Friday, 13 December 2013

Starting Over, or ten reasons why I'm ditching everything

So, I wrote a novel. It was OK. I thought it was quite good. And perhaps it was. But it wasn't Good Enough. I despaired, I ranted, I sulked. I threw not only the baby out with the bathwater, but all the words too. Then I picked them up. And picked myself up. And I had some lovely, kind, helpful, insightful feedback. I'm starting over. From scratch. Anew. Without looking at any of those soggy, bathwater words. And this is why I'm pleased about it.

1. Not good enough can always become better.

2. No words are wasted. Even those you throw away have helped to shape your world, your characters, your plot.

3. If you can't let go of your story, then it's yet to be written. It's just not the right shape yet.

4. Re-writing is scarier than re-drafting but it's fresh, exciting and, sometimes, the only way forward.

5. The thrill of finding the right story cannot be beaten.

6. I love this story. It's my story. Even if no one else ever reads it, I must write it. And I need it to be good.

7. This character in my head will not let me go until she is done. She's had a tough time. She wants to tell me all about it. How can I not let her do that?

8. As new ideas flood my mind, I am carried into my character's world. Who needs cinema? This is much better!

9. If I don't carry on writing, people (thank you fellow SCBWIers) will nag me.

10. We all know about Ernest Hemingway's first drafts. Why should I be any different?

So it's onwards and upwards, but most of all, inwards!