In an entry from two years ago, I had decided to compare excerpts from a few successive drafts of one my first sci-fi stories, dubbed ORIGINAL, FIRST, and SECOND. With many months, if not years, between them, it presented a good sampling of my writing over time. The results were pleasantly surprising.
The first thing I notice is how the paragraphs got shorter and more deft.
ORIGINAL reads like a list: I did this and then did that. There was this and then that other thing.
FIRST is immediately more active. The mc comes to fore—he’s moving, and experiencing the world in real-ish time, not just relating some past event, but the deets are still painfully meticulous and that SLOOOOOOWS the pacing down to a crawl.
SECOND is leaps and bounds better as regards word usage, structure, and style. It has cadence and mood. The mc not only comes to fore but his voice is so much clearer. Many of the same details remain but are described more matter of factly and succinctly rather than painstakingly or with many words that don’t paint a clear picture. Oh yeah, and he talks! Lol! Hooray for improved writing skills!
Journaling has helped me track and appreciate how much I’ve grown as a writer, which is not always evident deep within the trenches of writing and rewriting. Taking some time to read back those ramblings might show recurring problems. Fits and starts resolve into patterns for a writing regiment, solutions present themselves, ways to break bad habits and reinforce good ones. Causation clarified. Improvement illuminated.
Read the excerpts I’d taken, below the fold.