Sunday, September 29, 2013

How to read over the first draft of your novel.

I recommend sunglasses and a box of tissues.  Perhaps a bottle or two of wine.

Yes, this is my first time doing this.  My novel is still not complete, but it's been tucked away for nearly two years; I finally reached the point where I have time to finish, but I needed a recap to figure out where and how I left off.

It's horrible.

Why on earth did I use so much dialogue?  I mean, dialogue can be great, but who wants to read a whole spoken book?

Okay, maybe it's not that bad - maybe the whole thing isn't dialogue, but I'll be damned if it's not close.  I don't remember doing this.  Didn't I used to hate writing dialogue?  Why oh why would I have written this way?

I'm only on the fourth chapter and my stomach is already in knots.  Editing this garbage is actually going to be the equivalent of rewriting.  How do you do it?  Has anyone ever looked back on something and said, "Man, this rocks!"  Is it common to feel so worthless when reading a first draft, particularly a National Novel Writing Month first draft?  I sure could use some words of wisdom.  If it were up to me, I'd trash this thing and start over, but the practical side of me says, "Don't you dare."  I know I put a lot of hard work into this and I'm not about to walk away, but how do you trudge ahead?  Are you ever embarrassed?

Happy writing,