So yesterday I promised to start on the revisions of a novels I’ve dubbed Dragon Masque. I kept to that promise this morning by reading through the first chapters and beginning the outline. I was cringing within minutes.
I started this story about 8 years ago, before I really knew much about how good stories worked. I’ve got the classic beginner passive voice and Mary Sues. My prose is kind of purple and the characters are flat. It’s clearly the work of someone who’s just started writing.
But that’s okay.
First drafts are supposed to suck, right? I’d say that’s doubly true with old manuscripts.
And while some people would probably trunk something like this, I’m not willing to. I’ve had some very unique ideas to put in this series. The characters and their issues have grown in the back of my mind. Their adventures have kept me awake as I ponder what kind of wrench to toss into the mess. (I’m also sure that they have some of their own to throw as well.) And I like the world. While it’s similar to our own, there’s differences and my “what if” has had a lot of fun.
I’m glad I waited to revise this. I didn’t have the skills to implement the ideas I have now. (Still am not sure if I can pull this off believably, but I’m going to try.) I’m a much better writer and I can actually somewhat edit my own work (at least until the beta readers point out my overuse of commas.) I think I can hook a reader in the first page, and keep them reading until the end. And I know how to work in needed information into the story and let the less important details fade.
This draft is just a ghost of what this story can really be. I started on the outline–skeleton–today. I hope in a week to start redrafting–muscles, bones and organs. By the end of November, I’m hoping to have it finished–skin, eyes, hair. By hopefully mid January, I hope to have it polished and ready for submission.