The Extrahuman Union

Dear Book, You’re Terrible

Posted on: May 12, 2011

Dear first draft,

Okay. Where the heck did you even come from? You were supposed to be the fun book, the “I need a break from writing the big important OMG has-meanings-and-themes-and-everything book,” my pacer car, my racetrack pony who walks with the cool book during the post parade. I never thought I’d even finish you, much less finish you first.

And now look. Suddenly, a few weeks ago, I hit the completely arbitrary line of 50K words on you, figured out your plot, and then you ate my life. I spent the last week in a fog with your characters, thinking up ways to make them do cool stuff and get to the end of the story. Which I did. Oh yes.

You have terrible writing, especially at the end. Some of the characters are cardboard cutouts with signs hanging around their necks reading “IOU 1(one) personality/soul.” There are a few points where I actually wrote [ADD PLOT HERE]. I think I got all of those but I’m not sure. I’d have to go back and check, and I don’t want to. It’s scary in there.

Your ending is rushed, I’m not satisfied with the last scene, the romantic story is thin and unconvincing, I think I left someone pregnant and stranded, and it’s all just a little too pat, you know? Plus all the unanswered questions. Are those plot holes or setup for a second book? How the heck do I even know which is which? And then there’s the aliens. Oh God, I don’t know what to do with them, except maybe lock them in a tiny room, throw away the key, and hope I wasn’t serious about those telekinetic powers.

Well, you have some redeeming qualities. You have a righteously awesome protagonist. There’s some funky gender and sexuality stuff (woo!). The world is new and full of possibility. Some of the moments make my skin crawl, but a few others make the hairs stand up on the back of my neck with how good they are. First drafts are always horrible, the point is you’re done and you can be amazingly cool.

I can fix you. It’ll all get worked out in edits. You and me, fun book, we’re going places.


5 Responses to "Dear Book, You’re Terrible"

I think I want to meet this book. Preferably after the [add plot here] is taken care of, so I don’t wear out my red pen. 😉

What’s this? A red pen? You mean you don’t use those newfangled computer editing thingys all the kids have these days? 🙂

And hopefully you’ll see this book eventually, if I can work the kinks out.

Computers are old-fashioned now, it’s all about smart phones and cloud-computing.

And this is an AWESOME teaser.

Someday, someone’s going to come up with a functional way for me to write on my phone. Someday! 🙂

Yes! This is what the editing process is for! To glare at your characters or plotlines and say “OK, work with me here.”


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Susan Jane Bigelow’s Extrahuman Union

Hey! Welcome to the Extrahuman Union, home of Susan Jane Bigelow. Prepare to be stripped of all meaningful identity. While you're processing, check out more about me on the about page!

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