Thursday, February 6, 2014

So... I read my western...

Okay... so shortly after my IWSG post yesterday, I opened up the rough draft to my western.

And cringed.

And cringed...

And cringed some more.

I mean really. Yes, I know the western (romance) was the first story I finished after Doorways, but damn, the suckage is great with this one.

I head hop. I put dialogue and action in all the wrong places. The major plot events happen out of nowhere. It's....

Well...

HORRIBLE!

By far the worst rough draft I've written to date.

And yet.

There's something there. It's difficult to describe. I mean, with everything wrong with this rough draft, I should be collapsing into a heap and crying.

But I'm not. Because of this... this feeling I get when I'm reading. The main characters... They're both so hurt, but instead on melting onto a heap, they do what they think is best for their children. And the kids.... Man... there's one of them that just makes me want to walk over and hug him. Not because he's pathetic, but because he's carrying a huge burden no one else understands, and he's doing it bravely.

So reading this rough draft, I was drawn into their lives, hoping that the best possible things happen to them. And you know what? I think I can make a reader do that too. All I need to do is improve the way I told the story.

Luckily for me, I have three years' worth of experience with which to do it.

Anyone else go back to a terrible rough draft and try to turn it into gold? How did that go?

19 comments:

  1. Yes! I went back to one that I'd written as a teen. It was awful but the characters and concept was good, so I rewrote it. It became CassaStar.
    Go for it!

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  2. Oo. That sounds like a story worthy to be saved. It tugged at my heart just reading about it.

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  3. I've got a few early scripts I'm not EVEN brave enough to look through just yet. So kudos on living with no fear! LOL

    I think you can do it! Once you unlock the power of revision (i.e., learn to think like a dark and twisted editor), I'm convinced you can salvage anything. (Purely based on some of the train wrecks I've drafted that eventually became worthwhile stories. :)

    Never had you pictured as a Western kind of writer btw, but if Stephen King has taught me anything, it's don't be afraid to write to your whims. :D

    Best of luck!

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  4. Three years of experience is worth it's own weight in gold. Go for it!!!

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  5. Early drafts are notoriously bad. If the story won't leave me alone, I stick with it and rework and rework. If there's something there, I'd follow that thread.

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  6. I read what I wrote a couple of months ago, and I was horrified by it.

    www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

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  7. You've learned so much since then - you should rewrite it.

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  8. That sounds positive. I completely understand that 'there's something there' feeling. Go with it, and see what happens :-)

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  9. I have one that I plan to go back to after a short while. I have other projects in life beforehand, but yes, I want to save it for the same reasons you stated: there's something there.

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  10. I think that the fact that you're drawn to characters and invested in their lives is a very good sign; the characters are the most important parts of a story for me, because if I can't relate to the characters or if I don't like them, then it's very hard for me to enjoy the story as a whole.

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  11. Funny you should mention that. I recently dusted off an old manuscript. Bit of an eye-opener, huh. lol.

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  12. I re-use concepts and characters from old stories - the first novel I wrote ended up inspiring my current series, even though I only took some of the ideas and plot elements. Now I'm rewriting the characters into a different story. With all the writing experience you've had since then, I'm sure you'll be able to rewrite this into a winner. Good luck!

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  13. I have cringe moments when I read what I've written, but if there is some connection then it can be rescued I guess.

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  14. Someone said, writing is re-writing, so hell yeah ... I picked up a few short stories I wrote 3-4 years ago and oh lordy what a pile of dung. But this good! (I tell myself) because it shows I'm growing and improving as a writer. The only way is up! :)

    http://wp.me/p2rnfx-2Is

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  15. I believe every draft makes us batter. Congrats on finding an old draft to redo Misha.

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  16. im so sorry about the losses, but very happy for your story - you have developed intricate characters, i'm sure you can spin a wonderful story about them.

    glad you didn't lose everything! and thanks for the reminders to back up and never give up!

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  17. It makes me happy to know I'm not the only person who writes rough drafts/first drafts that make them cringe. Truly, it's the worst part of the entire process for me. Hate it.

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  18. Yes! Believe it or not, that's where I was with Moonless a few years back. The writing was crap, but there was just something about it--the characters or the undercurrent...I just couldn't leave it alone.

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  19. Yes, I've done this with some old pieces of mine.

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