Sunday, January 6, 2013

Beer Goggles, First Drafts, and Tattoo Nightmares

I love it when seeming unrelated things connect like paper dolls in my mind. Beer goggles (for those too innocent to know) are what people claim to have been wearing when they've had a few drinks too many and the Star Trek fan who never caught their eye before suddenly becomes HAWT and fascinating and all sorts of kissable.
So what would beer goggles have to do with a first draft of a manuscript? Lots, my friend. Lots. Creating words and worlds, chaos and conflict—it’s intoxicating. We come up for air enamored and hazy, buzzing enough that the lines between a good start and a good manuscript get blurry and sometimes disappear.
One of my current favorite shows is Tattoo Nightmares. It’s a reality show where people with awful tattoos come to three amazing artists to get cover-ups. The backstories? Fascinating. The finished products? Mind blowing. You can hardly see traces of the botched pieces they used to have. They each leave with a masterpiece of skin art.
Being a part of a critique group keeps me from beer goggling after a first draft. I am still the artist, but discussing my manuscript with other writers helps sober me up and transform a good beginning into a work that’s ready to show others.
So how about you? Ever fall in love with an awful first draft or get a terrible tattoo? Comment and tell us about it.