Monday, April 18, 2011

Stumbling

I've decided that stumbling is good.
I always get frustrated when my writing doesn't just flow off my fingertips. I feel like agonizing over each and every word is for editing and rewriting, not drafting. Drafting. That's a great word for it, and I like to feel like I'm drafting a racing car when I'm writing. The story just surges ahead, and I'm lucky to keep pace, stuck in the draft of a great ride.
At least, that's what it felt like when I was writing my current query bait. But here I am working on my Shiny New Idea, and I thought I was ready for it. I thought I had a charging forward story, but then...
Then my doubts kicked in.
You know this list:
my characters are like cardboard cut outs
my plot is utterly unoriginal
yes I'm using the real world as a backdrop, but I'm not describing enough of it to capture the world
my voice isn't coming across, I sound like a cranky, sarcastic teenager. The bad way.
and I don't really know where I'm going.
It's no surprise that my WIP faltered right off the bat, but the idea is solid, so I kept going. I was hoping for that magical writing time, you know, before I did any research into publishing and just wrote because the story was dragging me along like some kidnapping victim. My query bait literally hijacked my life.
But I'm not the same person.
I've been rejected, and that's hard to recover from. I've lost that confidence that I had when I wrote query bait (and I thought it was the greatest book in the world--I swear, there is something mixed into first drafts that's more than just crazy love).
By stumbling, I gave myself more time to think, and now I've found some new ideas for the WIP. I can feel the draft starting. I'll probably have to rewrite all of my early chapters, but I think I've found that place again.

2 comments:

  1. You aren't the only one who's had the fun sucked out of writing by learning too much about publishing. I went through that, too, and it's one of the reasons I pay very little attention to industry news.

    I, for one, think the idea for Godmother is freaking fantastic. The snuff-you-out-and-run-with-it kind of fantastic, you know, if I weren't opposed to murder and didn't like you so much.

    My point is, publishing tells you what you can't do. And writing is all about breathing life into the impossible. Stick with the writing.

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  2. That's an excellent point, Liz. It's like my early days of science "If you have trouble with this, then perhaps you should change your major" Say it with a nice thick german accent (not stereo typing, the guy was actually German and he hated having women in his class).
    And as much as I talk about all the awful things people have done and said, some have been wonderfully helpful and supportive. But quotes like "While your application meets the bare minimum standard for our department," are way more fun to write. I'll have to post some of the quotes that got me up out of bed in the morning (and hope I don't start sounding like a pop song).

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