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Time is Not Kind

April 15, 2011

Well… I had a look at my printed copy of “PFTETD”.  It’s pretty eye-opening to give the story a bit of a read after some four months or more of separation.

I still believe this is probably the best story I’ve written yet.  Still, it is flawed.  Right from the get-go, I can see it now.  The opening drags just a little slowly.  The language is occasionally awkward even after several drafts.  There are still some characterization issues.

I’m not sure how I would fix these problems.  I haven’t actually read it all the way through, just the first few pages, so I’m sure there would be more problems revealed with a more complete read-through.

It’s a good story.  But it’s not a good story.  You know, like, really good.  I knew it wasn’t great, but I thought it was really good.  Instead, just as Westley wasn’t all dead, he was just mostly dead (sorry for the spoiler, folks, but there’s a bit of a statute of limitations on classics like these), the story isn’t all good, it’s just mostly good.

So, you know… I might actually learn a thing or two at JordanCon by workshopping this.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. April 15, 2011 3:13 pm

    Ah hah! That’s EXACTLY the thing that happens to me when I start reading the latest draft… The story is always so much better in memory that it’s frightening to see the reality of it after some time away. 🙂

    I hope you come back with some good tips.

    • April 15, 2011 3:17 pm

      Isn’t it, though? This has always happened to me in the past, as well. That’s why I’m so horrified at my previous, abortive attempts to write the novel-I’ve-been-working-on-since-forever, aka “Project SOA #1”. They were just bad, bad, bad. I have glorious visions of the future, but so far my experience is always that what I did in the past isn’t so great… and that I think I can do better. I hope to come away with some great learning, as well.

  2. April 15, 2011 3:49 pm

    I’ve found that there is always a blind spot for certain types of errors and it takes another pair or three of eyes to spot it. My online writing group helps me “see” those flaws.

    • April 18, 2011 9:11 am

      That’s absolutely true. I miss my own mistakes all the time. The only things that enlighten me to those mistakes are either a second pair or two of eyes (readers) or enough temporal distance from my work to clear the scales from my own eyes.

  3. April 15, 2011 3:52 pm

    This morning I found myself reading through the initial chapters of some of my favorite novels, just to check my perception of “good writing.” Is it as lofty as I once thought it was? How does my prose compare?

    Sometimes the editing process gets me feeling depressed, when I come to particularly mediocre or vague sections in my manuscript. It’s hard to push through in those areas (this week has been like that for me). You wonder how you can possible summon the ability to make it better.

    Hopefully you’ll get the kind of feedback from your con experience that’ll give you the courage to make improvements but also the confidence to know that you have what it takes to take your story from “good” to “great.”

    • April 18, 2011 9:12 am

      It’s funny, but that’s true. Not only my own writing, but professional and published stories that I liked at a younger age, on later readings, sometimes don’t hold up so well.

  4. April 16, 2011 6:08 pm

    Happy Birthday Stephen!

  5. April 17, 2011 10:19 pm

    Good luck! Keep trucking along!


  1. At the Feet of Masters: The Writing Track at JordanCon 2011 (Part 1 of 3) « The Undiscovered Author

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