Anonymous asked: Same anon from the traditional art question. It’s nothing to do with wanting to be a purist or alike, but more to do with what I have at the moment. I don’t have the money or desktop for a good art programme, nor a tablet of any kind. Also I’m not really that knowledge on the subject of ditgal art (as if that wasn;t clear already). The main reason for thinking about this is because I’m writing a few stories right now, which are in rough drafting stage. One of them might work well as a comic.
Here’s the best thing for any writer to keep in mind:
Be prepared to throw out ALL your ideas. Scrap anything that doesn’t work and start over. The absolute worst thing that will forever condemn you to mediocrity is coming up with an idea, thinking it’s solid gold and trying to always work with it without realizing it sucks.
I’d say you have to accept the fact that 75-90% of everyone’s rough drafts are garbage. When I was trying to write, I got it into my head that my starting idea was great and I kept trying to change and contort everything around it, wasting so much time perfecting scenes that I didn’t realize sucked. It’s like trying to build the perfect house on top of a shitty foundation; the whole thing is just going to collapse anyway you have to tear it down and start over.
I noticed a huge improvement in my work when I switched gears. Brainstorm a ton of ideas without getting hung up on polishing them. When you have a ton of stuff, ask yourself what needs to be cut. Try to find the 10% of good ideas and throw out the rest. Then build another bunch of ideas off that, then take the best 10% of that and repeat until you can honestly say that it wouldn’t improve anymore by throwing anything out. Even things that you consider vital, you have to be prepared to throw out if it isn’t working.
I quickly learned that if I wanted to improve in creative writing classes, it wasn’t going to happen with everyone hug boxing me. When I passed out my work for next week’s peer review, I made an announcement that I only wanted to hear what’s BAD about it. “Tell me what doesn’t work. I don’t want to hear anything else.” It turns out that when you free them of fear of backlash, people are more than happy to really get into the details of why something sucks (as this blog with tell you ^_^), and that’s exactly what I needed to improve.
The instant any artist lets go of the self-loathing needed to throw out the chaff and embraces sycophants, he’s doomed.
MOD 1: Same here about the rough draft. I’ve written a number of stories, especially lately, and the first draft I think “that’s alright.” But when I give it a serious once over with my critical eye, I’m like HOLY SHIT THIS SUCKED WHY DID I LET THIS GO, CAN YOU IMAGINE IF THIS GOT OUT TO THE PUBLIC? I WOULD’VE BEEN LAUGHED AT TO DEATH. Revise, that is the most important part of writing. Keep revising, and ripping yourself apart with self hatred. But you can’t hate yourself so much that you cease working. There has to be a balance. If you hate yourself too much to write, you’ll never write, and if you love yourself you will just shit out bland work.
se: and that 10% of rough drafts that aren’t complete shit are all written by me, so you can forget about being one of the chosen few. you ain’t.
for me, revising a draft sounds painful but is actually pleasant in practice. it’s simply a matter of going back and re-reading what you wrote. you should almost immediately be able to find flaws with something as soon as you finish a block of writing. write a bunch, and then go back immediately and re-read it, and just see how it feels for you. then, go back the next day and re-read all of it again. does anything jump out at you that seems stupid? if so, then you are doing your job correctly.
Cool Mod: I like to make myself vomit before I edit, so I don’t have anything in my stomach to barf on the computer when I read my shitty first drafts.
But seriously, first drafts are always ruled by emotion. You had a song playing, or had an idea spur of the moment that distorted your natural writing voice and made it more dramatic than it realistically should have been, emotion on that level creates imaginary bridges in your mind that temporarily jumps an idea over your natural inhibitions.
Which is a good thing. Otherwise we’d never be able to start forming any ideas that are even remotely outside of the box.
Wow these guys sure are smart. What a helpful and dashingly clever blog… And the mods are so handsome!