Thursday, December 11, 2014

On Revising

So . . .

I shelved the project I was working on (furiously) over the summer. I had a solid first draft of the story (dueling points of view) at the time. The story was told--there were no more scenes to write, etc.

They say you should put your work aside, you know, and I am all about what "they" say is right.

So I stepped back to get some perspective, and while I was waiting for whatever to happen that was supposed to happen, I wrote my Christmas novella.

Since I recently sent that project out into the world, I decided it was time to go back and re-open this story that had been "simmering" for the last few months. And . . .

Oh. My. God.

I'm going to be honest:

I would be embarrassed to put my name on this story right now.

Have you ever had a project like that?

It was like a facepalm/light bulb moment, where it was: "This! This is why they say it's good to step away! This is why you stuff your work in a drawer and forget about it! So you can come back with fresh eyes and a new perspective!"

Well, my fresh eyes fell right out of my head and my new perspective vomited all over the floor.

I'm exaggerating, but the point is this: first drafts suck. They do. ALL first drafts suck. I don't care who you are or how long you've been writing. Your first draft is never the best draft. This is just part of the roller coaster.

The good news is:

There's nothing wrong that cannot be fixed.

I've got Scrivener notes out the yin-yang about what this story needs. I have scenes to omit and rearrange, passages to delete, a few storyline matters to rework, key points to zero in on, etc.

I also have my handy dandy John Truby book--Anatomy of a Story--(which Sarah Ockler highly recommended to me, and I now highly recommend to everyone else!) to help me straighten this mess out. 

At any rate, I'm thankful I took this time away from the story. I'm thankful I did NOT go ahead and send it to my agent for her opinion, because then her fresh eyes might have fallen out of her head, too, and I can't be responsible for something that horrible.

I know there's this pervasive pressure in our "now now now" society to "create create create" . . . but don't rush.

There's nothing wrong with a story that cannot be fixed, but you can't rush the process.

That is all.

Be Brilliant! :D