I finally read King’s On Writing, and I have to say I took a ton away from it. So much so that I’m in the process of rereading it.
I keep going back to his idea of writing (at least) two drafts – the one with the door closed (the All-story draft) and the one with the door open (when you reread and let it out to be read by your ideal readers.) And this recommendation he makes scares me even though I completely understand the rational:
This first draft – the All-Story draft – should be written with no help (or interference) from anyone else. There may come a point where you want to show what you’re doing to a close friend…either because you’re proud of what you’re doing or because you’re doubtful about it. My best advice is to resist this impulse. Keep the pressure on; don’t lower it by exposing what you’ve written to the doubt, the praise, or even the well-meaning questions of someone from the outside world. Let your hope of success (and fear of failure) carry you on, difficult as that can be.
Do any of you do this? I know I used to when I first started and didn’t want to show anybody my stuff. But then I found crit groups and crit partners and the chapter by chapter was a given. And then I pulled back a little because of time constraints, and now, when I show crit partners stuff, it’s usually in larger chunks but always before the book’s finished. I’m not sure I’d be able to get through an entire draft without giving someone a peek.
If you do work like this, getting through an entire draft without showing anyone, I’d love to hear why you think it works for you.
Oh – and I put the question into poll form on the sidebar, cause I’m loving the WP plugins, but I’d love the details of why and how too.