Stay Still, Damn it

So, let’s see:

I’m technically on the second draft of my still-nameless, formless WIP (novel? short story? novella?), although it’s the third time I’m rewriting the first part. I can’t seem to nail it. The characters keep changing, like they want to be someone different everyday. It’s frusterating. But I think I’m closer. This last rewrite (again, only the first few pages) actually has pretty words that mean something, and not just the filler blocks that get you from A-Z in your first draft so you know what the story is about. Which, again, is slightly changing.

Why did Josh barge in with all this nonsense?

It’s okay though because the first draft of anything is a piece of shit. Am I right, Mr. Hemingway? And oh boy did mine stink something fierce. But you keep going, you keep writing and peeling back the layers and you find that beating heart deep below. I’m at the pulse stage – I think. I’ve got a few more layers (who doesn’t rewrite?) but I’m starting to feel more comfortable. Hallejluah. Because I was just getting to that  you suck you suck you suck phase.

And I really hate that phase.

How’s everyone else’s writing/artistic pursuit/life challenges going?

15 thoughts on “Stay Still, Damn it

  1. Michelle Tran (@michelletwrites) says:

    oh shitty first drafts. I’ve come to expect them which puts the pressure off. They’re always my least favorite though. I think you’ve hit it perfectly about peeling the layers and finding the beating heart. Finding it is always so thrilling!

    • cgcoppola says:

      Isn’t it? It’s like you pull back just enough and say “oh there you are… you were hiding.”
      As long as you have the will to keep pulling. THAT is the key.

  2. Loni Townsend says:

    My pursuits are going well. I’ve almost got the ending figured out to Book 2, though I still need to figure out how one character rescues another. But I’ve gotten distracted with designing Book 2’s cover, and I must say that I’m liking what I have so far. And yes, even though it’s an image, it had a pretty bad first draft. And I recently re-read the beginning to book 3.5. Wince worthy.

    At least you’re making progress. That’s great!

    • cgcoppola says:

      All my stuff has been wince worthy recently. I get it. But don’t you love figuring out how one thing is supposed to happen (your one character rescuing another)? It’s like solving a puzzle only you know all the clues to. PLUS, you can always change something to make it work.

      Can’t wait to see the second book cover/read it!

  3. Madeline Mora-Summonte says:

    My creative/artistic pursuits are stalled out – sickness, starting to move house, company coming soon have got me foggy-headed and overwhelmed – it feels like my creativity has gone on vacation. Sigh. But it will be back. Soon, I hope.

    Forgiveness and wine, huh? Sounds good to me….

    • cgcoppola says:

      That’s because it’s an excellent combination.

      Have you tried listening to music/watching your favorite movie/rereading your favorite book? Sometimes a little inspiration can go a long way. All you need is the spark and determination. Your creative bug will come back. It always does. Hang in there 🙂

  4. Liz Blocker says:

    LOL, yes, my first drafts are horrific! And yet I always hope the next time I try I’ll come up with diamonds on the first go-round. Yeah, right 🙂

  5. Mason T. Matchak says:

    I always tell myself when working on a first draft, just get it out, I can make it perfect later. And it’s like that with plots too – just get the story outline on the page, I tell myself, I can fill in all the holes and figure out what doesn’t work later. It sucks, but it works – I have a plot that’s mostly done and a new outline ready for expansion, and I wouldn’t have either of those if I wasn’t willing to put something down that’s not perfect.

  6. Ninja Girl says:

    Yes, first drafts are usually pretty bad. Glad you’re enjoying writing your MS–even if it does keep changing. Hope it ends up being a great book 🙂
    Ninja Girl

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