After I finished the first draft of my current story, I thought it would be fun, in true me fashion, to pull up some of my older stories and read a few snippets to entertain myself. My samples of choice? The opening line/paragraph. The beginning of a chapter in the middle somewhere. The end of a chapter in the middle somewhere. And the middle of a chapter in the middle somewhere. ^_^
For starters, it’s amazing how consistently bad (or great) I can be. But more amazing than that, is how well these snippets represented the stories as a whole. If I felt like the story was pretty strong throughout, no matter what I read, it felt strong. If I felt the story was wishy-wishy, everything I read was either pretty good or pretty ick. If I felt like the story was some crap, well, everything I read was some crap.
But then, we come to the fun part. I pulled up my beloved vampire story from 2012, and I just KNOW it’s going to be as awesome as I remember. 🙂 And it was pretty good. Lol! But I noticed something very interesting: I can see growth in my writing.
Comparing “Legion: Will Think Of A Better Title Later” to “Stone of Darkness: The Vampire Story” 🙂 I can see how much stronger my writing has gotten over these last few chaotic writing years. “Stone of Darkness” is very interesting, but it’s also a little overwritten and melodramatic. I have to laugh at myself, of course. After all, it’s more hilarious than cringeworthy. And it totally makes sense that I was being so melodramatic. Over the last few years, I’ve realized that I’m already quite dramatic. I don’t need to try to be dramatic in any capacity. That’s how I end up with the melodrama. I’ve realized a bunch of things, but that really stood out.
I also noticed several typos. 😐 Not cool. LOL!
I also read through bits of “The Raven/Nevermore/Whatever” story that I wrote for NaNo 2014 (and won, thankyouverymuch). My buddy who read it said I used the word “chills” about 1000 times. Guess what. That word was in EVERY SINGLE snippet I read. I was mortified. LOL! Seriously. What the heck? The story is also terrible. This is why you don’t force stuff.
Also among my choices was “The Inescapable” aka the last story I finished before “Legion.” I was expecting a half good, half meh, kind of thing, and that was exactly what I got. I went from an exciting passage to a “hmm, I don’t know” passage and then back to an exciting one. What this tells me is that I should definitely rewrite the beast from scratch, because I am still very excited about the concept!
And of course, I read through bits of “Discord,” and once again, made myself a little sad over it. Very strong writing in that. So pretty. 🙁 But I had a thought after I poked around at it – I didn’t do what I wanted with it. I already knew this, but that day was the first day I could actually see how the story could have turned out if I hadn’t freaked myself out and changed a bunch of stuff. Yeah, I got it to work, and it works, but it just isn’t what it should be, you know. But, divine intervention. I wouldn’t have half of the ideas that I have now if that hadn’t fallen on its face.
I just thought it was really funny that I’ve spent the last few years trying to writing something better than that vampire story, and I’ve written a few things better than it now. It’s still a very entertaining and interesting story, but so is everything I write. 😛 I mean really. I can pull out horrible novel #1 and it’s entertaining. Horrible, but you’ll have a great time. 🙂 Heck, I can pull out an old ghost story from the 6th grade, and you’ll still have a good time…laughing at me, but still.
It just goes to show me and whoever else, that “our best” is always evolving. That vampire story was the best thing I had ever written at the time, and now I’ve put the writing in that to shame. (And quite honestly, I’ve gotten much better at ending my stories as well!)
HEY! Maybe I’ll be as good as Stephen King one day! 😀