It’s strange and wonderful for me to think of all the skills I’ve learned since finishing my first ever rough draft. I guess I always knew I’d improved, but nothing made that improvement as glaringly obvious as working on the second rough draft I ever finished.
Some of you will know from my previous posts that said project fell by the wayside after the rewrite was lost in a back-up disaster. (Yes, I lost the whole thing WHILE backing it up, which meant I lost the back-ups as well.)
Anyway, I reread the rough draft and… well… it wasn’t good. I still really liked the characters, but the tension sagged all over the place.
So I put up a rewrite structure (i.e. I planned what I wanted to do with the rewrite). Things went well for the first three chapters. Until I realized that I’d matured so much as a writer that I wouldn’t actually be able to work with what I had.
Anyway… I guess it’s a good thing. My muse got me involved enough with the story that I actually want to make it awesome. The less than awesome thing is that I’m now basically drafting on my computer (which I hate), but I’m too deep into the story to start again by hand at well over 20k words. On the other hand…
I’m committed to getting the story done, and I don’t think doing so by writing an infinite number of first drafts will help me get there.
But really. I seriously – SERIOUSLY – hate rough drafting on the computer. Because the moment I slow down, I have this insane desire to go back and delete every single thing I wrote.
It’s something I always struggled with. It’s the reason why I write in pen. There’s no way to delete thousands of words on impulse if you have it down in ink.
With my computer… the chance is there, and it’s very tempting.
On the other hand, I know hand drafting works, and it works for a reason. And I know I threw out the entire rough draft. So maybe bending my own rules a bit makes sense.
I mean sure, it might set the project back by at least six months, but isn’t that better than getting stuck in my own head and getting delayed as a result in any case?