Guest post: "The First Draft…" by Kat Flannery

I hate the first draft.

You see first drafts are like trying to suck blood from a vampire for me.  I do not like them. There is so much planning. Plot, subplot another subplot, characterization, dialogues, that makes sense and the list goes on and
on and on. It is all so overwhelming at times I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. There were times I took Ol’ Hemmingway at his words, and I wrote after a few too many, only to wake the next day to a mess of words.

Why do I despise the first draft?

You see, friends I have a bit of a confession. I end up writing half a novel before the real story comes to me, and I have to start all over again.

First let me point out, much to my doctors concern the voices in my head mean no harm, they are just aiding the story along.

When a story comes forth inside my wacked out head, I take a few weeks to process the possibilities that can come from it. If I feel it’s believable and I can write it (this means I have passion for it) I create the characters, delve into the plot and subplot, and I write a chapter outline. Then I rub my hands together and get to work.

I write, and write and write.

I get to almost 30,000 words too. This is 45 days of writing. Then I start to notice one of the minor or major characters more than before, and a whole new story will come to me. But like the crazed moron I am, I ignore the voice in my head telling me to write it. What can I say us Italians are stubborn as heck.

Instead I go on to write another couple thousand words before the character will stop me. This is no joke, friends. I cannot write another word in the book. My mind has gone blank. The plot I so articulately planned has disappeared and the passion that was once there is gone. I am stuck with the lunatic in my head demanding I tell his/her story!

What is a writer to do?

I listen to the lunatic and viola! I have created a story that I cannot stop writing, a tale where the passion in me grows. I begin to feel the plight of my characters, and I struggle to solve their problems. I stay up late and wake up early to write their story. I cry when a character I love has died. I laugh when my uppity protagonist trips and falls into the lake. I get angry when the antagonist hurts the characters I care so much about, and I weep when the last word is written.

I’ve taken myself on another journey; one at times I thought would never end, and I created a story I am proud of. I’ve become friends with my new characters and when I am finished all the edits and revisions, I know I will miss them.

Twin sisters separated by war, bound by love…

After the death of their father, twin sisters Maggie and Matty Becker are forced to take positions with officers’ families at a nearby fort. When the southern states secede, the twins are separated, and they find themselves on opposite sides of America’s bloodiest war.

In the south, Maggie travels with the Hamiltons to Bellevue, a plantation in west Tennessee. When Major Hamilton is captured, it is up to Maggie to hold things together and deal with the Union cavalry troop that winters at Bellevue. Racism, politics and a matchmaking stepmother test Maggie’s resourcefulness as she fights for Bellevue, a wounded Confederate officer and the affections of the Union commander.

In the north, Matty discovers an incriminating letter in General Worthington’s office, and soon she is on the run. With no one to turn to for help, she drugs the wealthy Colonel Cole Black and marries him, in hopes of getting the letter to his father, the governor of Michigan. But Cole is not happy about being married, and Matty’s life becomes all about survival.

Two unforgettable stories of courage, strength and honor

Find out more on Amazon 

Kat Flannery’s love of history shows in the novels she writes. She is an avid reader of historical, suspense, paranormal, and romance. When not researching for her next book, Kat can be found running her three sons to hockey and lacrosse. She’s been published in numerous periodicals. This is Kat’s third book and she is hard at work on her next.

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