Making a Map of Your Story

So, you’ve finished your first draft. You’ve typed those two wonderful words ‘The End’. Wouldn’t it be lovely if it really was, if the book was finished – but it’s not. After writing comes re-writing.

I’ve been working on the first draft of Cradlesnatch on and off for over three years, which I wouldn’t recommend to anyone. I’ve lost sight of the thing as a whole and what I’m left with feels like a big messy plate of spaghetti. It has no structure. What I want is a beautifully constructed lasagne, with its organised layers of pasta, cheese and sauce. The perfect balance of tastes and textures.

So what should I do?

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What’s It All About?

Sometimes writing can feel like you’re chasing the white rabbit and have fallen down a hole like Alice did.  It’s dark and scary and you’re very much on your own.  You may even wonder why you want to get hold of that rabbit anyway if it’s this much trouble.  Let someone else find it.  But catch it you must, because you’re a writer, and writers write – it’s what we do.

“But Alice wasn’t alone,” you say. “She met friends along the way who helped her.”  And you’d be right.  We can learn a lot from Alice about how to find the rabbit.

My name is Lorrie Porter and I write fiction for teenagers. My first novel, Fury, has wolves, bandits and other miscreants among its pages. While my second novel, Cradlesnatch, is about a monster who steals children.

It took me 8 months to write Fury in first draft and three years to edit. With Cradlesnatch it’s a different story.  I’ve been working on the first draft since 2008, and it still isn’t finished.  I have a deadline for having a polished manuscript ready for my agent and the clock’s ticking.

I thought it would be interesting to share my journey from first draft to publishable manuscript, because in this internet age writing doesn’t have to be the lonely pusuit it once was.  I hope you’ll share the adventure with me.

My writing is supported by the Arts Council of England through their Grants for the Arts programme.

You can link to my website here: