Monday, September 10, 2007

Muddling Through the Middle

I completed my writing goal this morning. I'm not happy with the results though.

I'm starting the slide toward the middle of the book. I felt like I was wading through quicksand. Nothing I wrote seemed clever or interesting.

At lunch yesterday, before our RWA chapter meeting, we discussed rough drafts. When I first started writing I didn't understand the need to revise a MS several times. I thought a "real" writer should have it almost right on the first pass through - maybe a 2nd pass through to tighten it up. My first couple of books were so bad I couldn't even imagine getting them into the kind of shape needed for publication. Now I realize, for me, that's how I have to start - with a big lump of clay. I like Nora Roberts description of the first attempt as a "discovery draft." If I think of my work that way, I can move on. It doesn't have to be right the first time I put it down on paper.

I'm going to spend some time this evening with my story board to make sure I have that middle plotted out so I don't find myself wondering around in the dark.

4 comments:

annette said...

That picture is perfect! It's exactly how I'm feeling with my manuscript.

I like your lump of clay analogy. I read that somewhere before but forgot about it.

Another good one is: I can edit anything but a blank page. I have that on my wall and it helps me move on when I'm tempted to revise something to death.

julia said...

That picture made me howl! Which one of us can't see ourselves in that quicksand?

Kelly said...

Love the picture! And if I remember correctly, Nora also refers to her first draft as teh PoC draft - Piece of Crap. I had to learn to give myself permission to write crap with my first draft. You can usually hear me chanting 'just get the bones down, you can fix it later'.

Christine d'Abo said...

I hate that feeling. I get it two or three times a manuscript when I'm working on it. I have to do several revisions, but only after I've gotten through the first draft. I can't edit as I go or it will never get done.