OK, so it’s been a year. I’m nearly done with the book, and now I’m stuck, frozen with self-condemnation. What if it’s crap? What if I’m an idiot? OK, I’m making fun, but it’s that whole problem of being able to judge your work. How can you tell the difference between when you’re being like the skinny girl looking in the mirror and calling herself fat, and when you’re actually fat and really need to go on a diet? OK, not the perfect analogy, but you get the idea.
www.createspace.com/ CreateSpace Makes Self-Publishing Fast and Easy with No Setup Fees.
www.tatepublishing.com/ Get your book published today. The industry leader for new authors
www.fullsail.edu/ Creative Writing for Entertainment. Online Degree Programs. More Info.
www.bookcountry.com/ Connect with thousands of creatives to get writing feedback and support
www.searchforpublishers.com/ Get A Free Publishing Kit With The Tools You Need To Publish A Book
bombusimpatiens has written 37 entries about this goal
I’ve been obsessing on the floor plans of my characters’ homes. During a break today I sketched them. Then, I did something unprecedented for me: I wrote in the evening. Actually, I rewrote the 7th chapter, which has been bugging me. Glad I did it. Tomorrow on my break, maybe I’ll write a description of one of my characters.It’s like a puzzle, you know. You just keep going back to it and turning the pieces this way and that to figure out how they fit together.
Rewriting my novel is proving quite a slog. A couple of weeks ago I stopped in my tracks and spent the next 2-3 weeks outlining. In the middle of that, my computer began a daily disintigration, sort of the electronic version of the dance of the seven veils, with each veil removal revealing naked technical collapse. By the end of the first week i ordered a new laptop. The old one was six years old or so. By the time the new computer arrived, I had stopped writing, since the old computer was crashing so often, I was lucky to save a paragraph. So, with the new computer, I went back to my daily planning sessions, until I think it was this Tuesday when I realized I had to stop planning and start writing again. Then, it was getting accustomed to standing atop that mountain of unwritten story and trying to plunge myself off into writing. But instead, you know, at first I kept grabbing trees on the way down, writing this cramped, self-conscious crap. But, each day, I do a tiny bit more real, free writing. So, progress. Hard-won, but progress.
I forgot about 43 things. I can’t believe it. For awhile I was religious about filing here, then I just got busy and lost track. So, here’s the update. I’m still working on the book. In fact, I was at a writer’s conference recently, and talked to an agent who is interested in seeing my book. The only problem is, I have just about dismantled everything I’ve written and begun rewriting almost completely. My main characters are the same, but more developed, and the plot is a lot tighter now. But the rewrite is pretty big, and work on that has been slow so far. For one thing, it took me awhile to build up my confidence again after realizing I need to make such drastic changes. But my attitude about going to the writing conference was: I’m here to learn, and I’m going to take advantage of everything that’s offered. So as it became clearer by the instant that I had severe plotting problems, i knuckled down and started rethinking and changing. Believe me, this was the hardest thing I’ve done, but definitely worth it. Oh, BTW, I pitched the agent on the NEW plot, not the one I’ve gotten rid of.
I learned something, too: The part of the plot where things went wrong was a part I was always second-guessing myself about. I wasn’t experienced enough to understand all the things that were wrong about that twist, but I definitely knew something was up. I need to learn to listen to my instincts. And of course, I need to learn to distinguish my instincts from just plain old insecurity—and that is a difficult trick to do.
So, I’m still writing. I’ll be posting more as the days go on.
Maybe it was hubris. I don’t know. I was feeling particularly good about part of my story. I decided I felt so good about one section, I would share it with someone. I read it aloud. Suddenly, I felt utterly naked. Completely vulnerable. I felt like I had made a tremendous mistake. I couldn’t sleep. My friend said she liked what she heard, but it didn’t matter. I couldn’t work yesterday. (Part of that might have been exhaustion, I’ve been insomniac all week, Saturday night just the most recent. I napped a lot yesterday.) This morning after much delay I got to work. Had a lot of trouble getting started. Questioned everything. Felt really awful. Bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. I had no idea how vulnerable I was on this. What did I expect? All this effort. It’s been really the main thing in my life since May. If it sucks, ...well, if it sucks, I’ll have to just try again. So my confidence is really low right now. Hope it passes. Wish I was a better judge of my own work. I have no perspective.
Ah, this is exciting. I’ve got the plot within a chapter of the peak in the action. I sketched out this last chapter, and I’ll begin writing it tomorrow. Everything is set for the crisis I’ve been leading up to.
It's funny how my own writing habits have been changing. After those marathon 1,000, 2,000, 4,000-word days, I've been down to a few hundred words a day, yet it still feels like I'm doing exactly what I should be doing. My goal is to not miss a day of writing this month. I'd like to wrapthe book up this month, but I don't want to set the goal in stone. Let's just see what happens. Word count as of today: 86,302.
I cried this morning when I sat down at the computer because I am not Saul Bellow. I started reading Herzog last night, and I just couldn’t get Saul’s magnificient prose, incredible description, rich characters, out of my mind. But I wrote anyway, and once I got into my groove, it felt pretty good despite Saul. (Because of Saul?) I haven’t checked my word count for weeks and weeks, but I decided to this morning. I’m at 79,000 words. I can feel the story reaching the tipping point, that moment where everything changes, but I have a little farther to climb before it does.
I’ve been slogging, rewriting like crazy, and I’m just amazed. The characters amaze me. I took quite a bit of time to rework one section of some 14,000 words, giving the characters more depth, more complexity. While I was doing that, a friend and former journalist told me about the reporter’s tendency to explain, so I went through the section again with that in mind and, I think, made some really good changes. Yesterday I was looking at some writing websites, and I read
- and probably most people who sit down to write a novel know this, but I’m proceeding backwards - forget about plot and focus on character. Then the character makes the plot. So, this morning, as I set up for the next major section, I really focused on this with some very interesting results. When it’s time to go over this first draft of the book I’ll have a chance to apply a lot of the lessons I’m learning now to the first part of the book. Things will change a lot. It’s cool though. I’m happy.
Ran into a friend Saturday night who, like me, comes from a newspaper background, and, like me, is writing fiction. She has been at it for a couple years now, so I was dying to tap into her experience. In that short conversation, she gave me a lot to think about. One was, that one handicap of newspaper writers is we overexplain instead of letting the action provide the explanation. When i hit the computer this morning, her advice was on my mind, and it was a great guide in reworking a section that has really been a drag on my progress. ...btw, I’ve stopped keeping a word count for the time being. It was working as a great motivator for three-four months, but it no longer was filling the bill. Most important for me is just getting up in the morning and working.
The last two weeks were anything but productive. First there was the busy week at work, and then I was out of town in Chicago most of last week. I finally got back to writing yesterday & today. I’ve had to go back into the plot and make some changes, add some elements. I don’t know how many words I wrote. I’m feeling really nervous about the whole thing. I’m just trying not to think about it too much. ... I was instructed to tell my doubts: It’s all right. I’ll figure this out. Don’t push me.
bombusimpatiens has gotten 90 cheers on this goal.
- Dreamer~ cheered this 3 months ago
- TheBestUsernameEVER cheered this 4 months ago
- coldclarity cheered this 5 months ago
- PicklesTravel cheered this 19 months ago
- WhyteGuy cheered this 2 years ago
- erickuke cheered this 2 years ago
- notjustlaura cheered this 2 years ago
- thislittlelight cheered this 2 years ago
- friszman cheered this 3 years ago
- Lors2911 cheered this 3 years ago
- ImGonnaFly17 cheered this 3 years ago
- Holly cheered this 3 years ago
- ach1228 cheered this 4 years ago
- Kaze_no_ou cheered this 4 years ago
- Lisa Barker cheered this 4 years ago
- sparkleman cheered this 4 years ago
- Lindsay cheered this 4 years ago
- Thomas cheered this 4 years ago
- Zeal4Living cheered this 4 years ago
- ACrofford cheered this 4 years ago
- Cmpkittykat cheered this 4 years ago