I’ve Invented A Time Machine
No really… I have.
You see, I sat down the other day to start looking at one of the novels I wrote a few years ago… one that I knew needed some work.
I sat down with the intention that I would give it a quick skim, document the major plot points, and make a cursory review of the writing, knowing all the while that would need a little massaging to bring it up to my current standard.
I sat down with the thought that it would take a few minutes to get back inside my characters’ heads.
I sat down with the thought that I would be taken back to a different time in my life, where I pounded out two thousand words a day, where trumpets sounded and crowds cheered at the end of every scene.
I sat down with the thought that this book would need just a little caressing to mold into something I could have in my back pocket as my next book—something I could drop onto my agent’s desk on one of those days where I ‘m suffering from some sort of writer’s malaise and need to get her something.
But instead, I was taken back in time.
Back to a time where all my sentences had multiple conjunctive-and clauses.
Back to a time where some chapters were 4 pages and others were 39.
Back to a time where paragraphs switched points of view multiple times, for no particular reason.
Back to a time where the words told the reader everything, instead of showing them.
Back to a time where entire pages of flashbacks were done from the narrator’s eye, wasting perfect opportunities for the reader to get inside the character’s head.
Back to a time where characters rushed to do the thing the story needed them to do, instead of the thing they needed to do.
Back to a time where “was” was a strong verb.
In short, my review of the manuscript took me back to a time where my writing completely sucked. It nearly made me physically ill to read some of the passages. And since I wrote this book after the first version of Nowhere Wild, I can only imagine how horrible that first version of Nowhere Wild must have been.
Luckily, somehow, I escaped back to the present, where I can undo some of the wrongs of the past. Instead of editing the aforementioned manuscript, I will re-plan it, re-plot it, and re-write it from scratch. I will take my time, and give the story and the characters the justice they deserve. It is the least I can do for them.
I cannot, however, undo the damage that reading that first draft must have done to my beta readers. All I can do now, is apologize and vow to never ask you to endure such trauma again. No person should be treated with such cruelty.
Well, maybe a few people should be, but no one I know.