Growing Up?

So a friend of mine was just talking to me about writing, and specifically my writing. I don’t normally share things with people I know in real life; I used to be highly self-conscious about it and always wanted it to be perfect before I showed people things. 

But this friend of mine asked me why he hasn’t read anything of mine (given that a lot of what I talk about, especially during the summer, are various projects I’m working on) and I realized that I don’t have a good reason. I wouldn’t open a GDoc and let people watch me type (because I edit while writing and I’d be too weirded out), but I don’t place my self-worth on the quality of my first drafts. At least, I don’t think so. 

I’m rereading Spark, the version I wrote nearly a year ago. It’s… well. It’s got potential. I can tell where I liked writing it, the places I was having fun. I can also see the things I made up on the spot, the places where I got bored and didn’t want to research anything. It was written in fifteen days, I think? So I understand it. 

It’s not as terrible as I thought it would be–or maybe my perspective is changing. I’m interested in the plot, and that’s not because I wrote it. I’ve always had something of a knack for dialogue, and that’s really felt natural throughout. I know there are lots of things wrong with my writing (namely, my inability to describe anything), but I’m growing out of the knee-jerk “EVERYTHING I WRITE IS TERRIBLE, BURN IT ON SIGHT”. I want to publish, someday, and this feels like a step in that direction.

(Though I am describing a novel I wrote my first JulNo, Retreat, and it’s the silliest plot in the world but I have such a soft spot for it.)

Oh, yeah. I have a blog.

(I did, for those interested, make it to about 75K for NaNo ’13. I was at school, and just had so much going on that I couldn’t write more. The first 50 were written in 3 days, though, so… cool?)

All right. Once again, I’m going to make a bunch of promises to revive this stupid thing, but who knows if I’ll follow through? Let’s say once a week, to start, and maybe more often than that. I can do book reviews or something? I mean, I do read. A lot. It goes hand-in-hand with my writing, which has been happening a lot more lately.

I have a job now, and I was at work thinking about writing (as I do) and I figured out a way to fix a plot hole in this story I’ve been writing (multiple drafts, I mean) for… about four years? I started it in either NaNo 2010 or 2011, anyway, and it’s changed so much from that first draft (I’ve been reading it, and really, sixteen-year-old me had no idea about… anything, to be honest). I’m still really fond of it, though. 

Anyway, I worked out a pretty giant plot stumbling block–I have these aliens, and up until now they hadn’t been interesting tome at all, so I hadn’t really fleshed them out. They were monolithic, with different ideas in theory but in practice they stay relatively the same. So I worked out the political shit going on with them through this series, like I did with the people, and treated that as the main story (which seems really obvious in retrospect, but I wasn’t thinking of them as characters so much as plot pieces). They’re interesting now, and I think this draft will be better for it. I’ve still got to reread the old draft (because I’m going to keep a bunch of it, I don’t want to rework an entire new plot again) but I think that if I fold this whole thing in, it’ll make the novel stronger. Also, time jumps are going to happen in-novel rather than jumping a thousand years per book. This may not be interesting to anyone but me. Ah, well. 

I’m doing JulNo this year, going for 50K but if I write more (a full draft of this novel?!) that’d be great. I have to work out an outline, but I think (?) I can get that done this Thursday and Friday, because I don’t work. I keep trying to write it out (pen and paper because I prefer it so much that way) and falling asleep in the middle of sentences, which leaves me with stuff like this: 

“figure out everyone’s story and decide what would make the most thematically. Earth is by far the least interesting; in a pinch it could be told 90% through flashbacks and you would all honestly be good.” (Typos directly from my notebook. Good job, me.)
Which, no, that’s not true even a little. I know what I was going for, but rereading it the next day I just kind of laughed because the story of what happens on Earth is super important. If I shoved it to the background the rest of the stupid thing would kind of fall apart. I think. (Now I’m reconsidering. Damn it.)
I hope everything’s going well for all of you (if there are any of you left, that is)!