Veronica Roth (here), an author whom I adore, noted recently in her post about NaNo (here, here) that there is no such thing as a wasted draft. I needed that tonight.
It’s truly bizarre, how you can hear a thing over and over and over again, and yet somehow it doesn’t sink in until we’re really READY to hear it. Tonight, I was finally ready to hear that. You see, I’ve been working on Jesscapades since November (or maybe October) of 2008. It started with a dream that I had, of a girl entering her dorm room to find a teacher sitting on her bed, waiting to tell her that her best friend was probably trying to kill her, and that she needed to kill him first.
You guys, this story has ben giving me FITS. **FITS**.
You see, the original draft is trying to be two stories at once. And, for like forever, I tried to revise and rewrite replot the story so that it could fit the two stories in it. Recently, as in maybe a month ago, in conversation with my soul-twin Liana Brooks a flash of insight slammed me over the head, and I realised – yeah, I’m an idiot, I know – that maybe, y’know, IT NEEDED TO BE TWO SEPARATE BOOKS.
Insert many sighs of frustration, and hair-tearing at the thought of so many ‘wasted’ drafts.
But as Ms Roth says: no draft is wasted. You get to know the story better, and differently, each time you draft it – and apparently I needed to get through all those drafts in order to have my moment of blinding (ly obvious) epiphany.
So. You know. No wasted drafts. No wasted life experiences. Each one teaches us something, if we’re open to it, and helps us figure out better where we’re going.