A Draft’s Wondrous Surprises

I must actually be getting somewhere with this whole writing thing. Not only can I be self-critical, but I’m okay with the self-criticism. In fact, it’s constructive self-criticism.

When I reviewed what I’d written over the proceeding thirty days I laughed. It was awful. It was perfect. Huh? It’s a better story than the writing that tells it, that’s for sure, but it’s also full of so much more than I’d planned. In other words, revising is what makes a story great, but there must be adequate ingredients to use.

Part of what got me here was a fantastic Camp NaNoWriMo cabin. From the start my true goal was to complete the novel, no matter the word count. Then, my protagonist tossed out my outline and heading into the last ten days I realized that—whoops!—I’d underestimated the eventual word count. Sleep became elusive. Meals were spent at my standing desk (I can also sit).

My cabin upped their support.

100K came and went. The end was kinda sorta in sight. Push, push. Lots of encouragement and a few well-timed suggestions kept me on my feet or in the chair. In the end, after thirty days, I finished the draft with only seventy-five minutes to spare.

Photo: CA Hawthorne

Photo: CA Hawthorne

So, here it is days later. The post-drafting numbness has worn off. Rest. A hike. Walks. The discovery draft has become possibilities. Give me a stocked refrigerator and I can always make something.

Never assume that what you wrote is what you intended and nothing more. There’s always more. Just listen to the characters, they’ll tell you.

I’d intended two POV in Torment Surfacing, but another character demanded his own and I was forced to adapt on the fly. My MC wants to appear sooner in the story. Another character’s troubled past became more complex. An ancient temple I didn’t know about appeared in the forest.

And, of course, as I reported last week, my protagonist, instead of easing into the story, jumped in and seized control, moving the story faster and farther than I’d planned. Even on the last day of writing.

Now, I’m looking back in wonder. Not at the writing, but at how far Kasaria took me on her journey, and the wonders of revising will reveal more for me to work with. Already I’ve written a list of issues I’ll address and no doubt more are on the way. Don’t assume the story you intended is all there is. Open it wide, dig into it, and discover what you didn’t know was there.

You just might sit back and think, Wow!

Photo: CA Hawthorne

Photo: CA Hawthorne

One thought on “A Draft’s Wondrous Surprises

  1. Pingback: A Draft’s Wondrous Surprises | Christina Anne Hawthorne

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