Learning Curve

It’s a hard lesson, when you put hours and hours (hundreds of hours) into a writing project and realise at the end of your second draft it’s not going to work.

Several days ago, I had an offer from a published friend to read through my novella but she needed it by Sunday (yesterday) morning to take it on a trip with her. This weekend I slogged my guts out to tidy up my rough first draft (I got about 7 hours sleep total this weekend), so she would have a ‘clean’ second draft.

I saved it, put it onto a mobi file so she could read on her Kindle and I let it go.

Then, yesterday evening, I thought I’d skim that mobi file on my own Kindle.

And realised that in addition to some of the writing being awful, a significant chunk in the middle, the crucial denouement, the event which will enable my protagonist to pursue her romance is … all wrong.

I think I can fix it. But I’m really tired, and I’m not 100% sure how to fix it. Yet.

I need to rest/recharge/catch up. So here’s my plan for this week, and probably into next week, too:

  1. Clean my (filthy) house, get some exercise (I live near the sea, so lots of lovely walks), catch up on filing. Take care of all those things I’ve neglected the last month.
  2. Read. I’ve got a pile of novels, all sorts of genres, waiting to be read. I need to soak up some good words.
  3. Listen to some new music. Make some playlists.
  4. Make up a public ‘Lane Swift’ Pinterest board. I have a private one for domestic projects. I’m going to make one for writing.
  5. Catch up on sleep and on old friends. Both are refreshing in their own ways.
  6. Spend some time on social media. I still have a lot to learn.

Hopefully, by doing all this, the way to fix the scenes that aren’t right (let’s be honest, it’s probably the best part of 2 chapters, 20% of the novella, and all the related arcs) will come to me.

If they don’t, I’ll notch this one up to experience and move on.

The funny thing is. my friend hasn’t even read my novella yet so I don’t have her feedback. I know she’ll be honest, because she wants me to succeed when I finally submit something to a publisher. It will be interesting to see if she has the same problems with the story I have.

Watch this space!

2 thoughts on “Learning Curve

    • laneswift says:

      Thanks. I think writing is like anything you want to be good at — you have to practice and even then sometimes your ‘showcase’ doesn’t go well. I’ve learned so much about the way to approach a longer story. The next novel/novella I’ll approach completely differently. None of the time I’ve spent is a waste. And, maybe, this one might be salvageable.


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