Rewriting Sucks, Man…

And don’t I know it.

I’m currently writing this blog to keep from working on my kids pirate novel.


I finished the first (genius!) draft six weeks ago, and per instructions from On Writing by Mr. King, put the book away for a while. He’s right, I totally forgot the damn thing. My problem is that I like what I write, and so reading it was a treat and a pleasure. “Hey, did I write that?” “That’s pretty good.” A lot of self-congratulatory pablum, basically.

Then I pull out the crits that my friends did. And that’s when the scales fall from the writer’s eyes, if that writer is me. As soon as someone says that the main character’s voice is not consistent, I see it. As soon as someone says this is wrong or that is wrong, I see it and everything else writ large in flaming letters across the wall of my office, like an Old Testament prophet’s vision of doom.

And all I want to do is crawl in a hole and die.

Which is not what a writer is supposed to do. A writer is supposed to write, to improve, to fix, to cajole… not sit there and whine “but I thought it was perfect.”


So, rewriting is the hard part. It’s also the part that separates the published from the unpublished and the wheat from the chaff, whilst I continue my Biblical allusions.

The first draft is fun. But the first draft is garbage. And it has to be sorted through and worked on until it’s polished and shines. Imagine a garbage truck… one of those big city sanitation trucks with that giant hydraulic maw at the back end… if they dumped one in your front yard, how much of the stuff that came gushing out would you want to keep? Not so much, probably.

And that’s the way it is with a first draft. And I just have to get it through my thick skull.

Pity me. I sure do.


1 Comment

Filed under Screenwriting, Uncategorized, Writing Process

One response to “Rewriting Sucks, Man…

  1. Brett in Manhattan

    IMO, looking at your first draft as “garbage” or, in the words of Hemmingway, “shit,” is the wrong attitude.

    It’s a first draft, not a finished product. Why judge it as the latter?

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