Monday, October 25, 2010

My Writing Stages a la Robert Pattinson's Hair

Before we begin, congrats to our Pleased To Meet You contest winner, Kristi!!

Oh, and don't forget to stop by this Thursday October 28th @ 9pm for our Awesome Query Chat with the fabulous Elana Johnson!!!

Okay. Now for today's post. This was just a little something I wrote over at my blog, but I thought the OA audience might find it... ahem... useful? 

*crosses fingers*

Without further ado, I give you...

My writing stages a la Robert Pattinson's hair

Confession: I've watched the Eclipse trailer way too many times. It seems everywhere I turn, Robert Pattinson is right there. Not that I'm complaining or anything, but it overwhelms me.

That is, until I see his hair.

Okay, okay... Who hasn't seen his hair, right? There are people who even keep tabs on the darned hairstyles and everything. But I saw it in a different light. Those brown locks that make tweens squeal their throats out made me remember something.

The writing stages of my manuscripts.

Here's what I mean:

First draft: Some writers outline, some don't. My first drafts are a no-man's land. I don't outline, don't plan ahead, just sit down and write. No idea gets left behind. Typos run amok. Once I finish the draft, it looks like this:

Second Draft: I read through my manuscript in order to fix plot holes. Maybe a scene should be cut because it's not right for the tone or the pacing. Maybe my main character is a sweetheart and shouldn't stab that pesky villain after all. Overall, I tackle big picture problems. My second version looks a bit like this:

Third draft: Line-editing begins. Grammar issues? Gone. Passive voice? Hasta la vista, baby. I pay careful attention to how well the sentences flow one after the other. If something feels off or forced, I cut it. The end result is similar to this:

Fourth draft: I edit according to critique partner and beta feedback. They take care of telling me if something rocks or sucks. One beta in particular enjoys asking questions. A LOT. That's cool, though--the manuscript turns out to be stronger because of it. It ends up being tighter, shorter, and less of an eye sore. My baby finally grows into a clean-cut version of what started out as an idea:

There you have it, folks. Robert Pattinson's hair reminds me of writing.

Am I nuts or what?

Now tell me: what do your drafts look like?


  1. Hee hee. Loved this post the first time and even more now.

    My drafts, well I really hate to think what they look like during the stages. But each stage ramps up in a different level of chocolat eating intensity. ;)

  2. I'm a huge fan of Amparo's Pop Culture Metaphors. You should totally compile these in a coffee-table book.

    My first drafts look EXACTLY like that! Scary how well this metaphor works. ;)

  3. This post is TOO awesome. :) I think my editing process looks almost identical to yours. Very clever!

  4. This cracked me up. And yes, my editing process looks pretty much like this. Bravo!

  5. ROFL!!!! This is the best post EVER on revisions. :D

  6. Oh my gosh, I found your blog just in time for the laugh of the MONTH! LOL!

  7. First of all - YAY!

    Second of all - this post lived up to the blog name...brilliant! I love reasons to look at Robert Pattinson's hair!

  8. Pretty much just like that.
    Clever and fun and how can you go wrong with Rob?

  9. ha! Love it!!! Any excuse to look at ol'R Patz ;-) My writing sort of follows the same path. First drafts are a disaster...I have to trim and layer A LOT :)

  10. This is classic. I swear my MS looks like pic #1 until I've gone through it about 10 times. :)

  11. Thanks, everyone!! I was seriously hoping I wasn't the only one seeing Rob's hair as my drafts :D

    Hope you're all at Hairstyle #4!!

  12. This was great. I love draft two. Well, your draft two of Rob's hair anyway;)

    Mine are like the chocolate and marshmallow on a smores. First they're all hard in their individual layers and don't mesh together very well, but by the time I reach that final draft, they're all warm and gooey, melted together, and you can't tell where the first draft began and last one was ended. =)

  13. My drafts are definitely as crazy as No.1 sometimes!

    Great post. :D

  14. This is very funny, and should be shared with anyone who doesn't realize that his draft is Robert Pattinson's hair #1. That will scare anybody straight.

  15. This may very well be the best post I've ever read about writing. Nicely done!!

  16. Wow nice pics...
    Thanks for sharing please keep sharing more :-)
    50 Shades Movie


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