So I began and completed the first draft of my novel.
Afraid my family and friends would laugh at me, I didn’t tell anyone, not even my husband, about the novel I was writing. Though usually not observant, my husband did get a little suspicious of me spending so much time on my computer.
By then, I was finished with my first draft and began to edit. I finally told him and asked him to read the first chapter. My husband, who is a newspaper journalist, stopped reading in the middle of the first chapter. His critique: Too many boring, technical details that no one other than computer professionals could understand and no hook to interest non-computer geeks like him.
His critique opened my eyes to writing for someone else to read, instead of just writing for God and myself. It was also a kick in the pants I needed as I began to edit my work.
I searched the internet on how-to-write articles. I read everything I could find on writing a novel. Then I re-wrote my story. By the time I finished my second draft in 2007, I felt like a writer with some knowledge of what I was doing. I fixed my overall story structure (meaning I cut out the boring parts), I implemented Swain’s Scenes and Sequels (meaning I added more conflicts), although I didn’t execute them sharply. I still had a lot to learn.