Wednesday, June 2, 2021

IWSG ~ Drafting Distance + Other Cool Stuff

Happy Wednesday, Everyone!

Here we are at yet another passing month, which means another Insecure Writers Support Group monthly question. 

What's IWSG, you ask? It's a group of writers who lend support, encouragement, and guidance to each other. Once a month, we share our insecurities about writing, marketing, and the publishing industry. On occasion, we also share insecurities or struggles from our daily lives. Want to take part? Click on the image at the end of my post. We'd love to have you join us!

This month's question is: 

For how long do you shelve your first draft, before reading it and re-drafting? Is this dependent on your writing experience and the number of stories/books under your belt? 

I remember when I first began writing. The thought of 'shelving' a manuscript was almost as offensive to me as was eating liver when I was five years old. 


But as with all things in life, once we gain experience and experiences wisdom abounds . . .

Now, with a few published novels under my belt and a couple on deck to be released, I've come to appreciate the clarity distance provides from a drafted manuscript.
Distance gives me new eyes. Sometimes I find it's also given me a new attitude about a scene, character, or setting I've written about. I'm always amazed at my altered perspective when I read a piece I've allowed to sit for a while. It's kind of like cooking. Over the years, I learned that allowing some dishes to set and simmer, adding spices and other ingredients in time, makes them more flavorful and potent to the pallet.

Other Cool Stuff I Was Talking About:

I might not be posting here often anymore, but I still am a current contributor to a few other sites. Here are a few of my most recent author interviews and even a spooky MG post.

  •  I chatted over on @MixedUpFiles with the lovely Marie Arnold about her latest middle grade book THE YEAR I FLEW AWAY. 
    •  In this magical middle-grade novel, ten-year-old Gabrielle finds out that America isn’t the perfect place she imagined when she moves from Haiti to Brooklyn. With the help of a clever witch, Gabrielle becomes the perfect American — but will she lose herself in the process? Perfect for fans of HURRICANE CHILD and FRONT DESK     
  • And then there's my conversation with author Cliff Burke about his MG book AN OCCASIONALLY HAPPY FAMILY over on @MixedUpFiles.
    •  Gordon Korman meets The Great Outdoors in this funny and moving debut about a boy who goes on a disastrous family vacation (sweltering heat! bear chases!) that ends with a terrible surprise: his dad’s new girlfriend.
  • Author & Cartoonist Michael Fry shared his book GHOSTED with me over on @MixedUpFiles, too!
    •  From the best-selling author of the How to Be a Supervillain series comes this laugh-out-loud, heavily illustrated story of a shy boy, his best-friend-turned-ghost, and their bucket list of adventures and dares. Perfect for fans of the Timmy Failure and Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.

Psst . . . and if Michael's name looks familiar that's because he's the successful cartoonist of the internationally syndicated comic strip OVER THE HEDGE.

 Thank you to this month's co-hosts! J Lenni Dorner, Sarah Foster, Natalie Aguirre, Lee Lowery, and Rachna Chhabria! Click on this image to find other participating writers or to join our group!



  1. Yes, we do gain wisdom as we get older and have been writing more. That's exciting that you have some new books getting published. Can't wait till you share the news.

  2. Congrats on your new books getting ready to be released!!! I like what you said about letting your ms simmer, adding bits and pieces to make it better. I basically wrote the same...LOL. However, I can't wait too long before jumping into the stewing pot.

  3. That simmering time is so important for me!
    Congrats on your upcoming releases!!

  4. The guy who wrote Over the Hedge? Wow!

  5. Hey Sheri! I meant to stop by sooner but alas, life. Thanks so much for stopping by my site a few weeks ago. It's so great to hear from you and see what you're up to. Oh how we grow, right? I love how each of us come into our own and fine tune our own writing methods.
    I don't blame you for not blogging as much. But I will say, after stepping away from it for a long time, that there's a comfort in returning to it. <3

  6. Congrats on your upcoming publications! Very exciting!

    IWSG is the only thing that keeps me blogging. I often think I should post more often. But then, I drink some wine until the thought passes. :-D

  7. Great news! Busy as usual I see.

  8. I happen to be in the same camp as you. I want to look at a manuscript with fresh eyes, so I let them sit awhile while I work on other things.

  9. I love your cooking analogy. I have the tendency to add too much salt because I don't wait for it to blend it. I suppose that can go for writing as well. :)
    Thanks for all the book review links! These sound amazing, especially the one you compared to Korman, one of my favorite MG writers. Reviewing MG books is a great way to spend your time.

  10. Wahoo, on new book! Definitely some cool other business. Happy Writing.

  11. Wow, you're super busy! Very cool about Michael Fry. Good luck with the projects on deck.

  12. I love that you offer your expertise at other sites - that’s a great way to reach a broader audience!
    As for the first draft, I have to go over it at least once before taking a break, so much needs to be added! I like to do a thorough edit before I send it to my reader who helps me with future edits. That’s when I take a little break. But during the school year, I’m forced to take a lot of breaks, so it’s fun to get back into it!

    thanks for stopping by my place — we need to do another video!
    Tara Tyler Talks

  13. Hi Sheri,

    Looks like things are moving along. Although you have had so many trials and tribs, you manage to get your work out there and I am so happy to read that you have future books coming out. Yay, you! Thanks for the message you left at my blog. Life can be rough, but we manage to muddle through the best we can. Have a great weekend!

  14. Hi Sheri, I agree that distance provides new insight and more clarity about our story.


!SPLAT Your Awesomeness! I'd love to hear from you!


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