Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Being an Author: Writing Your First Novel, Part 5

So I'm now on what I'd like to think of as 'the beginning of the real work'. I've got to make this thing right.

I decided to read it.

The whole thing.

Make no changes.

And this is what I thought:

It started surprisingly well. I found the first few chapters okay. Sure, they needed work. But they were okay. Readable. Not too much stink. Cool, I'm thinking, I might get this wrapped into something decent in no time.

Then things went a little, shall we say, downhill.

I was talking to one of my friends. My closest friend. I was a bit drunk. I recall the conversation going something along the lines of...

"I hate it. I can't... it's *hic* rubbish. I thought it was okay, and I got to, I dunno, chapter 8 or something, and it all fell to bits... and it's shit. I Hate it. It's never going to get put right." - I think I was extremely insistent at this point that I was a hack.

Depression on the book had set in. Drinking doesn't help. If it had been a full bound manuscript, and I'd had a shredder... well.

That's when she said that it didn't matter what was wrong.
I could put it right.
I could make right what was wrong.
She said I wasn't a hack.
She said I was better than that.

I sobered up.

She was right.

I continued reading the rest of the book another day. It's not all bad. At one point somebody actually says something that's meaningful. It's only a few lines out of the thousands, but it's a start. I like that bit. Then I found another bit that wasn't too bad.

And by the time I'd finished?

Blimey. I think I can make something out of this.

Something that means something.

Now I can start changing stuff. Everything's going to be okay.

'Til next time...

PS: I little while ago I did a Being an Author post, 'Being an Author'. If it wasn't for point 1 things like this will go bad. Whether you destroy your art to make it better, destroy it because you hate it, or worse throw in being an author - kill the artist inside of you - if you don't have point 1, sometimes there's no one to bring you back from the brink.

And that's the worst thing ever.

Trust me.

Let them touch you too.

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