Saturday, May 28, 2011

Saturday Say: It's Okay to Write Badly

Or: A pep talk from Saturday.

Sorry about forgetting to post last Saturday. My sleeping patterns have been all over the place and I forgot it was Saturday at all...

Okay, so. You all remember that book I wrote in July 2010? The one I've been revising since I finished it? A friendof mine/my new crit partner read it for the first time recently. She called it all sorts of good things (and may have made me cry a little) but the one that stuck the absolutely most was polished.

Because polished is awesome. That's the whole point of revising, right? To polish your writing until it's, you know, good and stuff.

Here's the thing. My WIP that I'm writing... it's not polished. It's a mess. The plot is all over the place, the characters are flatter than I'd like at times, there are scenes that are mostly skeletons, I'm not working in the mythology as well as I'd like - and a million other things you don't want to hear about.

But here's the thing. That other book I wrote, Berserk? Yeah, the first draft of that was awful. I completely rewrote it before I let anyone read it and it still needs a lot of work.

This new book... it's weird, too. I've plotted with it, I made a calendar for it (seriously, there's like a schedule and stuff), I've done a whackload of research, I know things like my main character's school schedule and holy wow, it's not like anything I've written before. And it's challenging.

So right now, I wouldn't let anyone look at it to save my life. But I know that it can be made better - once I finish it. (I cannot edit as I write. Cannot. If I try, I get stuck. My brain thinks, "Oh, that part's better... but the next part sucks. I can't write more til I fix it!" and then nothing ever gets finished.)

Basically... all first drafts suck. I don't think it really gets much easier, no matter how many times you do it. Not like riding a bike or *mind goes to a bad place* *drags brain OUT of gutter* or cooking or something. And it's okay for them to suck. Revision is a very good thing and you can't revise nothing.

Um. I was on a roll here, then I got distracted by supper, so does this make sense? How do you guys feel about writing first drafts after revising for a long time?

Peace and cookies,