If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Pondering the problems.

Hello and Happy Friday,

I'm taking a post off from the book.  I can't be serious all the time.  I do hope you enjoy what I have written.  In hindsight, I wish I had not committed to publishing this extemporaneously.

My biggest issue is that I feel as though I am neglecting the story.  Publishing it directly after first draft leaves me no room for error.  I can't go back and fix things or adjust timelines or geographical locations.  This forces me to adapt to the situation, and albeit a good exercise for writing, it doesn't give the reader a fair shake.

I enjoy creating this story and sharing it with you.  I know it will be so much more intriguing after a re-write.  Writing is really a neat thing.  Once you realize you like it, there's no turning back.
I think the biggest obstacle in writing is getting it out in the first place.

If you write, I assume you read.  It kinda goes hand in hand.

When I read a big, badass novel from say, my favorite author, Stephen King, the words are smooth and the book is flawless.  The points are driven in, the characters are well formed and the whole thing moves along effortlessly.

When I write a book and I start re-reading the first draft I think to myself, "I suck!".
I seriously do.  Sometimes I can't believe what I wrote.  I think to myself that no one in their right mind would read this crap.  Then I get disheartened.  I'm not cut out for this.
I throw in the towel and walk away, disgusted.

Here is where I go wrong.  I'm willing to bet, when the big boys (and girls) write their books, it probably reads something like mine.  But, and that is a big BUT, they understand that all, they are doing, is getting the main story out.  Planting the seed.  Then they get to go back and fine tune it and fill in all the juicy details.

Like this for instance.  Let's say I'm writing a story and there is a part about a guy that walks into a bar.  I know why he is walking into a bar, he is going to get into a fight, which will end in jail time, probation and eventually his turnaround and falling in love with his probation officer.
(When I write the story, first draft,  I simply type that a guy walks into a bar.)

There is the story in a nutshell.  That is a pretty boring story but...when I go back and fill in all the details it gets a hell of a lot more interesting.  Like this.
Donovan pulled the dust streaked Camaro up to the curb.  The morning's dew had trickled down the car in little rivulets, streaking the orange paint with dirty tear like stains.  It needed a bath, but first his thirst needed to be quenched.
He emerged from the car, his pride and joy, driven by Bobby Allison in the Daytona 500 back in 1995.  It was the official pace car and he had picked it up for a mere five grand.  Cocaine!  Who knew it would bring him such luck!

His foot hit the dust covered street and small brown plumes, puffed from the ground.  It was hot.  The rain, a scarcity in these parts, had refused to come around this spring and everything was scorched.
He stood up and stretched, it had been a long drive.  His snakeskin boots were covered with a thin veil of dust and his worn, but comfortable blue jeans, had a permanent wrinkle from sitting in the car for so long.
He nonchalantly reached around behind him and patted the small of his back.  The feel of hard iron reassured him.  He adjusted his oilskin hat, purchased in Wyoming, a few hundred miles back and headed towards the door of the tavern.

See that is how you go back and fix a story.  At first I knew why he was going in there but I didn't know anything about the man.

Now after a re-write I now know that he has been on the road for awhile now, he has snakeskin boots, which screams badass, and he has a nice car that he got from dealing drugs or taking a payoff.  You could also glean that he has an alcohol problem and that he may be expecting trouble because he checked his gun.

Now the story breathes a bit more and the direction for further writing opens up quite a bit.

This is what I need to conquer.  Getting past the first obstacle.  Stop being in such a hurry to get it right.  And stop trying to get it right the first time.

That being said, refer to the second paragraph.  As much as I try to get some details in my story I feel pressured to get a page or so published on the blog.  It outweighs the creativity.  To me, it kills the story.
I won't complete the story of, The Lion and I, completely on my blog.  I will get you good and warmed up and then I will deliver a complete book later on.

My apologies for misconstruing the facts.

So anyways,
Would you buy it?



  1. I'm all in for the finished book. Your writing is great and I know I'll enjoy the read. As for what you've written here, I understand it so well. I know that it is said from many a published writer that you have to just write the story first. No edits allowed, no changes, just get the story written. As one who spent the last 8 years of her career dealing with 500+ emails on any given day, I had to have my replies quick and they had to be correct and professional. That meant editing as I went along. I was great at that. Maybe that's why it's so hard for me to get that memoir written. I keep going back. Great post and don't you dare stop!! Loll.

  2. Ditto to what Barb said.

    Getting it out, getting it on the page, and getting beyond the first few chapters is so important. I've read, and experienced, the bit where writers rework the first chapter to the point of never getting beyond it.

    You've made an amazing dash out the gate, you're around the first turn - with a steady stride you WILL reach the finish line, just don't get distracted by the crowds (read inner critic) and focus on the rabbit, it's going in the right direction. :):)


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