Monday, December 5, 2011

What was I thinking?

I've been dragged kicking and screaming back into my manuscript (after a few month break of laziness and querying other projects), but after my break, I needed a re-read it to get reacquainted with the plot and characters. I sat down this morning and got through about half of my 40,000 words.

I was reminded how hard this step can be.

When I first took Growing Up Gracie out of my drawer and started reading the rough draft, I was horrified at myself. When I was in the middle of the writing phase, I thought I was brilliant, but upon the re-reading, I realized I had a LONG, LONG way to go. It took several rounds of revisions and editing on each of the three books I've completed before I loved them.

On the flip side, I recently read a writing book that said the exact opposite. The author said after his "let it simmer" phase, when he begins reading his rough draft again he is instantly taken in and loves his work.

Oh boy I wish that were me.

How do you feel on the first read through? Do you get that excitement back? Or do you think "what was I thinking?"

12 comments:

Bonnie R. Paulson said...

I read in another writing book that if you read your work (or someone else's) and you think wow that author wrote a great line there or something that takes you out of the book to reflect on the writing's awesomeness, you should cut it. I'd love to have something to cut in that respect.

Angela Cothran said...

I'm usually horrified during the first read through, but then when things start to fall into place it is so exciting.

Chantele Sedgwick said...

Ha! My first read through is usually ridiculous! lol But after I sit and think about it for a while, I realize what I have to do to make it shine. ;)

Abby Fowers said...

I'm like you! Especially with my novels. I am horrified when I go back through - but I hope after lots of editing and revisions, I can polish it up to where I am happy with it.

E.R. King said...

I wish that were me, too. I feel that way about parts of my book, but never the who shebang. I'm going through my first round of revisions. Last night I wrote a query for the book. I find writing about the story (blurbs, queries, synopses) helps to give me fresh eyes for my wip.

Kelley said...

That author is amazingly lucky lol, and I <3 your blog name!

Rebecca H. Jamison said...

I'm a little of both. I read some passages and think, "what was I thinking?" It definitely keeps me humble. But there are usually a few passages I like so much I can't believe I wrote them. It helps to let a little time go by. I don't know how some authors turn out so many books.

i'm erin. said...

I wish that was me too. Usually I'm horrified at what a terrible writer I am. But sometimes I think, "wow, I wrote that scene?!?"

Jessie Humphries said...

I am like Erin, I go back and forth between thinking I suck sticky balls (SNL reference...not icky reference) and thinking I am all kinds of awesome!

Ruth Josse said...

Thanks for the warning! I'm about to re-read my manuscript so I'll stop myself from throwing it out when all its glorious horribleness freaks me out. Instead I'll revise, revise, revise and edit. :)

By the way, your music at the bottom of the page scared the crap out of me when I clicked on your blog! :D lol

Jill Kemerer said...

The first read through? I'm objective. Detached. I don't hate it--I don't love it. I'm just trying to analyze it. But by round two I'm pumped!

Rachael Renee Anderson said...

I'm the same way. My first draft is ALWAYS horrible. For me, the cycle is this: Finish rough draft. Celebrate big time because I'm done with the hardest part and the end is finally in sight. Then start revisions and fall into despair when I realize the end is no longer in sight. I've written 5 books now and it's always the same. I must be a slow learner.