Thursday, August 11, 2011

Cleaning it Up

My crit buddy and I were talking the other day about cleaning.  Lately, I can't just clean, I have to deep clean everything (I know what you're thinking...I've seen your garage...it needs a deep clean. So true).

I haven't really deep cleaned since starting school. So I'm spending each week deep cleaning a different area of my house. Last week was the hall, this week the kitchen (I've already found a weird looking spider and something brown growing under my oven.)

I have a deep cleaning scheduled for my ms in two weeks (and I'm a little bit afraid).

But if there's something I've learned is that every first draft is a mess (like under my sink mess). And that's okay. You have to clean and polish until your manuscript is squeaky clean (because who wants a blob of mess on the bookstore shelf with your name on it? Scary).

So if you've finished a first draft, get in there and clean that baby up!  Now I have to get back to that weird bottle of lime-green stuff at the back of the cupboard. I hope it's not living.

 Photo Bucket
What's your advice for first draft mess?


14 comments:

Jolene Perry said...

After first draft?
That's the easy part - make sure it all flows, that all the scenes are actually NEEDED scenes.

It's the near the end drafts, when you think there can't possibly be anything left. That's when you take one scene at a time and pretend that's the ONLY thing the agent will see.
THAT's the exhausting clean . . .

L.T. Elliot said...

Wow. Jolene just blew my mind. Sage advice, that.

Congrats on the cleaning and best of luck with the MS cleaning! *hug*

Windy Aphayrath said...

my advice? when it hurts, suck it up and keep going. as for deep cleaning, we FINALLY just did some garage cleaning (only half of it) but we're back to a 2 car garage. Woohoo!!

Angie said...

Oh, dear. I think someone is trying to send me a message today, as this is the second post in a row on this very topic. Good luck with your deep cleaning both of house and MS!

Medeia Sharif said...

Wash, rinse, repeat is my motto.

Jolene's advice is great.

Lynn said...

Umm...you aren't 'nesting' are you??? :) I guess in a way you are considering a new chapter of your writing is about to begin!

Creepy Query Girl said...

And for my MS, just like my house- everytime I think I'm done I turn around and realise I missed a spot:)

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

Carolyn,
My advice for first drafts, just keep plugging away. Oh and put on some music and have a good supply of chocolate on hand.

BTW: You won my weekly book drawing. :)

Susan R. Mills said...

I've been doing the same thing. I've done my whole house (including the garage). It feels so good. The cleaning of my MS is going to take a while though. :)

David Powers King said...

When you finish the first draft, be excited. You finished a draft. Then step back and understand that, like anything that's "done," there's still room for more. When a contractor finishes a house, the walls aren't painted in the colors you want. There's no furniture. There's no interior decor. A first draft is not so different (I think I know what my Thursday post will be about now. Thanks, Carolyn!)

Cindy M Hogan author of Watched said...

I find myself getting lost in the story and forgetting what I'm doing. Or I'm looking for so many things, I can't see anything. So many things to track, ya know?

Heidi said...

Testing to see if I can comment as me before I do a lot of typing.

Heidi said...

Hurray! Okay. I feel like such a weirdo when it comes to this first draft second draft thing. I really don't like doing the clean-up revision thing. I do it as I go. I'm not sure how I do it but I do. I basically read everything I wrote the last time and revise it before I go on to anything new. I have had to do essentially no revising (just some smoothing out) on either of my books. I think I would be sick to my stomach if I had to go back and re-write, etc. I suppose if I wrote anything truly challenging, it would be different.

Kathryn Magendie said...

I actually enjoy the first few edits after writing up that messy first draft - it's like discovering things all over again - and I can see things from hindsight, foresight, middlesight :-D to help me see that entire picture of where I am going and where I was.

As for my house - ungh - this is the third or fourth blog I have visited talking about cleaning - and I'm taking the hint - dang... watch out dust bunnies! :-D