But I'm not going to get depressed about that. I wrote and finished a first draft. This is my lump of clay and it will look very different as a finished second draft from the way it looks right now.
Dangers of Studying the Craft...Of course, all the weak points I've seen in my first draft have sent me out on an education spree. I've been buying or borrowing craft books left, right and centre. This did lead me down a blind alley at one point last week where I nearly walked myself into a Writer's Block, but a sensible comment from a fellow writer in a Google+ group I'm in had me backtracking out of that blind alley pronto. It turns out that it is very easy for me to get caught up in the studying of the craft to the point where I start re-imagining what I've written and wondering if it needs scrapping and re-doing from scratch. Not a good place to be. (Big thanks to Tannille!)
That brings me to another thing I've discovered and which I'm sure I've mentioned in an earlier post.
... and the only way to get betterThe only way to learn how to write a good story is to sit down and write it. I've read a tonne of craft books since I started to take writing seriously (back in 2003), but it's only now, as I sit down to revise, that I feel I am finally beginning to improve my skills. Instead of reading theory, the books are now providing me with concrete techniques because I have something to apply the theory to. It's not abstract reading out of interest, it's reading with a purpose and applying what I'm reading to what I've written. There's a huge difference.
What I'm reading/watching as I reviseHere are some of the craft books I'm reading and which I highly recommend (affiliate links included):
The First 50 Pages by Jeff Gerke
Million Dollar Outlines by David Farland
Dialogue Secrets (Screenwriting Blue Books) by William C. Martell - and Martell has several other titles in this series of craft books that I will very definitely be investing in. They're chock-full of techniques and exercises. (I'll be posting a more thorough review later on in June.)
And I've been watching James Scott Bell/Writer's Digest online revision webinar in short chunks as and when my time allows. (Posted below)
Short Story/Flash Fiction UpdateNow that I've reached a revision milestone, and feel like I need to take a step back for a short while before I tackle the next step, I'm going to try my hand at a short piece of fiction. I chose three cards last night from Doreen Virtue's Angel Tarot deck, one for the beginning, middle and end of the story, and I'll be doing some free writing using them as prompts to see what develops. It'll be something fun to do after the hard slog. :)
So, my goals for this week are:
1. Write a piece of short fiction
2. Read William C. Martell's book on dialogue (as this is a definite weak point in my writing)
3. Be ready to start back into the revision by Thursday or Friday at the latest
4. Comment on 3 other ROW80 writers' blogs
Check out the other ROW80 blogs here!