11 October 2011

The Good, the Bad and the . . . Ugh

A little over a week ago I finished the rough draft of my work in progress. I can't remember if I mentioned that or not. Seriously, it's been more than five minutes and that means I will not remember. Anything. Probably some sort of early onset Alzheimer—it does sort of romp through our family like a little kid in a puddle.

The last 10,000 words of the rough draft suck, just so everyone knows, but it's finished. I closed the file and vowed not to look at it again until at least November.

This month I've decided to go back to my first novel. I put the finishing touches on it back at the end of July, and it has been sitting around, waiting for someone to read it. So far none of the agents have asked for it, so it's getting kind of bored. This past weekend I pulled it out, made a hard copy, bound it (thank you Alphagraphics) and started reading.

I thought that after a few months of non-contact that I would be wow-ed. Like totally and completely “Oh my gosh, this is great!” Not that I believe my novel is perfect, but I worked hard on it and after going back to something I find it a lot easier to pick out the good parts, as opposed to the bad. Needless to say I was a little surprised when I found myself actually scanning the first chapter. Reading the first line of a paragraph and then the last line—and ignoring everything but dialogue in those lines.

I was bored!

Reading my own first chapter. Pathetic. And not good. I actually put it down and pondered for a few minutes about quitting writing and going into clogging. I was pretty good as a kid. I'm sure I could pick it up again. Or perhaps hat making. Anything but writing, considering how bad I am at it.

Yes, it was a pity party, and since I'm trying to lose some weight there were no cookies anywhere to be had. Which turned out to be a good thing, because they would have been gone in about six seconds.

Once I took a walk, glared at the manuscript for a few minutes and sat back down I felt a little better. My brain engaged and reminded me that this is the chapter that won the first chapter contest at LDStorymakers this year. People like this chapter. It must still be so ingrained in my head that I can't look at it with objectivity.

I'm happy to report that I almost missed leaving for Kempo tonight because I was reading somewhere in the middle. That made me feel better.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring?

2 comments:

Antiquarian said...

I'd say if you were to change careers to open a Ninja School. You could brainwash er train your own munchkin army.

Hey there's a novel idea...an American Ninja who is training YAs in an effort to stop the nefarious bad guy. Semi-autobiographical of course.

Anthony Dutson said...

You suck as a writer? Sha-right!

If it wasn't for your eagle eye and notorious wit, where would my characters be? And I do love your writing, so shush them doubts and crank out another chapter. I'm waiting. :)