Just for fun, I went back today and read the a couple chapters from the first draft of The Unravelling. It’s been so long since I’ve started it, and I’ve been through so many revision drafts that I didn’t really have much of a feel for the original manifestation anymore. Back in those days I didn’t outline and just let the words flow freely, at best spending a bit of time each night before I fell asleep dreaming up what I was going to write the next day.
Let’s be kind and say I’ve come a long way in a year and a half.
It’s actually kind of encouraging, if you look at it from the perspective of seeing how much I’ve learned since I started out. And the bones of the story were always good, there was just a lot of fat to be trimmed.
In all the cuts, I’d forgotten some little details, things that weren’t at all important to the development of the story, but make the characters richer in my mind. Things like the fact that Poppy was the fourth of eight children. Or that Callie’s job used to be designing websites. And revisiting characters that I subsequently cut completely from the book was kind of fun too. One has since reappeared in a slightly different characterization in The Unseeing, which just goes to show the importance of never deleting previous versions.
The next question is whether I have the courage to revisit my NaNoWriMo 2011 novel. I haven’t so much as opened the document again since November 30th of that year. But it, too, was a learning experience and while I’ll never even attempt to publish it, it was my first step toward authordom, and for that I’ll always hold it fondly in my heart, even if I have to read the whole thing peeking between my fingers.