Curse or boon? I don’t know.
The problem with writing directly into WordPress and posting creative writing pieces as early versions (most of what you read here is hardly ever what I’d call final versions) is that you see the flaws after they are posted. I resist the urge to do more than correct technical issues (spelling, obvious grammar problems, formatting, etc.) after I hit that “post” button. It’s an anal-retentive thing for me, probably colored by my frustration with folks like George Lucas constantly mucking about with the original Star Wars trilogy to reflect his changes in vision over the years. Imagine if old William Shakespeare made appearance for whatever reason and decided he wasn’t quite happy with Hamlet’s “To Be or Not To Be” monologue and changed it up to suit whatever reflections he had in the grave. I suppose he’s not the best, as the playwright probably did more than his fair share of edits between performances, but you get the gist of what I’m saying.
“Kismet” is a bit like that. I wrote it last night and posted it with only minor editorial changes prior to tossing it out into the ethersphere. It’s what I do. But it’s flaws are evident upon waking. Will I change it? Probably not until I get around to publishing a collection of short stories and poems, which is about as likely to happen as me winning the lottery. In fact, I’m probably more likely to win the lottery.
When that book contract comes up (har har har), I will probably fix the mixed narrative/POV and make it less third-first-persony. I’d probably add some more descriptive elements and try to capitalize on some of the anxiety Steve is feeling on losing track of the hot chiquita he is pursuing, maybe blurring the physical attraction he has for her. This short piece is based on an idea I had a while ago with a much bigger narrative behind it and I happen to know that they are unrequited lovers due to circumstances behind their control, namely that they experience time in reverse as a “generational” thing — one is “reborn” in reverse time, while the other one is “reborn” in the standard perception of time. While they are both able to interact, they move in time together. You know, it’s like that feeling some people get where they know right away that they were meant to be together….
Anyway, posting such things in “draft” form daylights my writing process, including the flaws, of which there are many.
Well, you might ask. How is it a boon?
Well, I think of it this way. I don’t know of any serious writers who claim to one-off their stories in a single session to achieve a masterpiece. Some require fewer drafts than others (though, even some authors I like could probably stand to do a few more drafts/edits), but by and large, nothing published is ever first-shot stuff.
Because I have no shame when it comes to writing, I don’t mind showing early drafts off. In fact, I used to do NaNoWriMo directly to blog as serialized daily fiction (~2.5k words a day for a month, 50k words by the end). I think showing WiP (work in progress) is helpful to aspiring writers, as it shows how good writing usually evolves from a flawed nugget, that they are not the only ones who sometimes struggle or can only seem to generate word manure. If I can normalize that part of the process, I believe better writers than me can learn from my mistakes and go on to write their masterpieces, knowing that it is just part of the process to write horrible stuff on occasion (or regularly, as is my case).
Oh, leave me to my fantasy that I’m somehow impacting young or new writers. Jeeze.