Ah yes. The first edit after the rough draft… It kind of feels like having your chest dragged against a cheese grater. When you write it, you think that it’s just the best thing ever. Then you read it and seriously consider changing professions.
I used my plane flight to ConNooga to start editing the rough draft of my Michael Lodestone pulp novella. (On that note, I apologize for the lack of posts. Since I was posting my ConNooga panel schedule, each day, I didn’t want to double up writing diary posts with for the sake of those who follow this blog through email. I did write every day, but Saturday and last night didn’t get much of time.)
Now that I have read through my rough (egads it’s rough) draft, I see the weaknesses and things that I need work on.
Basically, I need to throw a hand grenade at the entire middle half of the story and rebuild…
Yep. I’ve got to rewrite all my rising action. And I have a month and a half to finish the final draft–which includes getting beta readers.
This might sound daunting. It might sound depressing.
But this is writing.
This is what we do.
If you are in a similar situation and have found yourself staring at your body of work, knowing half of what you’ve done will need some serious surgery, please take heart. It happens to everyone. It’s not the quality of your first draft that makes you a good writer. It’s the quality of your final draft.
(This is why I make sure my rough drafts stay rough. I’m not going to waste time editing a scene until I know it’s going to make the cut.)
I spent my flight up to ConNooga reworking the middle half of the story, trying to figure out the best way to have the story unfold. On today’s flight back to Naples, I’m going to finish that, and maybe start actually beginning the edit… (It’s probably best not to ask why I’m on a flight this morning instead of last night, wearing the same clothes I wore yesterday. And yes, I’m going straight to work from the airport.) I’ve gone through this before, and I will go through it again. Now I just have to dig in and start the rewrites.
How about you? Have you ever needed to rework major parts of your story?