Scraps

I have the ROW80 spirit. However, if I write another “catchy title” that has the word ROW in it, I most likely will dye my hair green and join a circus.

I finished the first edit on my NaNo novel. After that, on lunch breaks at work, I began a re-write in a few places. There was a squiggle here and there. A dash or two, a little “^” mark with illegible words scribbled above. I crossed out some lines, corrected a few typos (NOTE: typos can be found after you’ve become a stranger to your work. If you’re reading like someone else wrote it, the mistakes jump off the page) and changed one character’s name.

After reading the first chapter of my WIP, I took a deep breath, said an expletive and scrapped my entire first scene. Yes. The opening scene is lying at the bottom of a cold, filthy barrel along with other scenes that were scrapped over the decades. Ok, not really. I just deleted it. But where is the drama in that?

Scraps of Scrappiness

Ok, so the picture isn’t actually scraps of anything but that’s my point. It is scraps in a way because it is a bunch of random items that aren’t helping each other.

That is where the opening scene in my WIP was. It was a bunch of words strewn together with mash potato glue in a desperate attempt at… a hook? empathy? a vomit bag? Probably the latter. Since I started this whole “serious shot at writing” deal, I have read a lot of “first chapters.” Mostly in critique groups on the Critique Corner of Writers Digest. Some of them are good. Some of them are the equivalent of drunken love notes. But that’s why we have our stuff critiqued. That’s why we put our work away and go back to it. We’ve all written drunken love notes – literally or figuratively.

I wrote my NaNoWriMo work in thirty days, and threw it in a drawer for another thirty. I jotted down all the notes of the story my characters wanted to tell. 50,000+ words of notes. Now I am back in the scraps of the first draft and telling the story.

Got any scraps stories?

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Comments

  1. Joanna Aislinn says:

    Congrats, Darlene, for having the guts and stamina to attempt and succeed at NaNoWriMo; way more than I can claim, that for sure. I agree with getting away from your work makes a lot of sense. I find when I take a break, then go back, I find a level of nuances I had no idea were there during the previous revision. Makes me feel good!

    Thanks for the post and keep at it, girl!

  2. Scraps have uses. They feed things. It’s good to know that they aren’t part of this main dish, but sometimes a bit here or there is just the right touch of for for something else.

    Glad you’ve got a recipe in mind. 😉

  3. I agree with Yolanda about the fact that it’s good that you recognise what works and what doesn’t. It proves that you ARE a great writer!

  4. You’re doing awesome, and no matter what, you entertain me every time I read a post. Keep doing what you do!

  5. Ahhh, but isn’t it a good feeling to KNOW you’ve written crap? Not from a needy, insecure place or an unsure, wondering one. Simply to be able to recognize that what you’ve written doesn’t work and to understand why is a beautiful thing. Happy scrapping Darlene. Keep kickin ass!

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