If I die, just delete it, ‘kay?

I mentioned day before yesterday that I’d finished the first draft of Lilly’s Wish, the book for younger readers that I wrote about here.

When I started writing I had next to no idea of the plot. I knew the central premise, but very little else and, at the end of the first draft, it shows. It’s all over the place. The structure I’ve been working on in First Draft in 30 Days? Doesn’t exist.

There are maybe two turning points in the book, but everything else is flannel and waffle and filler and blether. But that’s okay. Because I’m cautiously confident that I’ll be able to sort it out in the rewrites. Eventually.

The most important thing is that I’ve got something to work with, as messy and embarrassing as it currently is. And it is messy and embarrassing. Anne Lamott – who calls her first draft the “shitty first draft” – says she always worries she’ll die while writing a first draft and people will read it and think she’d lost it. But at least it’s done. And I get to ignore it for a few weeks and read lots of books I wouldn’t allow myself to read while I was writing it. And then I get to delve back into it and try to fix it. I’m looking forward to it already. Sort of.

{I took this photo earlier today, when the boys and I had an impromtu picnic lunch in the park. The leaves underneath were so deep and yellow and gorgeous that I wanted to take my shoes and socks off and paddle around, but Harry was horrified and so I didn’t. Pah.}

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Day 2: Setting sketches and research strategies

This was an easy one, since I’ve already made notes on setting.

I found Rebecca’s apartment via AirBnB and followed her route to work on Google Maps. The internet is brilliant for this kind of research (how did authors do it before, I wonder…), but I learned from researching Emma Hearts LA that a research trip is essential.

I’d kind of thought beforehand that the point of the trip was checking and confirming practical details – like how Emma would get from the boardwalk to the pier, etc. – I had no idea how much the places we visited would inspire and feed into the book. Plus, it was the best fun ever, obv.

Friday favourites

Happiest thing I’ve seen all week – The man who turned his home into a public library.

I discovered Kate Fridkis because she writes (brilliantly) about unschooling, but when I ran out of unschooling posts to read (sob!) I started reading, you know, everything else she’s ever written. I love this post – 11 Better Beauty Rules – SO MUCH.

You’ve probably already seen this, but it’s just SO GREAT. Go to Google. Type in ‘bacon number’ and then the name of an actor. Any actor. It’s what the internet was invented for, no?

Love this crazy first draft idea from author Emma Darwin.

I’ve had this Luv and Hat post saved for AGES, but I finally read it and it’s hilarious (particularly if you work from home).

This is ace: Birth of a book

What’s been making you happy this week?