Wednesday, May 26, 2010

On Crappy Beginnings

I think that one of my weaknesses as a writer is the beginning of a story, especially when it is a new story and the first draft. I feel like no matter how hard I try, I never figure out how I want a story to be until I am like 60k words in. It’s like it takes me that long to figure out where I want the characters to go, what structure I want the plot to follow, and what major events I want to happen by the end. Even the setting feels like it takes a while to solidify, whether or not I am writing a setting heavy story.

I have no idea why I work like that. It isn’t like I don’t bother trying to outline a story before I start, and I usually have some idea of where I want to go an what I want to accomplish. Still, I always end up rewriting the first half to around two thirds of the first draft completely. It’s like I have to play around with the story a bit before it really makes sense to me.

The reason why I am reflecting on this problem of mine is the fact that I am at about this point in Realm, where I can tell that virtually all of the first two thirds of what I have are crap. It’s taking just about all of my will as a writer just to keep going and finish the story rather than turning back and rewriting all of the inconsistencies, crappy details and unnecessary bits out of the beginning. Come to think of it, I had to go through this with Wolfhound as well. Don’t even get me started on Brellan.

So does anybody else do this? Or are your rough drafts pretty much right on from the first? Just some random musings on the state of my writing before I head out. Have a great week, guys, and I’ll hopefully write something more in depth on Friday.


  1. My rough drafts are always a mess. The beginning rarely agrees with the ending. For instance, in my current WIP, I'm about a 1/3 of the way through and I've decided to change the entire setting. It works better now but the beginning sure doesn't fit with what I'm writing now.

    It usually takes me until the third or fourth draft until I have a story that is coherent from beginning to end.

    You know what's ironic? I do outline before I start a book - I just rarely follow it...

  2. I am the opposite. I have awesome beginnings, but I always hate endings. I'm really bad at them, and they never make sense, and I write a lot of crappy stuff in the middle too.

    I haven't gotten a book up to Wolfhound standard though. So you should congratuate yourself, love!

    You are awesome. Just remember the advice you would give to me at this juncture. You have to let the first draft be crappy a little bit. Yep! That's right. I'm quoting you back at you! waha!