by Linore Burkard
Since surely you are familiar with the fairy-tale of the ugly duckling who became a beautiful swan, I won’t bother with a recap. But what is “ugly duckling writing,” you wonder? In a nutshell, Rachel Hauck described it in a recent post here on Novel Rocket,
“I fast draft a very ugly novel, then I rewrite. Almost from scratch. I layer and fine tune, change and deepen.” Rachel Hauck
Since I wrote the lion’s share of my current novel, RESISTANCE
in little more than a month, the above quote fits my experience for this
book. I have a first draft that is, in literary terms, “a very ugly
novel.” But to me, it’s like gold. Because I know that the finished
novel–the graceful swan–is in there, and that I will hone the work, develop the best parts,
revise and rewrite and come out in the end with a book
that–hopefully–many will want to read.
expected to let the book rest during this past busy Christmas season, but I found myself working on it, rewriting and fine tuning.
first draft, that it is in no shape to get published. The truth is, if
you keep working on it, haven’t lost your original vision for the work,
and are determined to find the real story and make it work–you probably
are times when it’s right to put a manuscript away in some drawer,
never to see the light of day. This is often the fate of a first attempt
by writers at novel-writing, and there’s nothing wrong with that. We all need to practice and learn somewhere, somehow.
|My first hatchling!|
But it is not a universal
experience. My own first novel must have gone through a dozen drafts before it was publishable. But eventually, it became a swan. I might have given up any number of times when it looked like an awkward, ungainly fledgling–but didn’t.
story? Something that can touch a heart, strike a deep chord with readers? Then keep working on it.