Who Wrote This Dribble?!

I’ve said before (probably more than once) how much I love delving into the minds of writers. One topic I enjoy discussing is the bad lines we write that, hopefully, never see the light of day.

We all have these horrible lines that somehow creep their way into our manuscripts and make us scratch our heads. We look back at them and wonder just what the hell we were thinking when we wrote them. Sometimes, it’s a line the writer thinks is pure gold when first written, but in hindsight wreaks of old shoes and musty closets, sometimes making no sense at all. Thankfully, we can delete anything we want, but they shouldn’t be there to begin with.

How do they get there? Does someone (or something) take over my fingers and type these lines? Because, a) I don’t remember writing them sometimes, though they are there, and b) I don’t write this crappy………..Really, I don’t.

I firmly believe when we are in our zone, on a roll and writing away like it’s nobody’s business, we have no clue what we say for the most part. We’re not in control at that point. When we’re in that zone, the story is guiding us or the character(s) are showing us the path that they follow.

I’m taking one for the team and sharing a couple tidbits of stupidity that have come from me recently. Please don’t think any less of me after you read them. I assure you, neither of them are in the manuscripts anymore.

Snoopy-BadWriting

Caught this little nugget of excellence while I was editing one of the Erotica stories…

The color on my face deepens to a deep red.

— Really? …. I mean, really? Who wrote that shit?

Check this lovely bit of scrawl out. Four -ly words in two sentences…

Slowly, he comes toward me, his hands out in front of him slightly. He haltingly and gently places his hands on my arms.

 — Just take the pen and laptop away from me now. I should NOT be allowed to write again. Ever.

I about stabbed myself in the eye with my pen when I reread that last line during edits. I’m not going to lie…I almost cried.

Bad writer! Bad!

This, dear readers, is why we do endless edits on our manuscripts. Without the edits and rewrites, lines like the ones above would remain

…and people would probably point and laugh at us for trying to publish that trash.

Don’t be shy, share some of your worst lines. I won’t judge, Scout’s honor!

Oh Edits, How I Love Thee

Apparently when I said “extremely rough draft” in reference to Anniversaries, I was understating…by quite a bit. Wow. I mean, just wow. It’s that bad. Keep in mind that this is the first book I ever wrote. A lot of time and energy went into it, not to mention massive amounts of cramps in my right hand. It was written with a pen and paper. Copious amounts of words and notes later I have this finished product that I was so proud of. And rightly so I should think. Anyone that begins and finishes a piece of written work should give themselves a pat on the back for achieving their goal. Whether the writing is good or not is another question.

In this case, it was not. I’ll give an example in a moment, but I must first touch on something else. I never thought back then that the writing was excellent. Never expected it to be published right off the bat. I’m not stupid or naive, I knew it needed work. I didn’t really realize how bad it was even while I was doing edits on it over and over again. Then I get a swift kick in the slats last night when I’m reading just the first chapter.

How I even stayed awake I still don’t understand. Talk about snoozeville. So as an example, in the first three pages I kept only 30 or so words that were actually useful to the story. Add to that they weren’t even useful at the beginning. I’m torn at the moment between completely starting over, maybe changing POV or changing the MC, and trying to salvage something out of this mess that is my first finished book. On one hand I have the ability to revamp the story completely, which I honestly believe it needs. On the other hand, I have the chance to keep it how it is, but to fix what needs to be fixed.

Either way I have my work cut out for me, but it’s something I’m determined to do. I think I’ll go with option number one and see how it works out.