Well. I killed that story.
Sometimes that happens. Sometimes, you just figure out you're writing the wrong thing. Not that the original story was bad, or that it couldn't have been good with a lot of work, but it was not the story I was meant to be writing. After I admitted it, closed the Word doc, and opened a new one, I was flooded with an immense sense of relief.
And I started playing around with new ideas.
I love to play, and to me it's one of the most important and intergal parts of the writing process. When the ideas in my head are wispy thoughts instead of words on paper, I'm way more likely to take risks. Risks are important. Really important.
Thanks to some frustrated bitching that turned into a silly suggestion-fest that morphed into valuable brainstorming (thank you Rachel Hawkins), I came up with a new story idea.
Largely, because of time constraints (*cough* DEADLINE *cough*), I needed to follow the story to the end, to make sure the plot I had in mind would work before I invested a lot of time in it. So I got ready to buckle down. I drafted the whole thing in twenty-four hours. Four thousand words worth of drafting. *KAPOW*
Because ....... this happened.
|Illustration by Allie of Hyperbole and a Half|
I wrote the absolute ugliest draft I've ever seen in my life, and behold, it was GLORIOUS.
I'm a Piddler. A Picker. A Can't Leave It Aloner. I almost got over my issues while writing TIMEPIECE (the first time), but then I realized the whole thing was Wrong in That Wrong Way, and I stopped being cognizant, and I just wrote nouns and verbs and prayed for it to be over. (The second time I wrote TIMEPIECE was much more pleasurable, and the results make me smile like a loon instead of looking for a trash can in which to vomit.)
But in this short story situation, I felt free while writing the draft. FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. I pounded away at my keyboard happily. There was a deranged sort of blissful madness in going balls out crazy with the story.
AND IT WAS FUN.
You get in your own way. I'd already started writing today's post when I saw this from my friend Jodi Meadows. She's referencing editorial revisions, but it's applicable, and it's right.
I'm going to start revising my ugly and glorious short right now, but first I'm going to leave you with a word or two:
Revision is where real writers are born, and where the smart ones choose to linger.
I don't think I'll look as gleeful as the picture above while I work, but I'll be just as happy on the other side.