Howdy 🙂 It’s been a little while since I’ve done an update, which wasn’t much of an update and more of a way of shirking responsibility. I completed the first read of my first draft, and while it was difficult at times to not start changing things around, I was able to get through it.
Some of my lack of enthusiasm on reading could probably be attributed to wanting it done, and being the person that wrote a story, you tend to not have that little bit of mystique having over the narrative. I don’t know if that’s a sign that I didn’t leave it long enough before diving in, or if that’s just a fact of life for me. The broadstrokes, the overview or whatnot, that’s not something I’d forget for a long time, so maybe it’s all normal.
I could honestly say it’s not the worst thing I’ve ever read, and most definitely not the worst thing of my own that I’ve read either. The bits and pieces that hold sway over the confidence I have in my writing were put to ease enough that I could get through, and I can say that I think I have the foundations of something wonderful here.
They’re only the foundations, though.
I left it about a week between reading through, and starting a second read. This one is a little less painful, because I’m making notes as I go. Only on the first chapter, but have already added a decent to-do list, and begun summarising the cast of characters that show up here and there. The idea is that once I’m done going through the entire first draft for my second time, I’ll have a list of things I need to do, know what needs to be changed (somewhat), and have a way forward for getting through the second draft with as little pain as can be.
One thing that I’m pleased with, is that it’s easy enough to get through, and I’ve felt a rainbow swirl of moods while reading, and read it all in sequential order, in the same way that the courageous Tributes who volunteered to read the first draft did.
It’s a rough process, and you have to be ready to dash your ego against the rocks until the skull of stubbornness cracks, and the blood and brain fragments of humility come oozing out into a chunky pile of sheer resolution. You don’t just need to kill, crush, destroy your darlings (and the darlings in this instance are your characters, scenes, plot, themes, settings, and so forth). You must dismember them. You must reach into their chest and squeeze your gloves around their slippery organs and tear them out, covering yourself in their blood, and then combine the extracted parts into new grotesque manifestations of pain.
Again, just to be clear. This bloody and vile annihilation and subsequent affixing of the dismembered flesh, is to be performed on your novel. Ritualistically sacrifice your darlings to the dark one.