The Joy of Third Drafts

IMG00168Ah, Topsail Island. We just went out to dinner (shrimp and grits for John, shrimp scampi for me) and had a look at the sound on the way home. I snapped this picture with my phone. I’ve always loved how this particular house juts out into the water. The sun and sky were such an intriguing color. It was lovely. So good to be at our home away from home.

Here at the beach, I’m working on my favorite part of writing a book. I tend to forget how much I love this part: the third draft. This is where I have the story written and “merely” need to fix it up, work on the voices, add the plants, and generally make sure everything flows nicely. This is also when I begin to realize I’ve written a good book. Up until draft three, I feel unsure of myself. Every Single Time.  The only negative thing is that it takes a looooong time do this and I don’t have a looooong time. I have to pick up my speed. No more leisurely wandering around the sound after dinner!

Tomorrow, I’ll work all day except for a break to have lunch with Lori Fisher, owner of one of my favorite independent bookstores, Quarter Moon Books in Topsail Beach. I’m only a few miles from the bookstore right now  (and yes, that was a big selling point when I bought this place!) and I’m looking forward to seeing Lori. I’ll do a signing in mid-June at QMB too.

Friday, I’m going to Wilmington to do some research so I can flesh out the details of the setting in The Midwife’s Confession. My Wilmington publicists are going to give me a tour of my characters’ neighborhoods. My publicists go well beyond the call of duty! I can’t wait to “find” my characters’ houses. 

I’m heading back to my third draft right now.  More later. . .


  1. Debb Haley on April 21, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    Thank you for attaching that picture of the house, I know exactly where that house is, it made me want to be at the beach even more. We have to wait till July to come down but some day I will own property on that island just like you do! Enjoy Topsail, it doesn’t get any better than that!

  2. Julie Kibler on April 22, 2010 at 12:35 am

    Oh, that is breathtaking! And with your phone!?! I can only imagine how beautiful it is in real life.

    And I think I like third drafts the best, too. At least while I’m doing the first draft. When I’m doing the third draft, I like the first draft best. Ha ha. 😉

  3. Gloria Bernal on April 22, 2010 at 1:02 am

    Thanks for sharing that photo with us, great shot! …and from a cell phone is impressive! Wish I was there, sigh!
    Never been to that part of the states. Enjoy part 3 of your work.

  4. Debbie on April 22, 2010 at 6:54 am

    Love the colors in the photo. Very peaceful. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

  5. Diane Chamberlain on April 22, 2010 at 9:58 am

    Oh, I’m so glad you all like my picture! I’m a terrible photographer, especially compared to John. Maybe the cell phone is just my speed!
    Stayed up way too late last night reading Anna Quindlan’s latest, Every Last One. Halfway through it and had trouble putting it down.

  6. Margo on April 22, 2010 at 10:33 am

    Ah, the beach…I want to be there…love this beautiful photo…Diane, I can see a novel centering around this unique home on the water…I have a feeling you’ve thought about it too.

  7. brenda on April 22, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    Love the picture…don’t forget to read THE SEASON OF SECOND CHANCES…by D. Meier…love love love it…can’t stand the mother in the story…got up at 4:00 a.m. to read it. Margo has it too. There is a little too much literature in the book (about English lit) but as High school and college English teacher-I LOVED THAT PART…this is a good one. Am now enjoying light reading-the new Miss Julia book-my daughter will love this one too.
    Enjoy writing your last draft…

  8. Diane Chamberlain on April 22, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    Margo, actually this house was an early inspiration for Before the Storm. I originally had The Sea Tender on the sound instead of the ocean.
    Will have to check out that book, Brenda. Thanks for the rec.

  9. Margo on April 23, 2010 at 8:23 am

    Diane, altho the Sea Tender is round this photo does remind me of it…I’d still love to see a book focusing on the mysterious round home on the ocean…I’ve never been able to get past the idea since first reading your blog ages ago showing photos you took of a round house in the Outer Banks.

  10. Kari on April 23, 2010 at 8:54 am

    I just read CeCe Wilkes…LOVED IT!! First book of yours that I have read. WONDERFUL!!
    Can’t wait to read more of your books!

  11. Ann on April 23, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    I love this picture. As long as we have been vacationing at Topsail Island I don’t think I have ever seen this house.Is it north or south of Surf City or is it in Surf City? We will be there for a week in May and I want to see it.
    I hope you are having good weather and I know you are enjoying being there regardless of weather conditions.

  12. Diane Chamberlain on April 23, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    Kari, I’m so glad you discovered CeeCee (and me)! Hope you continue to enjoy my books.

    Ann, it’s south. I think it’s all the way at the end of Anderson, then make a right and there’s a little parking area. You’ll see!

  13. Ann on April 24, 2010 at 12:10 am

    Thanks. I will make a trip to see it as soon as we get unpacked and settled. Your picture is so pretty and peaceful looking. Just the things you want to see while at the beach on vacation.

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