As I mentioned in a previous post, I am busy editing two of my old manuscripts with a view to making one, coherent, novel out of them.
With this is mind, I have been reading the drafts again, and I must say I am surprised. My draft from 2005, Only Tuesday, has some interesting moments and observations. On the whole the writing style is rather amateurish, and it is full of one-liners and amusing observations that seem more about the narrator showing off than advancing the story. However there is one very compelling character, and I am trying to figure out how to transplant her from the novel into my next one. Apart from that, not much worth saving. She gets all the best lines I think.
My second attempt, from 2006, was much better. By a factor of 10 I would say. Don’t get me wrong, I made the Devil do it, is still a very rough draft, and the writing style needs a lot of work; but I am not embarrased by it, and actually look forward to finishing writing it so I can see how it ends. I even found it amusing, and laughed out loud in places.
Lessons I have learned from this experience:
- Everything they say about your first novel being crap is true;
- Once you get the crap out of your system, it is actually easier to write;
- Leaving the novel(s) for three years gave me a new appreciation for how much good was actually hidden amongst the bad;
- Nothing is scarier than thinking “I wish I had written that,” and then realising you did.
- Don’t edit while you’re writing, because there is a lot I would have cut from the book, that I now think I can use with a little work.
So watch this space, and expect news about I made the Devil do it, but only on a Tuesday.