Wednesday, March 28, 2012

false starts + second drafts :: cranky post.

This is the third time I've started this blog post. I'm doing that middle-of-the-night thing again, too. And I'm using words like "this" and "that" more than usual.


I'm drowning in false starts.

Writing is not my friend, these days. I don't feel like I have anything to say. I'm afraid of working on what I need to work on, because I don't want it to fall apart. Again. Again and again and again.

All I want to do is hole up with the books I should have read a month ago and try to make stories feel like fun again.

I *think* I figured out what was wrong with my beginning. A week ago, I was calling this a "breakthrough." Now I'm just calling it stupid. The issue:  If I write it, it will inevitably be wrong in a few weeks time. And so I haven't written it.

First drafts are nothing, guys.
It's the second draft that's killing me.


  1. You might try writing an outline. It may seem an odd thing to suggest if you already have a first draft, but using the first draft to write the outline can be a quick way of finding where the stumbling blocks are.

    Moody Writing
    The Funnily Enough

  2. i read recently about a famous novelist (can't remember who) who wrote all of the major scenes of his novel on 3X5 cards so he could see more easily how the novel unfolded and switch things around if need be.

  3. Renee, they have a program for that now. It's called Scrivener and it's awesome!

    Juliemydear... I highly recommend reading the books that you want to read and using the warm and fuzzy feelings to soothe your frustrations. Taking a step back is never a bad thing. It's not jumping back in again that's tragic :)

    Draft and draft and draft, my dear. You'll get there!

  4. I am in the same place. I wrote a "wonderful" first chapter only to have it ripped apart in critique group. so now I can't bring myself to even look at it, let alone think of changing/fixing it.

    So I'm doing same as you. Reading. Tons!

    I don't have any advice, but I'm in your corner and will be checking back to see how you figure it out.

  5. I so hear you! It is so frustrating to feel like you have an amazing idea and then the next day you loathe it. I have those phases. I'm generally slacking on my novel because it is hard, and I want to do it justice...which is why I'm never done with this dang book. I need to suck it up and just do it.

    And a reading break can always help.

  6. Ugh, I know. Editing and revising is so painful, especially after a painful critique. Take a break if you need to, read something inspiring, just don't give up.

  7. You want to hole up and read? Do it honey, some time away could be just what you need.

  8. We shall beat Writing into submission, and then it will be our best friend! And then we'll never have false starts or mid-novel slumps, or anything like that.

  9. YES! Second drafts. Because when we write first drafts, we're juuuuust delusional to think we're going to nail it our very first try! Or is that just me? It might be just me.

  10. I can identify with so many of these things you said :)


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