So you’d think that watching him play his soccer game would be like eating ice cream AND a brownie. Right?
So here’s my confession: It’s not. It’s actually painful to watch. Painful, I tell you!
Now before you lynch me, it’s not my kid. I really do like watching him learn to play the game. Rather, it’s the game as played by seven-year-olds that hurts. Perhaps it’s because I played competitive soccer. But perhaps it’s just painful no matter who you are. And the funny thing is, it reminds me of reading through one of my first drafts. Here’s why:
1. The players don’t work together. Any given player will take out his own player to get the ball.
In my first draft, my chapters don’t work together. The beginning lacks the build-up to the end, and the end just plain ignores what happened in the beginning to go its own direction. I won’t even mention the plodding middle.
2. The poor players trip oven their own feet. Often. (It might have something to do with their shoe-tying abilities, but I can’t be sure.)
Do I really need to mention the bad (stink-worthy, putrid, horrible, awkward to add a few adjectives) writing? Ack. Painful to read. And I’m supposed to make this seem effortless? Yikes!
3. The players forget which direction they’re going. And that’s usually the fortuituous moment that their aim is accurate.
Have you ever accidentally changed a character’s name midway through a draft? Or suddenly your mc has black hair instead of blond? No? Me neither.
4. Lack of coordination. Sure it’s funny to watch Charlie Brown put all his force into kicking that football only to have it pulled away by Lucy, but it’s more cringe-worthy when you know the kid. And yes, they really do land on their backs after kicking air. Ouch.
In that first draft, it’s like I’ve forgotten all the rules of writing. Setting comes in chunks that feel like Aunt Bertha’s famous stone pudding in your gut. Backstory takes the real story hostage, and adverbs go on a rampage. Dialogue feels like talking heads who portrary stiff characters who all sound like the same person. You get the idea.
5. By the second half, the players are T-I-R-E-D. The ball could be right in front of them, but they’re too tired to move their foot. As a spectator, it was hard to restrain myself from running onto the field to kick the ball myself, just to get the thing moving!
And back to the ending. It might be a tad rushed because I was T-I-R-E-D of writing the dang book. But why can’t Prince Charming just kill the bad guy with one quick plunge of his sword instead of orchestrating a whole fight scene? Economy of words, right?