Gauging Writing Progress
Earlier this year, I started rewriting a story that first inspired me to write. -A huge fantasy that I imagine will spill into at least a half dozen volumes. It has entertained a fair few beta readers over the years, mainly stalwarts who forgave me poor grammar and diction.
I’d considered the first two volumes I’d rewritten this year as quite good and, whilst considering improvements to them, I reread the subsequent volume I’d created two years ago. – It was poorly structured, flabby and technically inept, but it was a far, far more entertaining read. – At first I felt pleased, but then the doubts set in. – I wrote far better two years ago than I do now… My writing had more depth, and the characters felt real… – Now they look a lot better polished, but something is missing…
I had two supporters in the earliest days, Deb Sainty (who died aged 37 on October 4th) and Mark Condren. – Mark, a plain-speaking Australian, warned me about losing the ‘passion’ I poured into the written word with my desire to improve. – Around three and a half years on from when he first made it, I finally get what he means…
When I first started, I could concentrate on nothing other than the story, for grammar and style were alien concepts. – Now, as technical ability finally knocks on my door, I’ve changed my emphasis, more concerned about a repeating word or a clunky phrase than the tale I am relating.
It is said that recognising a flaw is the first step towards correcting it, and I damn well hope that’s true, because I’ve sterilised my writing a little this last year.