Tuesday, January 19, 2010

1st Draft: Finished

The completion of a first draft is at once a triumph and a depressing moment.

Sure, you've written those magical words - "The End" - and at the time they seem to tie up everything in the story into a neat little bow.

And yet, now that you've finished, you get to go back and look at all the glaring mistakes. All the things you did wrong. All those tiny plot pieces that need to be fixed. All. Those. Things. They're just sitting there, lurking, waiting, and you have to go back and look at them all and fix them and it seems like you're writing the damn thing all over again.


And then, of course, if you have a critique partner (or two or three), they get to point out all the screw ups you haven't seen. All the things your audience would see and wonder about (which is why you have the critique partners and betas in the first place). So you sit back and read their comments and get all pissed. Not because they're pointing out stuff, but because now you have to go back and fix it and you just want to be done already so you can start querying, and yet at the same time you know you can't because querying what you have now would just be like shooting yourself in the foot because no agent/editor in his/her right mind would take your book.

It's a prime headdesk moment.

I suppose I can't complain. It's just tiring. Yes, I've just finished a first draft (ok, I finished it yesterday), but now I have a list of things to do, a list I've been compiling that just seems to continue growing. And I don't want to go back and fix it. I'm tired. Again, for people who don't think writing is work, you can go $#!% off because it is, and I'm tired and I can't do it anymore. True, I shouldn't complain, being that this draft is a record breaking 3ish months for me (though honestly, I think if you condense the days I actually worked on it, it's more like 2 which is RIDICULOUS for me, but hey, that's what happens when a muse sits on your shoulders and doesn't. Leave. You. Alone.), but still.

Other writers understand, I'm sure. That moment where you've written so much for so long you can't write anymore lest you puke all over your manuscript or set it on fire or just yell, "I HATE YOU" at your computer screen. Yeah. I'm at that point now. Which is kind of depressing since I was having such a grand time with this story. But alas, now I see its flaws and it's bumming me out.

But hey, whatcha gonna do? (and yes, I will accept calling the Ghostbusters as an answer)

Until then, enjoy this interview with Jill Myles on writing sex scenes. I haven't read her book yet, but it's on my list.

Yep. That's me.

1 comment:

Amalia T. said...

Take a breather, put the draft away for a few weeks, or a few months-- however long it takes for you not to hate it anymore, and then go back to it when you don't want to puke :) Not only will it be less stressful to revise at that point, but you'll be able to see your own mistakes a lot more easily if you have that distance.

I always get depressed when I finish a draft-- but not because of the revision stuff that comes next-- because I want to write, and not I'm done, and saying goodbye to the characters and that process makes me sad. Revisions prolong the moment a little bit, but it just isn't the same as discovering everything for the first time, you know?