…And Then There Were Words: The First Readthrough.

After the elation and subsequent slump upon finishing my first draft, I realised I was exhausted, and took a break over the festive period.

A few days turned into a week, which turned into two. The baby decided that hot on the heels of teething was a great time to get ill, so it wasn’t exactly a rejuvenating break, but I stopped putting pressure on myself to write. Administering antibiotics into a headstrong, wiley and very wriggly baby 4 times a day for 10 days was enough pressure for anyone. Besides, the whole thing is terrible. Maybe I should just give up this daft idea of being able to write and focus on things in the real world instead of trying to dance on the clouds.

But then I started to itch. No, I wasn’t that festive! Itch to write, and, dare I say it, read my own writing (along with mild terror, knowing how utterly full of drivel this draft is!). All I needed was an afternoon. Ok, an evening. An uninterrupted hour? Come on, kids, GO TO BED!!! Please?! 

Ahem.

They didn’t, so I stole half an hour and locked myself in the bathroom instead of sorting the laundry. Rebel!

Do you know what? It wasn’t all that bad.

Actually, it was terrible. But the worst bits were the ones I’d added trying to be clever or that shouldn’t have been added in the first place, so I already knew that. The writing sucked, but the story is good, if badly told. And the badlies flaws aren’t going to take as much smoothing as it felt before I read them.

It’s given me hope. That skim through the first 10(?) pages was enough to jerk my brain back into processing and I realised a major issue with my protagonists and first page, which was all the more impressive because I started off reading the alternative thread that doesn’t even touch them until much further in.

Last week I stole another hour. I found some bits that, with a bit of re-writing I actually rather like. Could it be I’m starting to feel positive about this whole enterprise?

Yes, I think there is a glimmer of positivity creeping back into it all. All I need is a large amount of time to do a total rejig, adding about 50k words and cutting about 20k, whilst adding a bit of soul wrenching honesty and factual accuracy. And working out if it is indeed possible to have any metaphors for the M5 motorway that are the slightest bit pretty!

Any tips or tricks on finding the time to re-read/edit would be much appreciated. Sadly wriggly babies and lots of loose pieces of paper are not a good combination! 😦

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Leila

Mum, writer, gamer, geek. Trying to master the first two whilst squeezing in time for the latter.

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