Friday, January 31, 2014

Not Insanely Bad Rough Draft

After writing the rough draft of Black Nectar by writing, writing, writing with no stopping for editing or revising, I was scared to read what I had written.  Thought I would open up over two hundred pages of babbling mess and run away to hide.

But guess what? Surprise of all surprises, I like what I have written. For some backwards crazy reason, the stuff is pretty good.  The revisions I am now making on it are minimal. Why didn't someone tell me this wild way could actually work? Or maybe I was told, but like my inner teenager, I did not listen.

Writing the rough draft straight through was brutal. Felt like I was creating words by pulling them directly from the inner lining of my teeth.  My back ached and my forearms screamed at the end of each hours long session.  There was no rest for this weary writer. Only mockery that I thought writing a story could ever be an easy venture.

Sometimes in the midst of plucking out the keys that would form the words that told the story, I would remind myself that this was fun. That this was the career path that I had leaped to with love and joy in my heart.  Are all writers this delusional? Or do we have a split personality? One that believes writing to be fun, and the other than knows the wickedness of an addiction that has me clutching a story plot out of thin air.  Where did this madness come from?

Perhaps I could stoop to the level of blaming my mother as she possesses the writing addiction also. But I am too old and no longer naive enough to blame Mom for my issues.  Besides, she would just laugh and roll her eyes and let me know I was being ridiculous.  Writing addiction is not an inherited disease.

So in this past week of discovering that the rough draft to the sequel to Red Nectar is not something that I will run away screaming from like I did when I went to see Heath Ledger playing The Joker (he was scary!), my joy has been extreme.  I could just kiss every word that actually sounds not half bad in the way that it was placed in the creation of a new story.

Next story that I write with the hunker down and right the rough straight through method will be met with a glimmer of hope at the end of each chapter.  I will know that the efforts do pay off.  There can be gold within the time spent picking out the story.

Now I just need someone to critique it for me so that I know I am not just lying to myself. Telling myself that it is a decent young adult novel so that I won't fling myself over the Coronado Bridge after all the time and pain invested.

Rough drafts, revising, critiques. Let me remind myself again that the entire process is joyful and easy.

Heather Leigh

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