How Three Classic Mistakes Will Be a New Beginning

I haven’t blogged in a while, but I have been writing. I spent the past year in a woodshed, working on my writing with classes and exercises. It’s been fun. I learned a lot. It is difficult to start over after thirty years of practice, but I’m glad I did it.

Two years ago, I was all anxious to hurry up and write a lot, thinking I just needed to type more and faster to finally get good. But I self-published my novel and no one seemed to care. A few friends read it, and they were polite about it, but I know it wasn’t a compelling read. That story didn’t matter to people, and it wasn’t entertaining enough on a lot of levels.

After this year of classes and practice, I thought I’d start over. Same story, new approach, new attitude.

The Goal

I began with a screenplay of the story. I love the idea of starting on screenplays because it is such a boiled-down version of any story. While writing it, I realized there was a contest I wanted to enter – Script Craft.

I wasn’t worried. The story came together nicely, and the techniques I learned helped me work through the challenges. And the pace I set matched the deadline for the script. I just had to keep typing.

I finished, moved the draft into Trelby, touched up the formatting, and submitted the script to the Script Craft. Done and done.

Mistake #1

I didn’t leave time to think about all the scenes. Over the next several days, I thought of scenes that would have improved the story telling. First ideas are rarely the best, and the pace I set did not leave adequate time to ruminate and consider options.

Mistake #2

I didn’t spell check. I was reviewing the draft this morning and found about a dozen spelling errors. One of them is on page one. I don’t know for sure, but I’m pretty sure a spelling error on page one is a turd in the punch bowl.

Mistake #3

I didn’t test my material. One of the greatest benefits of the classes I’ve taken this past year is making connections with other students who are willing to read and offer feedbcak. I should have gotten quality feedback from people who know what for.

These mistakes are by no means inurmountable. In fact, they are all pretty easy to fix.

I just need to remind myself to write like I mean it.