From First Draft to Finished Book: My Writing Process, a guest post by Erin Yun (Plus a Giveaway!)
In movies, authors are portrayed in two different ways: Sometimes, they are glamorous celebrity figures, forever bouncing between high-stakes business meetings and fancy dinners with their agents. Other times, they are tormented introverts who fall asleep on their keyboard and can go weeks without speaking to another person. Growing up, I wondered which version was the truth. Now that I am an author, I finally know the answer: neither.
For me, the process of writing both Pippa Park Raises Her Game and Pippa Park Crush at First Sight were similar. For each book, I started out by creating a detailed outline. I have a lot of admiration for pantsers—people who write an entire novel without an outline—but I have a low attention span and my thoughts tend to be all over the place, so having a detailed map reminding me exactly what to do was very helpful. After spending a few months on the outline, I jumped into the first draft. This part of the process feels the most stereotypically writer-like, as it’s a lot of time spent alone, staring at a blank word document, and arguing with the characters in your head. It’s hard for me to write in the same room as other people because I am easily distracted, so I tend to get my most productive writing done between the hours of 10 p.m. and 3 a.m.—usually while nursing a diet coke or two.
In some ways, the first draft is the most magical part of the writing process. Turning a blank word document into a manuscript will never not feel like alchemy to me. However, my favorite part of the process has to be the editing stage because it’s the most collaborative. I adore seeing my writing through other people’s eyes—and that feeling only ramps up when I’m seeing my book through the eyes of an editor I really respect. I also enjoy the editing stage because I love solving puzzles. While working on Pippa Park Raises Her Game, the hardest (and strangest) challenge I faced was correcting the timelines—sometimes, Pippa would go to school exclusively on Thursdays, and in other parts of the book, I had forgotten to write about weekends at all.
Meanwhile, Pippa Park Crush at First Sight had a completely different problem—namely, how do I cheer Pippa up? As I said before, the process of creating both Pippa books was similar, but there was one key difference—I wrote Pippa Park Crush at First Sight during lockdown in a global pandemic. Pippa’s character is naturally upbeat and optimistic, but because our voices are so close, my own negative emotions started to manifest in the first-person voice. In order to keep Pippa’s voice consistent, I focused on giving myself breaks on sad days and spent extra time editing on happy days. Taking small breaks from writing and allowing myself to feel my full range of emotions was cathartic, and this is definitely a part of the writing process that I’ll focus on in future books. Now, Pippa feels a lot more like herself—and I can’t wait for you to meet her again!
Meet the author
Erin Yun grew up in Frisco, Texas, and used to play basketball as a middle grader. She received her BA in English from New York University and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Creative Writing at Cambridge. She developed the Pippa Park Author Program, an interactive writing workshop, which she has conducted in person and virtually at schools, libraries, and bookstores.
Twitter: @fabled_films | @ErinMYun
Facebook: @Fabled.Films.Press | Instagram: @fabled.films
Enter for a chance to win an Exclusive Pippa Park Scavenger Hunt Box! Uncover the hidden meaning behind the clues in the box which include: A Tarot Card, Holiday Snow Globe, Kimchi-jjigae Family Recipe from the Author with a jar of Gochugaru, Mini Basketball Stress Ball, Golden Scrunchie, Signed Editions of Pippa Park Raises Her Game in paperback and Pippa Park Crush at First Sight in hardcover and a Pippa Park Bookmark. US only.
Enter here! Ends November 26, 2022.
About Pippa Park Crush at First Sight
Join Pippa Park as she juggles friendships, bullying, crushes, and family in the sequel to the compelling drama-filled middle school book Pippa Park Raises Her Game.
Korean AmericanPippa Park picks up right where she left off . . . trying to balance basketball, school, friends, working at the struggling family laundromat, and fitting in. Eliot, her math tutor—and the cutest boy at school—is finally paying attention to her. And Marvel—her childhood friend—is making her required volunteering much more interesting. But things with the Royals, her new friends and teammates who rule the school, still feel a bit rocky. Especially because Caroline, a head Royal, would like nothing more than to see Pippa fail.
So when Pippa is faced with hosting the annual Christmas Eve party that could make or break her social life, how can she say no? Will Pippa make enough money to cover the costs while juggling crushes and everything else? With courage and determination, Pippa sets out to host the party, find the perfect dress, pick the right boy, and stay true to her real self.
Publisher: Fabled Films Press
Publication date: 09/13/2022
Series: Pippa Park #2
Age Range: 9 – 12 Years
Filed under: Guest Post
About Amanda MacGregor
Amanda MacGregor works in an elementary library, loves dogs, and can be found on Twitter @CiteSomething.
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