Why? Well, here are some reasons my draft sucks:
1. The story is boring.
2. The conflict is confused.
3. The characters are irritating.
As you can tell, I’m at the ‘they’re never going to want any more of this story so what’s the point in writing it’ stage. Sigh.
I always get to this point in every story I write and mostly when it’s the first draft, which is why I hate first drafts so much. I usually try and get them down as quickly as possible since I much prefer editing. I don’t know why I find them so tough. I think it’s probably because I’m a pantser by nature and so the plot kind of reveals itself as I go along. Oh, I know the character arcs and the emotional development of the story, but it’s the how that happens. The ‘what do the characters DO’ that gets me. She needs to learn that he isn’t like her father so what does he do to show her that? He needs to learn she won’t leave like his mother so what does she do? etc, etc.
I know, I know, just sit down a write without the internal editor going blah, blah, blah in the background. And believe me, I do that. But I still get the I can’t be bothered with this anymore thing happening.
Anyway, my usual approach to first draft suckage is to start a bright, shiny new idea which, of course, does not help because to get past the first draft stage, you’ve actually got to finish the first draft!
So far my best option has been to write ahead to a scene I particularly want to write and this is usually the black moment. Because I love writing black moments, doing this can be a really good way of getting things flowing and it’s fantastic for figuring out whether your conflict is going to work or not. In fact, skipping forward to writing the black moment for the Hammer Pants ms enabled me to see that my poor old bad boy wasn’t all that bad. He kept insisting that he was a b*stard and that he wasn’t good enough for the heroine and I kept wondering why that was since he actually didn’t have a past that would make him ashamed. Same with the Frenchman. In the story, there’s a choice that as an alpha male in control of his life, he probably would have made, except in my story, he doesn’t want to even make the choice. And I kind of thought I knew why, but it wasn’t till I’d written the black moment that I went ‘Ooooh, so THAT’S why!’.
So, anyway, that’s my tip for getting past the ‘bogged down’ stage in first drafts. Anyone else got any ideas? I’d be glad to hear ’em!