Sand and Sludge

No one likes looking at their first draft and thinking “This is junk.” (My sincerest apologies and WHAT?!?s to whoever does.) No one likes having to force out 1k in that mood, either. It’s junk. It’s a mess. You can maybe even tell what exactly is wrong with it. What’s the point of adding another 1k of sludge?

Guess what I’m going through.

That’s right. Shifting Sands is giving me trouble again. I’m not entirely sure why. I have a couple of theories.

1. It has been 2 1/2 years since I last started a first draft I would go on to complete. In other words, I may have forgotten how to write a first draft.

2. I’m attempting third-person limited POV and I think I’m killing it. Claire’s thoughts seem a bit much somehow and at the same time, not enough.

3. Plain old “this author is so much better than me” doubt.

4. Tying in with number 2, the emotions of this seem way off.

5. As the author, it is difficult to tell if the character is actually interesting or engaging,  thus adding to my doubts.


They say that when writing a first draft, just get it down. It’s okay for it to be trash. And I don’t want to get caught in an eternal rewrite cycle, so I don’t really want to start over again to fix the mistakes I’m finding (though honestly, if I were going to start over, now would be better). Maybe I just need to force myself to keep writing and allow myself to write a “bad” first draft.

Or maybe I really should start over and fix my mistakes. They seem to be setting the tone for the rest of the book and that’s driving me a bit crazy.

I don’t know.

On a brighter note, Camp NaNo is going well (especially since the idea of NaNo is quantity not quality…). I have been keeping caught up on my word count (Yay!).

So, how are your writing projects going?



20 thoughts on “Sand and Sludge

  1. Oh dear, here’s a hug! Sorry about all the trouble it’s giving you. Bad novel. Behave.

    Wish I could say mine was going better…but it’s barely plodding along. One isn’t, one is sort of that is.

  2. I feel exactly like you do. Exactly. Well, except for the 2 and a half years part. For me, it’s only been one year, but…still. Way too long. Especially the third one, though, and the fourth and the fifth… and sort of the second, but maybe not because of the PoV and the thoughts… I just kind of feel like something’s missing, and yet, I have too much. It’s kind of an annoying feeling, since I can’t quite pinpoint it.

    At least we’re both actually writing, though, right?

  3. First drafts are just perpetually going to suck. I HATE THAT THEY DO. But a tiny bit of me is happy. I’m a perfectionist, so it was actually a relief to “let go” (sorry, you may sing the Frozen song if you wish) and just write ABSOLUTE RUBBISH. It’s a release for me. I know I can suck, because I know I can make it better. I suffer from #3 all the time. Particularly after I read a Sarah J. Maas book. x)

  4. Aww no I hate when that happens! Right now, I’ve managed to avoid all your points (THANK GOD) except for #3. That one’s getting me harder than it ever has. :-/ I’ve never had that little voice in my head get this loud before (you know, the one that says – “You’ll never write as well as [Insert Favorite Author]!”).
    I hope everyone gets over any authorly insecurities quickly!

    • Thanks. Indeed, let us all regain our confidence and large author egos!

      The thing that was unusual about number 3 was that I was comparing mine to the story I was beta-reading. The book isn’t even published yet and it was good. I still haven’t exactly figured out the problem with mine, but I started typing it (basically a rewrite) and it somehow is fixed so far. 🙂

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