Friday, 8 May 2009

Re-reading the first draft

So, remember me liking my 2008 manuscript?

Remember me saying that this is the one I'd like to get to a publishable standard? That I love the characters, and all manner of other good things?

Well, that was before I re-read the story.


The start is dreary; the description melodramatic; the action unexciting; the emotion cheesy; the plot riddled with holes.

OK, so I already knew that about the plot, and I'm still very fond of my characters. Heroine, villain, all of 'em.

But apparently I can't write.

Not giving up, though. I'm still going to finish off this dull, clumsily-written story because, y'know what? It's a first draft. I'm still going to edit it (while writing other stories), and try to get it to a publishable standard, even if it's going to take me longer than I'd hoped.

I'm not discouraged; it's more funny than anything else. Besides, I already knew I'd need to rewrite a lot of it; I was prepared for that. I wanted a first draft, not a finished work of perfection. And I've heard this is a normal part of revision anyway.

1) (writing first draft) I am a genius! This will be an instant best-seller! Rowling will hang her head in shame and defeat.
2) (coming back after break to rewrite first draft) Miserable drivel! Why was I ever born? I have no talent, and should instantly run and hide myself where nobody could ever associate me with this travesty.
3) ...I don't know. Probably a sad, grim determination of "This'll have to do," as you decide to send your baby out into the big wide world.

And I hate to think what it's like after that; the writer submitting to agent after agent, publisher after publisher, or watching his work being rewritten by well-meaning editors who just don't get it, or torn to shreds by bloodthirsty reviewers....

1 comment:

Rachael King said...

This is exactly how I feel about my current novel. It never goes away!