, sometimes I feel that way. There are some stories I’ve written for the sheer release of it, for the emotion to get out of my head and onto a page, and I have no intention of ever showing them to anyone in a public fashion. But not all of them are that way.

For some of us, writing is an escape, and nothing more.

For others, it’s a means to an end.

For still others, it’s somewhere in the middle.

But either way, editing, proofreading, they might not always be necessary. For a story that’s never going to see the light of day, who cares? For works that you’re unsure on, why waste the time and effort? But for works that you want to publish, yeah, it should be something that you consider having professionally done.

But I’m going to say it one more time: it’s not the end of the world if you don’t do it. Nowadays, we can publish ourselves very easily and get our works out in the world with little to no effort at all. So if that’s the route you want to go, then don’t bother with professional editing.

For those of you who really want to be seen, who really want to achieve some goal with your writing, it might not be the case. But that’s not everyone, is it? And the others don’t get mentioned nearly enough, methinks. 

Consider yourselves mentioned, folks. Boom. 


{Rani D.}

Monday, November 28, 2016

What's in a draft?

I’m back! I hope you all had a wonderful time celebrating Thanksgiving! Don’t forget that there’s a sale going on at the RAD Store, where you can get BOTH Druid Novels for only $28, signed and personalized by yours truly! It’s only available for a limited time, so hop on over and buy some books for the readers in your life (yes, you can also buy them for you)!

Today, I want to talk to the writers in the crowd. Again. Because I’m a writer. It makes good sense.

See, I’m working on two novels right now. One of them, I’m in draft #1, and the other I’m in draft #3. Sound confusing? That’s because it is. And that’s also what I want to talk to you about: drafts. We all know them. Sometimes we love them, sometimes we hate them. But we all have to work with them.

The important thing to remember, the thing I want to talk to you about today, is the importance of remembering what draft you’re on.

If you’re on your first draft, don’t treat it like it’s your fifth.

Your first draft is supposed to be sloppy. It’s allowed to be a mess, and to have plotholes as far as the eye can see. It’s where you get all your ideas onto paper and allow the story to start to take shape, but it’s not where you refine it and make sure everything is concise and consistent.

The first draft is where you play with the story, where you push the boundaries and try things that should never be allowed to happen. It’s where you experiment, where you have the most fun. But you should never treat it like it’s supposed to be the most beautiful draft ever.

Why? Because first drafts are almost always a mess, at least in the little ways. They weren’t meant to shine and sparkle yet, because they’re not done.

By the same token, never treat a fifth draft like it’s a first draft. That’s not what it is. It’s not a diamond in need of cutting, but one that needs a shine. It already has the basic storyline in place, already has most of the errors already mended. It’s getting itself primped and prepared to go out into the world for the first time. Don’t treat it like an infant. It’s a college student, getting ready to graduate. Let it stand on its own feet.

Above all, always focus on the draft you’re on. No matter what draft that is, whether it’s a newborn covered in stuff nobody wants to see or it’s a newly dubbed professional ready to take its place in the world, give it the light and the time it deserves. Remember what it is, and treat it as such. Every draft deserves it. 

So whether you've just finished your first novel and you're getting ready to start the next draft, or you're only now starting to put pen to paper, remember what you're doing. You're drafting, and each of our stories are in a different phase of life. 



Monday, November 21, 2016

Thank ye

I feel like this keeps happening lately, but once again, I’ll be on hiatus this week! As per usual, I spend the holidays with my family—and I hope that each of you will get to do so as well. Thanksgiving is my mum’s favorite holiday, and I’m very happy to get to spend this week celebrating with her. I'm a Christmas kind of girl myself, but Thanksgiving is always a lot of fun too.

But I still wanted to take a little time to talk to you guys! I couldn’t just leave you high and dry!

To that end…

Be Thankful

I feel like this is a message we need to hear lately, especially in the States. People are hurting over the election, they’re freaking out over what’s going to happen next, and they’re worried over everything around them. Life isn’t supposed to be that way. It’s just plain not, no matter what anyone else might've told you. 

So be thankful. When you wake up every morning, say a few things you’re thankful for. When you go to bed, do the same. And if you think you don’t have anything to be thankful for, then think again. There’s always something we can be thankful for.

I’m thankful that I got to go to Europe with Mum
That I enjoy what I do
For breath in my lungs
For my family
For Mavguard
For a place to live and a pillow to lay my head on
For fountain pens
For the Mythbusters

See? Lots of things. It doesn’t have to be anything profound, anything that would make someone gasp or nearly faint. It just has to be something for which you’re thankful.

And trust me, it’ll help you to see your life in a new light. Be thankful that we live in a country where we’re free to express ourselves and our opinions, be thankful that there are people around you who care about you. Be thankful for shoes on your feet and chapstick in your pocket. Just… be thankful.

That’s my two cents, this Thanksgiving week. Be thankful. Never forget that there’s something to be thankful for, even when you’re not feeling it. Never stop being thankful. Your life will be all the brighter for it—and we could use more bright lives in this world. 


{Rani Divine}