1. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Is it acceptable to have multiple 'fake starts'??

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Link the Writer, Jan 11, 2012.

    I mean, your first draft being the seventh attempt at starting said first draft? Should a new writer feel ashamed of it, especially if they've told their friends and family that THIS would be the final 'fake' start? This time, they've got everything together and won't toss it in the bin?

    Because that's how I feel with my Amos Garnier story. I think it's likely that the current draft (now 1K in) is going to be my actual first draft now that I have all the peices somewhat laid out. Still, I've gone here and said, "Yo! This time I'm NOT gonna be restarting that damned story for the seventh time!"

    Thinking it from a perspective of someone not writing it, it must be pretty frustrating, especially if they've been encouraging them from the get-go.

    So, what do you think? Is it acceptable for a writer to have multiple fake starts as long as they get most of the plot hammered out for them to actually write it this time?
     
  2. colorthemap
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    colorthemap Contributing Member

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    Never be ashamed of doing something over, instead do the opposite. Congratulate yourself on knowing that it is bad and the willpower you have to start again. It will only get better as you go along.
     
  3. TheWritingWriter
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    TheWritingWriter Senior Member

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    I read an article once. I don't remember where. I wish I could link it to you. I even just looked for it but came to no avail. It was an article about good taste & bad work. If you, say, make a painting and don't like it, you know it's bad because you have good taste, so you keep working at it. You recognize that you can do better because you have good taste. It allows you to know where you can do better and moves you to keep working at your skills. When you write that first chapter, you re-read it and aren't happy with it, you re-write it until you get what you want. It's because you have good taste. If you didn't have good taste, you couldn't progress into writing very well.

    I have a book like that, that I've tried and tried to start off and build, but it just isn't working. I've been working on it for like six years, and still haven't started it off the way I want. I play with it every once and a while, and just focus on other stories in the meantime. I know one day, when the time is right, something will happen and give me a brilliant idea. Hopefully, you will get your brilliant idea, too.

    Good luck! Happy writing. :)
     
  4. Floatbox
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    Floatbox Member

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    Well, I mean... it's acceptable. I accept you man. It's not, "THAT'S UNACCEPTABLE." You are not a disappointment.

    But it is a problem, yes? You know this. You cannot be a writer if you cannot finish something. I struggle with this same problem. It IS a problem - and a symptom of a bigger problem. I suggest reading "The War of Art" Being able to power through resistance and finish the first draft is essential to your creative process. If you can't do it, your creative process is broken. This needs to be your number one battle, yes? Pay proper attention to your process and everything you are doing which prohibits you from finishing the first draft.
     
  5. Party Poison
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    Party Poison Member

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    I done that with my story about 6 times.
     
  6. Anonym
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    Anonym Contributing Member

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    Rework your draft until you're happy with it. To do otherwise would be doing your piece a disservice, IMO. Better to refine it for a decade than settle for something you know could be better. Otherwise, go for it. Good luck.
     
  7. thalorin19
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    thalorin19 Member

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    I've lost count on the number of times I've re-written a few chapters of mine. Particularly the first one which was the hardest - but very gratifying when I finished.
     
  8. joanna
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    joanna Active Member

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    I wrote several drafts of the beginning of the story I'm working on now.

    I knew they were nonsense as I was writing them, or when I reread them -- I just had to get something down so I could have an idea of what worked and what didn't.

    When I finally wrote the real version, I knew this was the real version and all the others were practice. It's an excavation process, like Stephen King said. You've got to dig up the fossil and you might screw up at first, chipping at it and dusting it and thinking it's an arm or leg when really it's a wing or something.
     
  9. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm with colorthemap. Start over as many times as you need, as long as you're making the story better ... :)
     
  10. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ashamed? No. But I think that it's worth considering whether you're creating roadblocks for yourself. To me, it sounds like you're trapping yourself with classic perfectionism.

    It's not necessary that the first draft of your novel be good, or decent, or even not-terrible, from beginning to end. I'd suggest that this time, even if you decide that the beginning is utterly, totally, completely terrible, you just keep on writing and reassure yourself that you can rewrite the beginning and maybe restructure the entire novel, in the _second_ draft.
     
  11. Ziggy Stardust
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    Ziggy Stardust Active Member

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    I agree, it's not "wrong". But there is a point where you just need to accept that your first draft isn't going to be perfect and get on with the rest of the story. Otherwise you might never finish it.
     

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