Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Rough Drafts

I hide from my own writing sometimes. I avoid it, avoid looking at the stuff that will reduce me to a mad, foaming-at-the-mouth monster who will delete massive portions of things, screaming, "NO!!! THIS WON'T DO! I'M A HORRID WRITER AND I HAVE TO START OVER WITH A NEW DRAFT! EVERYTHING STINKS! NO ONE CAN BE PERMITTED TO SEE THE HORRIFIC THING!"

Rereading your own writing- tearing pages with angry face

Er, anyway, you get the idea. I don't do this to everything, of course. Some of my writing, I'm fine with. Other stuff, I criticize terribly. When I refer to 'hiding from my writing', I'm mainly referring to my manuscript.
Yes, the manuscript. Insanely long, yet I know there's a thousand things I'll want to edit/delete/hide from. One of the reasons for my madness stems from the perfectionist. The perfectionist looks at things, and then points out a hundred flaws, such as being poorly written, ridiculous, not well, explained, and so on and so forth. Another issue is that I keep changing my mind. An element of the story is now different (because my original idea wasn't turning out well). Really, this happens a lot. An idea doesn't work well, or is crummy, or I think of something better, and so my story morphs.
And what are the results of my madness? Being frustrated that the thing will never be good enough, that I don't have the skill needed to make this story shine, and other such things. Then I dismiss these feelings, and I begin editing. Or I feel that everything I've written is so awful that I start a new draft. I have several abandoned drafts of the same story, and it's insane.
Which brings me to the point that I began this post with. I finally decided that I would not start any more drafts. I was going to stick with one draft or I'd never get anywhere. And I also decided that I wasn't going to look too hard at what I'd written the last time, particularly if I'm in a judgmental mood to begin with. Of course, I look back occasionally to jog my memory in a previous event in the story, or if there's a part that absolutely has to be changed.
I know there's a lot of things I've changed my mind on, and a lot of boring filler. (Jack went to school and nothing happened. Nicole was being impossible and nothing happened. The readers all died of boredom and nothing happened.) So much uninteresting stuff comes out when I'm trying to write something, but can't get my brain to formulate interesting events, conversation, etc. Maybe it's a hybrid of rough draft, and place to store random junk about my story. But right now, I'm not doing much serious editing. I just keep writing more, keep moving forward, and decide I'll fix the crummy parts later.
I must remember that not all of my manuscript is stuff that needs serious help. I must not dwell on the junk that I'm not satisfied with. Otherwise, I'll lose my mind, and that would be very bad. Stephen King, however, will read the news article, then be inspired to write a novel about an author who went mad from doubts about their ability and proceeded to go onto a killing spree. "Muahaha, it's all your fault I got writer's block!" (chop, hack, crunch)
And now that you have an image of a guy with crazed eyes and an axe in his hands, I shall bring my insane blog post to an end.

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