seedee: (lazy fuck)
[personal profile] seedee
I'm at this point yet again, so I'm asking you, writers out there, what do you do?

You have this great prompt and this intriguing idea. You start writing and you're sure that it's going to be brilliant. You write and tweak the first chapters, plot like no one's ever plotted before. The characters become solid in your head and you find their voices. Things are starting to fall into place, and they're coming together. The plotting is done, the general arc is clear, the first 10,000 words are written, and you estimate that it's about a third of the story. You're proud of your little baby, and yourself, because you're awesome.

Then you take a deep breath, take a step back, and look at what you got. You get this sinking feeling that no one is going to read past the first paragraph. It's boring, pretentious, uncreative bullshit, and it's been done before. Truth be told, you think it sucks.

Have you been there? What do you do at this point?

Do you delete the whole thing and never think of it again?

Do you keep writing, telling yourself that you're too critical, thinking that you can rewrite once you have a draft?

Do you tweak and change until you're satisfied and then continue?

Do you go back to the plotting phase?

Do you procrastinate and post things to your journal instead of just sucking it up and keep writing?

on 2010-08-14 05:25 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
My advice is - and it's not as if I can stick to it - to not re-read what you got, but keep on writing until the story is finished.

I am convinced that what you got is not "boring, pretentious, uncreative bullshit". It may not be exactly what is in your head, it may not be what the plotted story "feels" like to you, but it's the story you are telling. Definitely wait a couple of days before re-reading again. And keep on writing. Do not replot. Stick with the story you want to tell.

on 2010-08-14 05:31 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
Not reading is probably the best advice. It's almost like a self-fulfilling prophecy. I know that the point will come, so I practically wait for it. And it's hard with my writing style, as I deliberately leave out some plot-relevant things the first time around. Maybe I should stop doing this and just write to the end, then go back and change if necessary. Aaaaaarghl.

*hugs you*

on 2010-08-14 10:19 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
I agree with the above advice.

You're too close to what you've written, and it's so easy to lose heart if you re-read too soon. Unless there are really fundamental structural misgivings you have, then trust in your idea and the forward momentum of what you've got going. It's the best working strategy there is. You can tinker and move stuff around later, but it's also funny how the pieces of the whole start to make sense as soon as you have the end in sight. ♥

on 2010-08-15 09:13 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
I think I'll try that for the rest of the story. Of course, I went back yesterday and tweaked and shortened and changed. It's not even that I think the writing itself is atrocious, it's the idea that lost its appeal. The 'momentum' you used is a good way to describe it. At one point it gets lost and then it's incredibly hard for me to pick up speed again.

♥ ♥ ♥

on 2010-08-14 11:45 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
I'm a trasher. I recently had 60 000 words of a fic, realised I hated it, deleted it up to the header and started over. I like the new fic much better.

But that being said, you've never written anything I didn't love! So I'm pretty certain this isn't nearly as bad as you think.

Maybe call in a beta. Let them know it's unfinished but you already have concerns and get that second opinion that makes all the difference.

on 2010-08-15 09:17 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
60,000 words??? I'm boggling at the sheer amount of work that is. I've done it with 20,000, but that's only a third. Did you write something completely new, practically rewrote what you had, or is it something completely different?

Not sure about betas at this point. I'm reluctant to let anyone read it. I've tried that before, but it didn't work out. The story is too unfinished, too much of it is still in my head for anyone else to get the big picture. I've talked with a friend about the general idea yesterday. Just hearing that I'm not completely insane helped a bit. I think I'll try the 'keep writing and don't look back' approach for now.

Thank you for your thoughts. ♥

on 2010-08-15 12:13 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
Highlighted everything, hit the backspace key and started over with a new concept. I could have saved it and written the new story on its own, but I didn't want it anymore. I knew it wasn't working out, and I didn't want to be tempted to dig myself into that hole any further.

And I can't wait to read whatever it is you'Re working on!

on 2010-08-15 09:27 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
The decision must have been hard. I admire that. And yay for not regretting it.


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