As I’ve mentioned, I have been having a problem with completing new manuscripts. It seemed ironic that as I got better at editing finished novels, I got worse at finishing novels in the first place. But it turns out, it’s not ironic at all.
See, as I became a more discerning editor, of course I became a more discerning writer, but my best process has always been to just let the words flow and fix them later.
So when I wrote the line:
“There was another loud explosion. The storage barn exploded with red goo.”
it stopped me in my tracks because at the moment, I could not think of a single synonym for explosion.
There was also the explosion of plot bunnies. They ran everywhere and had sharp little teeth that kept biting my ankles when I tried to ignore them.
Loose ends, research problems and dead ends and bad writing and new characters that just popped out of nowhere with tragic backstories were everywhere. And everything halted my progress, distracted me, and discouraged me from even opening the file to work.
I could have just let it go. I have four (yes FOUR!) almost finished manuscripts from the last year that I eventually shelved for these same reasons. But after two years of no finished first drafts, I knew I had to address this problem.
The transcript will be a future post because it’s honestly full of writers block gold, but the what I came away with was that I needed to stop trying to make my first draft a final draft. I can and will rewrite it. I will likely spend the next year editing it. So what I really need to do is just finish the damn thing.
It doesn’t need to be good. It doesn’t need to be right. It just needs to be done.
So i did that and, quite frankly, the ending sucks. The middle is iffy and writing is sloppy as hell.
And the first draft is complete.
My first novel written in two years.
And I’m pretty freaking pleased with it.