I am about half way through the first draft of my WIP, a Middle Grade adventure about a boy with learning disabilities who has left a science project until the last minute, the last minute being a family reunion during Spring Break at a castle in Switzerland. I entered a contest on the first ten pages. Didn’t win but the review was favorable. I’ve taken it to several different critique groups with mostly favorable comments. And I decided to farm it out to some teachers and a parent familiar with the learning disabled population. On that last move I got very mixed reviews. All of which sent me into a tizzy (wouldn’t you?) and also got me thinking (that’s the good news).
So here’s the thinking part. I DO have some choices right now. I could
a) scrap it (as one of my readers suggested)
b) rethink some very key parts like all the characters, the plot, the hook, and the voice (same reader’s suggestion)
c) write all the way to the end of my story
On the blog Adventures in YA Publishing author Stacey Kade recently made the case for that last option, not stopping to “fix” until you have a beginning, middle, and end. We writers can too easily become our own worst enemies as fear and compromised self-judgement stifle our work. Kade says “give yourself permission to write a crummy (stronger word used) first draft.” Buoyed by the encouragement in the aforementioned post I am going to write to the end and then see where I have been and where I need to go. Writing the following poem helped me sort out my thoughts and decide to keep forging ahead.RIDING THE ROLLER COASTER I couldn’t put it down Stayed up until 2:00 There’s just a few little things… The purpose of the book is not well defined, parts just don’t flow or make sense. The contest scale 1-10 Engaging character 8 Hooks reader 7 Voice 7 The characters are just not very interesting. There is no hook, the protagonist is a dufus. Scrap the whole thing, write what you have knowledge of, something closer to home, something you have passion for. I’m so glad the lap latch held because this is way too much fun.