Thursday, October 25, 2012

Clean draft, clean attitude

'Brake Fluid' was the cleanest first draft I've ever written, which is strange, since it's also the most complicated story I've ever written.

And I admit I have conflicted feelings about that.

Go ahead and roll your eyes... 'cause you know what I'm going to talk about, right?

Well, you're only partially correct.

Yeah, I've talked before about how, since I'm dyslexic, I expect there to be problems with my writing. I expect things not to make sense, for description to be convoluted, for not enough of what's in my head to end up on the page.

I expect my first drafts (and even second or third drafts) will get shredded up by my CP's.

...and that's why my writing is getting better. 'Cause my CP's don't cut me any slack. Which is why they are good CP's.

A while back, someone who knows me well sent me a link about compliments. And along with trying to write a cleaner first-draft, I've also been trying to change my attitude, to take a compliment without assuming there's another shoe waiting to drop.

I've always loved writing, but there was always that voice in the back of my head saying, "not enough..."

While I've never explicitly stated it before, I've put a huge concentrated effort into not only becoming a better story teller, but becoming a better first-drafter. I pay very close attention to the things I'm bad at, the things I constantly err in (like, in BF, mixing up 'truck' and 'trunk' about 85% of the time, or in the case of writing this blog post, 'except' and 'expect').

...and this is the first time I feel that my efforts have paid off.

As I work through my edits on 'BF', I keep asking myself, why is this so easy? Why aren't there any huge problems that need to be re-written? Why do I feel like I'm being lazy or have been let off the hook in some way...?

And strangely enough... I'm trusting that my CP's caught everything major. That I won't be blindsided with something later on.

What is this strange feeling... is this confidence?

Honestly, I have no idea, but it feels damn good.

When I wrote that previous post (about the compliments link), I said I was searching for some kind of solid validation that my hard work is moving me forward, that it's getting results and my effort is not being wasted. And while I still haven't received any outward validation, somehow, I'm not worried, I'm not beating myself up, I'm not desperately analyzing every comment a CP sent me, looking for the hidden criticism.

I think I deserve to laugh at myself.

Did it really take me this long to figure out that validation has to start in my own brain?


  1. I think you've done a fine job as a storyteller. Wasn't it like a year ago that you won the flash fiction story thing on Rachael Harrie's blog out of over a thousand entries?

    1. If I'm completely honest, I'll admit that I think the only reason I won that is 'cause I wrote/posted mine before anyone else, so I got way more traffic than a lot of others :)

      Yup, full of self-doubt here ;)

  2. I'm glad you are working on accepting compliments ;) because you truly are one hell of storyteller and writer.

    1. Thank you, Cristina.

      (holding in the urge to add a "BUT...")

      ...taking a compliment is still hard... but I'm working on it.

  3. Excellent - what’s your next step? (The more we write the better we get. Period)and BF is a wonderful story

    1. Editing still :)

      ...and there is an agent who contacted me who wants to see this when it's done... so, I suppose sending it off is the next step...

      I'm thinking of submitting to Authoress' Baker's Dozen contest as well. Maybe.

  4. Sounds good that you are telling yourself you've gotten better and better.

    1. I suppose if I don't believe it, no one will believe it ;)


Type me out a line of Shakespeare or a line of nonsense. Dumb-blonde-jokes & Irish jokes will make me laugh myself silly :)