I’m finally inspired these last two days to get this first draft of my second novel finished (it’s only taken about two months, but I’m hard on myself). Writing this second book to my novel The Little Paragons, has really been an eye opener. I never realized how bad of a ‘writer’ I could be, until I wasn’t strictly editing something I’d already written.
The last year of my life has been spent editing The Little Paragons. I’ve read that book so many times that sometimes I forget what it was like to write it.
This year was a stressful one for me (you know, dramatic teenage girl reasons), so I didn’t do much actual ‘writing’. It wasn’t until this summer that I forced the manuscript on my ‘editors’ and started writing the sequel to The Little Paragons.
And now as I write this sequel, I realize how horrible my writing is when it’s not edited. Seriously, if I were to just hand this first draft to any literature fan, I’d be shamed and stoned!
I imagine I’m not the only one who thinks that either.
Yet, I know there’s a great deal of people out there writing their first drafts of their first books and it horrifies me to see them put so much effort in! Sure, they’re thinking that if it’s good the first time, they won’t have as much editing to do later. I’m just going to tell them now, though, that they’re lying to themselves.
The first time you write a story, you should be working endlessly to just get your thoughts on the page. While you’re working, maybe you’ll forget a scene and be tempted to go back and add. You’ll want to check for inconsistences. You’ll want to go back a few pages and read an interesting scene.
You have to keep trucking along! Do not stop!
You’ll think your first draft is horrible because it is horrible! Look at me: It’s taken me a year to edit my novel and only now do I feel any sort of pride for it. I literally hated that novel the first time I read it (Check out: Editing Your Work Like a Pro: 7 Steps).
Don’t be caught up in the glamour of ‘writing’. Just because you take six months to write your draft, doesn’t mean you’re not going to take another eight to edit.
The point I’m trying to get across to new authors is: Work quickly on your first draft. Sure, your draft may be horrible, but after a few edit run-throughs, your pride will begin to grow. It’s all in due time.
And, no, your writing will never be perfect. No matter how long you work on it, someone will always think it’s horrible. Just remember that you don’t care what others think. Writers are weird and embracing our weird-ness will only inspire us.