Five years ago, I participated in Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month). I completed my 50,000 words in twenty-six days, rather than the allotted thirty-one. The journey was tough yet rewarding. Then I set the manuscript aside to work on another story.
Recently I decided to edit my Nano manuscript.
I read it and scrapped the whole thing. Sure, there were some great ideas and a few fun scenes, but it was truly terrible writing (I guess I shouldn’t have expected so much from twenty-six days of pounding out words on a keyboard).
My goal is to complete the second rough draft (we’ll call it James John for now) this summer. While my writing has improved, the first quarter of this draft is still pitiful.
That’s okay. It’s called a rough draft for good reason.
I will edit, edit, edit, consult my writing group, edit, consult them again (and again) and edit more (and more) until a shiny, tightly written work of fiction is produced (and hopefully published).
Writing is hard work. And it’s a long process.
I could let myself wallow in frustration. (After all how many times can a character rake, run or rub his hair before a reader tears out their own hair? And you really, really don’t want to see all my punctuation mistakes…) But it wouldn’t be productive.
So…I write, study, write, study, write, write, write, and keep studying the craft until I get it…