I’ve been reading more and writing, working on writing, less, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. This section, rewriting, is good because I have trouble with rewriting. I get attached to things – not a first draft, necessarily, but the way I approach something, or certain scenes, and I have a lot of trouble letting them go when that’s necessary on rewrites to make the story better. Fact is, it’s part of my goofy aesthetic, I like things that aren’t good and I’ve really struggled with that. Lately I’ve been struggling with getting to the point of having a first draft – I keep writing one or two sentence blurbs, things I might like to turn into a story some day, but I haven’t been working on any of the stories I had going a few weeks ago: “I see Dead People,” “Li-Su Learns to Cook,” or the mourning mom story. A lot of it is that I’m just struggling with everything, like getting out of bed and taking a shower. Some of it is that I think maybe I’m writing the wrong kind of story, that humor is where I should be, I read “Then We Came To The End” or some such thing and I think, hey, why don’t they let me do that, and I wonder who “they” are and just how they are preventing me. I do have a humor story out and it isn’t exactly a hot property, so maybe that’s how.
And some of it is just that I’m tired of writing crappy stories, and I don’t know how to write good ones so I’m working on getting to a point where I can actually write something worthwhile. And then we have the holiday season which of course has everyone’s head up their ass.
Anyway, revising. I read something interesting in the intro, that each draft should leave earlier drafts behind, the idea is to move forward with one story, not a bunch of versions of one story. Uh oh. I wonder if they know I have three versions of “Drowning.” Not that it matters, none of them is any good. But the advice I got was to go third person and leave out the backstory and the convoluted flashbacks, keep it all in the moment, and I didn’t like what I ended up with, the story didn’t make sense that way. This leave-the-last-draft-behind is a big deal for me. I don’t want to let go because I like my mistakes, wrong as they may be.
But I do want to get back to doing an exercise a day out of What If? so I’ve started again. There’s no exercise in the introduction, but at least I’ve made some forward motion.