Recently we talked about writing better stories (HERE)
But sometimes you just write crap! You read it, and it’s terrible. You’re one of those people now. “Yesterday, I wrote the same paragraph over and over until it was perfect. Today I looked at it and it was shit.”
I actually had that happen yesterday!
Friends of mine know I usually think everything I write is just awesome, even if it has typos. Which is often.
All week, I’ve been knocking out chapters of my story. Three, I think; maybe four if you go back to last Sunday. Maybe 10,000 words. And another 3200 last night. I was KILLING IT. I’m not bragging, I’m saying I was on a roll. The story was flowing, I had nothing but fun scenes ahead to write. It was funny (it’s a comedy), it was sexy (it’s a romantic comedy) and…
and it SUCKED.
I read stuff from those chapters and I was like whaaaaat? This looks like an amateur wrote it.
A good amateur, but an amateur.
Oh, the pain.
Then I realized something. Some of my writer friends have made comments like “Your writing has really improved” on chapters I wrote not that long ago. They were referring to this story as compared to prior stories of mine they’d read. That I also thought were awesome. (See above, where I said I think everything I write is awesome.)
Know what that means?
It means that I had improved as a writer but also I had improved in my ability as a reader of my writing, too – so I could the problems I couldn’t see before. (Listen for applause from critique partners)
See me learn to write better dialog HERE
While I was unhappy about having the errors, I was happy I could SEE them – and potentially fix them. Or enlist help to fix them.
We discussed the benefits of a critique group HERE
That’s huge! That put the spurs to the horse, and I banged out a few thousand more words.
Because I can edit words on a page; I can’t edit a blank page. I can go back and add jokes (which I love doing), tighten phrasings (that just feels good, like scratching an itch), work in beats and take out repetitious words. Cos I wrote them
That was such a happy realization, that my stuff was crap!
I’m improving as a writer. That’s never a bad thing.
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Dan Alatorre is the author of several bestsellers and the hilarious upcoming novel “Poggibonsi” – yeah, we know. We’re trying to convince him to change that title – check out his other works here http://www.amazon.com/Dan-Alatorre/e/B00EUX7HEU/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1425128559&sr=1-1 and check back often for interesting stuff.