Let the record show, that as of February 10, 2017 I, Kristin, have finished the first rough draft to my novel…and I’m already itching to revise the WHOLE THING. I glare at it when I see the document staring at me from my desktop. I’m pretty sure at this point, it’s begun to glare back at me feeling equally scornful at my angst.
I’m resisting the urge to tear through it, rip it up, and deconstruct the characters, the main plot, and basically start over. You know, just go in there with a sledgehammer, make like an episode of Fixer Upper and blow out the walls.
Now, lets stop a moment. Take a step back, maybe take a deep breath to steady ourselves, and read a quote:
“Awful first drafts are fine—Agree with this.
If you don’t finish something, you’ll never get in the game. Just quell the voice in your head that says ‘Are you kidding? No one is going to want to read this drivel’ and keep on going. You’re going to revise and revise and then revise again anyway.”
― Jamie Freveletti
*Sets down the bag of Oreo’s and stops fretting for two seconds*
So, lets get real for a second, shall we? First of all, I already know that this book has the potential to be so much more than it already is (duh, it’s only draft one). It’s like seeing an adolescent and just KNOWING that with the right direction and influence, it could be something decent, later-maybe even good.
Secondly, I promised myself, before I was even close to finishing this novel, that once I wrote those two words I would walk away from it for a month. That may seem a bit much, but the next time I lay eyes on it I want to be able to see if from a reader’s perspective and make it bleed from there (cue the screechy violins). I need to distance myself, read books, watch movies, read even more books, start a blog (aaaand here we are), write down notes to another story in my head, and then return to it.
And, heh, not to brag or anything (although, I’m sure you know it’s coming), but this is the first time that I’ve EVER been able to put those two words on something bigger than an essay for school. *Insert slow clap here*
When I was fourteen, I started writing a book. And trust me it was awful. The plot was confused, the characters dumb, and the whole structure of it painful. Like it was literal poo on toast. But I persisted in writing it because I couldn’t get rid of that “itch” that I had to write. I managed to write 74 pages in a Word Document that I’d opened up over a period of a few months. I even remember my eighth-grade English teacher, Mrs. Jantzen, raising her eyebrows at me when I told her my page count. She encouraged me to keep writing and pursue the story, which I did even more so. It was great to have a place where all of the daydreams I’d ever had finally had a place to play. But then, in my adolescent stupor (Why didn’t I just use a jump drive?!), I had a Saving error which caused all but eleven pages to be lost to the abyss. It devastated me, and in a moment of frustration and defeat I threw away the rest of it, walking away from my daydreams and not writing another story for ten years.
This is the second story I’ve endeavored over the past two years of my reawakened “imaginary friends” and it’s the first to ever be crowned with its very own, “THE END”.
*Lights off a sparkler*
And here’s what DAY 1 of not working on it has felt like:
-Wakes up. Immediately begins thinking that the ending should be revised. Pushes thoughts out of mind and begins thinking about how the beginning should be revised. Realizes that all I’ve done for ten minutes is think about the draft. Finally gets out of bed.
-Goes to gym because “it’ll be good for me” (laughs internally at own joke). Hops on a dreadmill-I mean treadmill and immediately thinks of draft. Decides to focus on new book idea instead. Writes down notes on cellphone.
-Comes home, chases small human around. Whines to husband about how small human keeps asking for C-O (cereal) when I’ve just fed him pizza. Gets a distraction from all thoughts relating to writing while trying to keep small human happy and alive. Mostly alive.
-Watches a movie. Movie ends. Begins thinking about characters in the draft. Also begins thinking that blog might help with coping for the next month.
-Here we are.
It’s only been just over a full 24-hours and it’s taking more will power for me to avoid tweaking it than it is for me to say no to Krispy Kreme (that love is real). It’s. Hard.
BUT, let us not forget that there is FINALLY a “THE END” to talk about! *High-fives all around*