All right. I have slept. My skeletal structure no longer feels like it is caving in on itself. And I can breathe.
As I draw closer to actually writing draft 2, I’m worrying more and more that I’ll miss something from draft 1 and then regret it later, that I won’t have identified everything that I could have in terms of themes I could develop or issues I could explore, etc. The thought of finishing the book and sending it off to be published and then realising that it isn’t finished at all terrifies me.
So I’m trying to keep myself calm by bearing in mind that this, what I’m doing, is what I’m capable of doing right now, and what feels right right now. That if I stopped now, I would have done the best job that I was capable of doing. Otherwise I’d be doing a better job. And that what I’ve got now, considering that it is now and not later, is good enough.
Having said that, there’s a ton of stuff that I tried to signpost to myself while writing draft 1 that has gotten lost, and that frustrates me to no end, because I know it was there, and I don’t know if I picked up on any of it. But perhaps it was only important at the time, if I didn’t pick up on it while reading through this time around; perhaps it was never important at all. I have yet to go through the copious amount of notes I took while writing draft 1 and see if there’s anything useful in there to mine for precious minerals – I think I’ll wait until I’ve gotten a plan for draft 2 outlined at least, though, so that I have a clear structure to work within. And also I’ve still got my beta readers’ notes to get through, so they may have picked up on it for me, as well as other things that I never even considered.
I suppose that as long as I’m happy with what I’ve got, it doesn’t matter what it isn’t. So my goal is therefore to be happy with what I’ve got.
On with the final chapter!
Who is a better antagonist: Voldemort or Gollum?
I raise this question because it’s becoming more and more apparent to me just how important it is that I do what’s right for my story, with regards to my characters. I have all of these options with what directions I could take certain characters in, and they all interest me. But I haven’t really looked at which versions actually suit the story the most, and now that I’m trying, it’s becoming apparent that the choices are actually very obvious – they’re also difficult, though, because I still like the other ideas, and they don’t really work anywhere else.
Trying to imagine Voldemort and Gollum switching places makes it very clear to me that antagonists especially (and the dilemma I’m facing right now is what to do with an antagonist) need to help tell the story; it’s just as important to have an antagonist who suits the story as a protagonist who suits the story. It all has to come back to the story. It all has to feel like it belongs there, because if it doesn’t feel like it fits, that’s a weakness that the story doesn’t need to have, and will suffer for having. Like if Wickham had been a Decepticon. While a pretty awesome idea, it doesn’t really work within the context of the story.
UGH Male Writer Syndrome rearing its ugly head again. I mean obviously I can’t help being a male writer, nor do I want to, but I can help being a Male Writer. Though I suppose to my credit I did at least manage to spot it. And it’s only the first draft. There’s still time.
Also I need to do some medical and police procedural research … no these two things are not really related …
Cover-stories as plot-points are always interesting. It’s a bit like Mr Charles in Inception; if it goes wrong, it’s because it’s exposing the narrative as being tied to the writer’s agenda and breaks the illusion. I mean it’s the same with anything your characters have to react to in the story, but the fact that this thing they’re reacting to is a story really is really making that apparent to me right now.
I mean I know it’s the last chapter, but that doesn’t mean characters can just start crawling out of the woodwork to participate … it’s not a cast reunion …
Lol for university in-jokes. English is Arts. Arts is funny. Lol.
Oh, there’s another one. This one’s actually funny.
Seriously I rather enjoyed English and am glad that I had the opportunity to exercise my critical thinking skills by doing an Arts degree, but a lot of how it’s structured is rather ridiculous. I mean why do English exams even exist? The whole point of English is learning how to develop an informed argument by doing research and having heaps of resources available to hand for referencing, through the process of which you come to develop your own critical opinion, not rote-learning and memorising quotes and articles for a pop-quiz.
Oh, the gratification that comes with seeing that you’ve managed to characterise a character exactly the way you wanted to, even if it’s only in one isolated part of the manuscript. A most validating experience.
It is almost as gratifying as getting to the end of the draft and having the ending feel pretty much exactly the way you’d hoped it would. I got chills. I am a happy writer.
I have made notes on a full draft of a book.
I AM AMAZING.
I mean yeah I still have all of this other stuff to do but seriously, I have never ‘been here’ before. This is pretty awesome. I feel like I can actually do this thing.
I think my next step is actually going to be to take a break, just a quick one, in which I will finish reading The Hunger Games (and probably write up a review-ish thing, more just my impressions than an actual review). I think I’ll save note-reading and draft-outlining for the next step. Then maybe another quick break, and then draft 2 commences, woot!
Thanks to everybody who’s been following me, whether you’re new or whether you’ve been here since November last year; I really appreciate it. Knowing that other people are in some way watching my progress helps keep me honest, and more to the point, keeps me writing consistently. This Writing While Writing thing is super-helpful. I earnestly recommend it to anybody struggling with motivation.
Until next time!