|Image courtesy of Simon Howden |
First drafts are crap.
At least mine are.
They are always full of meandering plot lines that either don’t go anywhere or turn ridiculous, characters with zero relevance, wordy descriptions or no descriptions at all, and people who talk and talk and TALK but don’t do anything.
I try not to let it bother me too much, because it might be a mess, but at least I have something to work with.
And that’s my favorite part. As much as I like drafting a shiny, brand new story, even more, I love revamping and polishing a story where I’ve gotten to know the characters, I have a better feel for themes, what’s at stake, and the overall tone I want to the book to have.
Then I get to go line by line and scene by scene and make it shine. I take out the cliché and overdone and boring, and try to make it interesting and beautiful.
I always like to say that this is where the art happens because it transcends functional writing and becomes something more.
So don’t stop writing before you get to this point! Don’t finish your first draft, or even your second, and think you’re done. I’ve heard so many agents say that one of the biggest mistakes people make is sending out their manuscripts too early. Don’t be that person that has a great book with a ton of potential, but just isn’t there yet.
Be patient. Let the shiny new idea sit tight for just a little bit longer.
Love your manuscript enough to make it shine.