I’ve heard writers say that the first draft of a novel is the one where we tell the story to ourselves. What I haven’t heard is that this can also be true of the second, third, fourth, and fifth drafts, because sometimes it takes that many tries to figure out what the hell we’re doing.
The thing about first novels is that when we're writing them as innocent baby authors who know nothing of the publishing world, we're pretty much only thinking about the story and why we love it and why we want it out in the world. But second novels are different.
The Mark of Cain is a spooky, often terrifying story steeped so deeply in the ominous feeling of a singular place that the richness of the setting carries it along even when a sluggish pace and rotating points-of-view threaten to derail it.
There are writers in the world who finish a first draft, read it over a couple of times to clean it up, and that’s it. They’re finished. The story is done.
This is what I have learned about those writers: I hate them.
Guest Post: On Setting the Mood and Walking Through Graveyards at YA Highway. November 10, 2015.
First Draft Live with Sarah Enni. Author panel on scary stories and why we love them with Anna Carey, Marie Lu, Margaret Stohl, and Kali Wallace. October 30, 2015.
Author to Author interview about writing and publishing with Jenny Moyer. August 27, 2015.
"On Scaring Children," on Pub(lishing) Crawl. July 27, 2015.
The funny thing about writing a horror novel is that approximately 87% of the people you meet will tell you to your face they don’t want to read it.
Author Spotlight in Lightspeed Magazine. March 2012.