Friday, July 19, 2013

Seeing things through the eyes of Time

I used to think I was this amazing writer. Back when I had first started. You know, when the rosy glow colored everything with sparkles and glitter. I think every body thinks that. We aren't objective about it.

It's been more than 4 years since I first sat down to write. and I picked up that first story again. I still love it, but as I read from then, it feels so pretentious. So verbose. So PURPLE!

I was pretty naive about writing. I thought all it took was just putting words on a page and then someone loves it and puts it into a book and then people buy it! And I wasn't even close to being ready.

Now, editing this book, I'm seeing all the rookie mistakes and the things I thought were so beautiful crafted. And some of it really is beautiful writing, but it doesn't go anywhere in the story. It doesn't tell anything about the character or further the story arc or anything really important. And, for the first time, I can really see myself cutting out huge chunks and replacing them with better, more important, pieces.

It's surprising and nice. I'm happily murdering my little darlings and leaving them on the editing room floor. (Which, by the way, happens to be the rug in the living room, but we digress.)

So to all of you who are like me, take some time away from that book and let yourself grow in your writing. you'll be surprised what you see when you come back to it.


Sarah Chafin said...

It is true how our writing grows and changes leaving our previous works looking more amateur then we thought they were. I grew so much while I was drafting my first novel that the first half and the last half have very different styles... I'm going to have to fix that!

KaseyQ said...

Hahaha, “murdering [your] little darlings.” I’ll soon be to the point where I will be putting my manuscript in a virtual drawer and not taking it out until it looks like some alien relic purchased at some roadside yard sale where I don’t even remember stopping. ;-) Time does help!

Kristi said...

Hey, friend! How are you?

Loved this, so true. I shudder to think about going into my own file cabinet to pull out an old manuscript~you are BRAVE. Have fun with the editing, you word ninja! ;)

Karen Clayton said...

So true! Editting is pretty painful.

Martina at Adventures in YA Publishing said...

LOL! I can relate to every single word in this. And I wish someone would have slapped me on the head and told me to get over myself. Probably the single biggest mistake rookies make is thinking we have to be "writerly." Great reminder, and I love what you say about letting ourselves "grow in our writing." Lovely way to put that!

PseudonymDuck said...

You know, having watched my own significant other go through the same process, I cheer for you! It is really like taking one of your own and doing horrendously cruel things to it for it to be better. Good luck!

Nisa Swineford said...

Aw! Bittersweet growth. Way to go! (I can't believe I'm cheering over murdered darlings... Only a writer.)