Archive for July, 2011

The Draft That Wouldn’t End

Sunday, July 17th, 2011

Here's a quick timeline of the latest work-in-progress:

Aug 2010: Inception. Spent the next two months working on backstory, R&D, planning.
Oct 2010: Wrote the first draft. Keep in mind that my first drafts are actually long, meandering, sixty-thousand word synopses.
Feb 2011: After taking a couple months off, I began the second draft. Keep in mind that my second drafts are actually what others might call first drafts. However, I only rewrote five chapters: about 17,000 words before I wanted some external feedback.
Mar 2011: Began the third draft. Keep in mind I never actually finished the second draft, due to external feedback that came back with a unanimous, "Yawn."
Apr 2011: Began the fourth draft. Keep in mind I never actually finished the third draft either, due to internal feedback that still thought the story was boring and completely without purpose. Decided it needed some major rewriting.

Since subsequent drafts have yet to go beyond the first five chapters or so, I still feel like I really haven't completed a full second draft yet. And even this fourth "draft" has gone through multiple rewrites. I'll read through it one day and think, "Hey, this isn't bad." But then I'll read through it the next day and think, "This is complete crap. No one would want to read this."

And even today, just when I figured I had it all figured out and was ready to move on, it hit me again: this sucks. So I embarked on the twelfth revision of the fourth draft and I'm still only on Chapter 3.

The irony is I know what I'm supposed to do but I just can't seem to do it. I'm starting to feel that my natural writing style is more suitable for history books than gripping novels. But having invested 336 hours into this project, I'm not ready to give up yet. All I have to do is turn twenty-seven "tell" passages into "show" passages, and I'll be sitting on a pile of gold.

Posted in Progress |