Tag Archives: drafts

The flu that killed my story. From Barf to Botox

Well it’s been two years and I fed that story to my flu and killed it. I never did pick it back up and I haven’t read it since. It’s sitting on a flash drive somewhere. I lost all faith in telling it. Went down that rabbit hole of self loathing and quit. But I didn’t quit writing. I got hooked on fanfic. First reading then trying my hand at writing it. And I’ll tell ya…it was great.  So much support. So many readers. So much feedback! It’s like nirvana for the soul to have excited readers. A decided difference when people usually cringe when/if I ask them to read my stuff. (Thanks Mom, j/k,  n/r) But I found myself looking for ways to pass my original fiction off as fan fiction. My stories became more of an ‘inspired by’ than true fanfic. But I loved the community so much I didn’t want to leave it. I used real actors and cast them in my own stories and posted them.  But eventually I got so far away from actual fan fiction that I didn’t post my last short story. Why? Because while I enjoyed playing in sandboxes that weren’t mine, I realized that I really love building my own and filling it with whatever I wanted. Maybe jello who knows? In any case,  the story was still around and I was still having fun with it so that last, short, pseudo fanfic grew. I decided it needed a subplot, then more characters a more villainy (is that a word?) villain etc… What I ended up with? Believe it or not a completed 70,000 word first draft.  No pressure. I started it with absolutely no expectations. I asked absolutely no one to read it. It was just for fun it just happened to kept increasing in scope. Perhaps that’s why I got to the end with it. No pressure. It was fun. No expectations. And written completely by the seat of my pants.  I did a dance and drank a lot of wine and patted myself on the back, woke up with a few bruises i have no idea how i got…and then dropped it like a bad date. That first draft was a lot of words barfed up and splattered across pages and pages. I wove in subplots and characters and just kept moving forward. Once i got to ‘the end’ I was so afraid to go back and re read it. I knew it had more holes than a slice of Swiss cheese and inconsistencies too numerous to count.  I was so afraid to look at it again that I started writing something else.  I learned how important it is to at least attempt to outline a large piece of work. Strictly pantsing a short story ain’t so hard but for a longer work ug! So it sat for months, lonely and afraid that it would be left in the dark forever just as so many of my other failed attempts. I ignored it. Ignored it’s sad sack eyes and mopey frowns as I worked on my next story following a semi structured outline that is helping the flow A LOT. Then I caught a cold.  For some reason (maybe I was delirious) I decided to pull up that barf splattered first draft. I was surprised. It wasn’t nearly as bad as I had thought. Sure it had problems but they could be worked out certainly. I spent that week on a complete read through and then created a bikini outline that I attempted to jam all that drafts bits and pieces into. I pushed,  it pulled, there were grunts and embarrassing moments where something was exposed that shouldn’t be. However, eventually it worked. Sort of. I found a magic wand that goes by the name of Scrivener. OK not a magic wand but a great writing tool, program whatever. I pulled the manuscript into it and broke it down into scenes. What magic! If you don’t have this program…get it! It’s an awesome way to organize your writing without reams and reams of printed pages, cut outs, sticky notes, pencil, pen, crayon scratches. It’s hard to explain but it helped me through another draft. Barf draft. Bikini draft. Now I’m on what? I know! The botox draft. The one where all the wrinkles get smoothed out. hehe. I’m not dreading it. I’m actually kind of excited. But just in case I have, printed it out in a different font, different size, to trick myself into thinking it’s someone else wrote it. It’s three inches thick and used almost an entire cartridge of black ink. Wish it luck.


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