Re-Reading My Work: Cringes, Confidences, and Considerations

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

     As I have said before, I stopped writing my book for quite a while, though occasionally went back and wrote little pieces here and there. Since it is almost the end of the school year and all of my AP exams are finished (thank god) I've decided to get back into writing as much as I can. I know I won't be able to as much as I'd like as this is the summer before my senior year so that means college essays, volunteer work, family and friends time, summer AP reading, and I am also getting a job. Fun.
     I decided that the best way to get back into the groove, I guess, would be to go back and read my story from the start. With over 20 chapters of the rough draft done, I feel like I would get too much mixed up and confused if I didn't go back and read what I have gotten done.

Reading Chapter One

     It was so cringe-worthy. So many adjectives. So many. I feel like it wasn't as bad as I was expecting, but wow. I do know I wrote much better in the later chapters because the story was more established and I really got into watching videos about writing fiction, so I cannot wait until I finish the book and can properly write the first chapter. I'm not going to go back and edit it, though some things I HAD to delete, because I want to just get all my thoughts out on paper before I start editing. It was actually pretty funny to read the first chapter as I just finished a year of AP Language, not because there were grammatical errors, because there weren't that many, but because it didn't flow and it was so cheesy. The first paragraph killed me, oh my god.

Reading Chapter 10
          FINALLY I can find some relief. Until I got to about chapter six, I was about to trash the book. There were good parts in all the chapters, and there were also some very, very awful parts, but I think this was around the time I got more comfortable with writing the story. I had created a whole new world with myths I knew very little about and people I would never meet in real life; let's just say it was a difficult start. In chapter seven I took on the point of view of the son of my antagonist (who hates his father) as a break up in the story, and I was actually really excited because it was, not to brag, really good. I actually feel confident right now that I can fix up some of the, well, crappy parts. I have to constantly remind myself that it is just a rough draft, but it's so hard because this book means so much to me and it honestly hurts to see it portrayed so poorly in some areas that I wanted it to be amazing.

Reading Chapter 20

     Okay, wow. I have some work ahead of me. When I stopped writing, I was on chapter 19, and after that I would write a little here and there in chapter 20 so only half of chapter 20 is done out of roughly a 30 chapter total. Maybe more. Not only do I have ten more chapters, I also have probably like 10 chapters that I want to completely rewrite just because I don't like the way they played out. Although in around chapter 18 my main characters meet the antagonist, I wrote a really dramatic scene and everything flowed so nicely, I actually got really caught up in it because I had forgotten what I wrote. I can really tell I grew a lot while writing this and I felt like my characters grew up a lot too. At first they sounded like they were really young and under developed, but I could see how much the world changed them. My babies grew up so fast😭.

Why I Feel More Confident After Re-Reading Than I Did While Originally Writing

     While I was writing I had some parts where I actually did feel confident while writing, and it's extremely clear because those were some of the best scenes, however most of the time I was full-fledged panicking because I felt like I was writing literal trash. Sometimes it was trash, but I feel more confident now because I can clearly see what I need to fix to make it better. I feel like stepping away for a while and taking a break might have actually been pretty beneficial in that aspect. On the other hand, I don't recommend going back and reading your work unless you're in my case and took a five-month hiatus and forgot a lot of what you wrote. I feel like re-reading while you're writing could seriously make you feel bad about yourself. Whenever I re-read I got so depressed because I was expecting it to be so much better than what it was.
     It's also just important if you are re-reading or even writing the first draft that it is just the first draft and that it's supposed to be ugly and bare and underdeveloped. That's why I feel more confident; because I know that I still have the whole editing process ahead of myself and this is just a more detailed outline for the most part.

    Thank you for reading!

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