Thursday, August 9, 2012

Old Stuff

Do you ever pull out old things you've written and reread them for fun?

Well, I did that with my NaNoWriMo novel from three years ago (it's not done, so much for keeping at it after the 50k, heh heh ...), haven't looked at it since then and was ready to read some awful crap. Because I wrote it in 30 days. And I barely outlined. And it's like this huge, world-building high fantasy thing. So it's supposed to be really bad.

Except, it's sort of good. I know that sounds like bragging, and it's not. I mean, usually I think my stuff is awful. But it's honestly very good. The pacing is good. The scenes are engaging and surprisingly tight for me trying desperately to fill out a word count. I read it in one sitting because I wanted to know what happened (I didn't remember), and it kept my attention like an actual book.

I mean, really? I think I could polish it up and query it. Is that weird? Is that acceptable? The problem is, I'd have to finish it, and it's obviously a good 20k from being done. And frankly, I don't remember the original ending in mind, so I'd have to re-plot it. Also, I'm not interested in writing high fantasy as a general rule. I'm definitely more into contemporary at this point. More importantly, I'm worried about being able to write with continuity in voice, given I haven't touched this project in three years. But I might be forced to finish this for my own personal satisfaction. I'm kind of impressed with three-years-ago writer-me. I had no idea I could world-build like that.

And I'm totally patting myself on the back for including fairies, witches, princesses, and talking animals in one book. Three-years-ago writer-me had ambition, clearly.

I don't know about anyone else, but I've noticed for a long time now that my best writing comes when I write quickly rather than when I sit and ruminate over 500 words for a week. This is so counterintuitive to me, and bothers me to this day that stuff you work longer and harder on isn't necessarily better than the stuff you just spit out at random.

Writing is such an odd activity.


  1. That's awesome and I think you totally should finish it. For the voice and all that, I think it'll come back to you once you delve into that world again. And it's not that weird to say that you found your old writing to be kind of good because I think that's an indication that you've grown and improved over time.

    It's funny that you posted about this today because last night I went back to a NaNo I hadn't finished from roughly 3 years ago and was also surprised by how well done some of the stuff was. I mean, it still totally went sideways, which is why I didn't finish, but I was surprised by how much plot seemed to be in there and some of the turns of phrase made me think I might've been better back then than I am now, lol.

    1. NaNoWriMo brings back some fun memories, haha. And I totally know what you mean. I was reading and thinking, wow, maybe I became worse over the years?