After a quick break, I came back to my novel with a refreshed mind. My original plan was to try to figure out the order of the chapters and beginning cutting and rearranging, but it didn’t take long for me to realize that to fully understand where my story currently stands, I’d have to do a read-through.
This has probably been one of the most painful experiences I’ve had in my eight years of the writing world. I’m in the process of going through every single word of my book, making gruesome notes on every little misperfection I can find (yet still focusing mainly on the chapter’s structure). By tonight I will have completed the entire first run-through.
Painful. Yes, definitely painful. All those months I spent working on this thing, and it’s just a bunch of junky words forming a junky story. I’ve realized how much work my book needs.
But it’s the beautiful parts that matter.
Even though as I am writing this, my book is in it’s worst form, I’m not going to let this discourage me. I mean, don’t all first drafts suck? What really matters is how far it’s come, considering it started as a single blank page.
It’s the beautiful parts that matter. Hidden in this pile of trash I’ve created, there are small little gems. Things that make me smile and laugh and cry. Even though most of my time is spent frowning and writing harsh notes in the document for my future self to read, there are times when my eyes go teary and I write my future self a little note of encouragement. A smiley face. Maybe even a positive sentence or two.
Sure, it’s going to be hard, but I know it’s possible to turn this trash into something beautiful. It’s already at it’s beginning stage. A few gems here and there. After editing, rereading, and editing some more, it will get there. Maybe someday it will be a giant gem that has to be rummaged for trash, instead of the other way around. You never know.
Wherever you are in your novel, don’t criticize yourself for all the parts that suck. Instead, laugh at them and think, “I’ll make that better.” Be sure to also take time to note the parts that make you feel like a writing god, because believe it or not, those are just as important.
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