Thursday, March 10, 2011

Doing the hard work

Every novel has parts that are just hard to get right, and I hit one Sunday in my editing. I was on the pink draft of this particular chapter, which means I'd glossed over the problems at least once. I knew how I wanted it to read, I just couldn't get it there.

However, I also couldn't bring myself to dictate the gibberish it contained. Reading it on the page is bad enough; hearing it would make my ears bleed. Therefore, Tuesday morning I pulled out a green pen and did the hard work.

And hard it was! It took three hours just to get through chapter six. Whole sections needed to be rewritten and new scenes were added. When I finished that chapter, I went on to do the next two as well. I whined about it beforehand, but at least now I'll be able to read it out loud without wanting to burn the entire manuscript.

I'll leave you with this awesome video from Maureen Johnson. First drafts suck, and we have to move past the "I am a talentless hack" feeling and get to work. Right now, I'd say chapter 6 is somewhere between "sorta kinda suck" and "awesome," which is a heck of a lot better than where it was on Sunday afternoon.