Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Working with Old Writing

I think I'm a pretty good writer, funny, charismatic and with a good understanding of the world around me so that I can describe it properly. Also, I have google image search, so if I don't know how to describe or draw it, I can find out! I'm pretty sure I was a writer with potential in the past, barely above a laymen as far as craftsmanship in the skill of book writing, but with potential. I had ideas! I even had good characters and pacing.
What I know I didn't have was patience. I was always in a hurry to slap the words on the page, in bare bone form just to get the story written because, as my father always told me, "Just write. You add to it later but you need to get the words on the page."

This led to sparse stories, lacking in much detail, save the bare minimum and, believe me, I did make myself describe things, I just didn't do it to the degree I do today.

He leaned against a yellow stone wall.
(It could have just been a wall. I made myself describe yellow bricks.)

Janus leaned against a wall, just off the market which he shared with several vendors who looked aside at him before returning their widened eyes to their wares and their customers. The yellow brick dug against his scars even through the thick material of his dark cloak and he shifted in an unusual sign of discomfort.
(See, I'm fighting not to describe the worn down mortar which exposed the hard edges of those bricks. If anything, I describe too much now.)

My writing now is better but the ideas and the feeling that I had in my old writing are probably just as good if not more so since I had a touch of wide-eyed innocence about me then and didn't feel like anything I came up with was already overdone.

When working with old writing, I have to juggle the tone of the old story with my new found ability to use several adjectives. I haven't quite mastered doing this. I'm working on it. What I do know, is that I prefer to have the scenery in my world be full sets as apposed to merely being back drops.

Conclusion, write with the same feeling but the new skills. The difficulty in this is reading your own, much earlier, heavily flawed writing without having another feeling well up within your breast. One of great disgust. One that inspires the most eloquent of speech which, really, is kinda mean to your old writing as well as silly. You don't say a kitten is horrible compared to a cat, even if they do wet on the sheets. Kittens become cats (reference) and writers get better. It's a natural progression. Live with it. Appreciate that you started writing and could become better and read your old work like someone who isn't an arrogant ass of a composer of prose.

If you're gonna be a writer, you should be nice to other writers. Your past self counts.

For goodness sake people, be nice!