This record sounds insanely broken, but I am nearing the end of draft 2 of Father’s Creed.
There’s really only a handful of scenes left that need revision, some of which are earlier in the novel that I noted, then skipped. I marked them yesterday so I wouldn’t fool myself into thinking that the last scene of the book would be the last scene needing revision; I want to celebrate properly for a true second draft completion.
The problem with marking these was in reading through the scenes again. I was underwhelmed with the writing.
You would think, after a second draft, everything would be a perfectly cut diamond, yet many of the sentences are still clunky, wording unoriginal and basic, and description ineloquent.
I knew there would be multiple drafts, though my checklist has not been broken into any specific number. I knew this would be tedious and grueling, but that knowledge gives me no comfort when I’m deep in the jungle hacking away at an overgrown trail. I can see now how someone says they’ve been working on the same book for 8 years. There is a lot that goes into getting something right.
That’s the thought that troubles me and also encourages me. I’m encouraged because I can see that it needs improvement. If I couldn’t see that, then it would mean I have no eye for editing, no eye for what constitutes good and bad writing, and, without that, I would have little confidence that I could transform this novel into something better than where it began.
If you read through your work and you think it stinks, that’s okay. It’s only where the writing is now. With every draft it will improve. You will improve. Think of this: if it takes you a year to finish draft one, you are a different writer than where you started. You have one more year of writing experience.
Of course, you’re a better writer now. You’ve learned. You have a flow. You can hear and see the words in a way you didn’t before, and if you’re a better writer now, then imagine how good you’ll be after draft 2, and 3, etc.
I know that what stinks now will have a more pleasing smell tomorrow and, who knows, maybe there was always a diamond deep within that rancid garbage. It just needed time and experience to take form and shine, just as you do.
Let me know which draft you’re on, and if you feel you’ve improved as a writer from the draft before.
Happy writing everyone! Please Subscribe and follow.