Friday, March 30, 2007

Cheat?

I’m feeling a bit fraudulent.

Does it say anywhere in the Novel Racer rules that you can’t fish a bit of crap out of the bin and decide it’s not so bad any more?

I’ve explained before that I’ve started writing many, many times but I always stop. I started this story about 8 months ago, and made notes and wrote some scenes but then I abandoned it because I allowed my demon to stop me. I had quite forgotten it was there (or I had blanked it out because I believed it was dreadful). Anyway, I looked at it earlier this week and while it’s not brilliant, it isn’t worth binning. What is also interesting is that I started in a different place with this draft (about a third into the story) and the stuff I’ve done recently is the first quarter, so there’s also no overlap. I wonder if my brain wanted me to find the first draft.

It’s also interesting to note that I chose to deal with the passing of time differently in each of the two drafts. In the first one, the chapters are the months of the year and in the second I didn’t do that. I’m not sure which to use but I’m not going to stop and worry about that now - hark at me! However, other methods might get confusing. The book is set in Thailand where there are three seasons: hot, really hot and really hot and wet (these aren’t the technical terms, you understand?) but it might get confusing for anyone not familiar with those seasons so having a reminder, while still using the reference of the weather might be better. But I haven’t quite worked out if that structure will work for chapters, which may be why I abandoned it.

Anyway, I feel a terrible cheat because there are 9000 words of rediscovered draft. This would put me at around 20k words: omg.

6 comments:

Carol and Chris said...

You wrote it so how can it be cheating??

C x

JJ said...

Mmmm, because I feel like I've conjured them up from nowhere - or I feel like it's Christmas again. So soon! You know me C, I instantly feel guilty!

Jane Henry said...

Hi JJ,

Have replied to yours on mine, if you see what I mean.

Don't worry about the second draft thingy. I often find I rewrite things in a fairly similar way months and months later. Just get on and finish. You can always merge the best bits of both later.

Besides I found on my last book I completely changed one character's motivation halfway through, but I didn't want to stop, so carried on and sorted it out at the end.

love Janex

hesitant scribe said...

JJ - that's why you shouldn't throw anything away. I've done the same. The first writings got discarded but looking back there's some useful material in there.

Go for it!

Caroline said...

Not cheating. Wow! What a find.
x

JJ said...

It is rather exciting to discover them, but they aren't even first draft as some of them are just notes. Even so it's pleasing to not be starting from a blank canvas which always gives me the willies.

Thanks Jane. I've been back to look. It is hard not knowing how you do things the first time. I've kind of assumed that I'd write a book in a similar way to any extended essay or dissertation I've done. I've never worried about writing in order there so I'm doing the same here! Fingers crossed anyway.

You're so right Lisa. I have bits of writing going back to Word Perfect! That I did 15 years ago. I probably can't even open them any more. I should probably explore that, and print them off before they're lost for ever. It's not the fact that they are brilliant, but they give such an important insight to who I was then!

Thanks Caroline. It did feel a bit like Christmas! I have such a guilty conscious that I haven't felt brave enough to update my word count thingy.

It's not like 9,000 words is going to been I pip anyone to the post, is it? I've always said for me, this race is me against me. Without a doubt I would've given up without all the support.