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Thursday, September 5, 2013

IWSG: Admitting Defeat

Insecure Writers Support Group Link Here.
1st Wednesday of the month is Insecure Writers Support Group. Wherein I post about the difficulties and joys of writing. I'm running a bit late this month :)


I've been very unhappy with my manuscript for a long time. I have edited the first five chapters roughly ten times and I've finally made it chapter eleven and I have just been pulling the story out of my rear because I'm not loving it anymore. It could be because I've been editing it for nearly five years and that is four years too long to be yanking my eyelashes out over it and to still not know my heroine's motivation.


So for a few months now, I've been wanting to set the story aside but I was scared to do it. I worried that perhaps I'm just being a baby about editing and that I'll be doing the same thing with my next novel when the process gets difficult. But for the last month I've been on Pinterest figuring out what my next novel's characters look like, what kind of car my heroine drives, creating the name of the small town in which it's taking place. I have been setting up my next story and avoiding my current one like the Red Death.


Then my friend and fellow writer Meika, sent me a link to a hilarious and wonderful blog post called, "25 Steps to Being a Traditionally Published Author; Lazy Bastard Edition" by Delilah Dawson. Seriously if you are a writer, you need to read it. It's helpful and funny and full of cuss words (which I love). So I read it and realized how much work is involved once the manuscript is written. After you've poured your blood and sweat and tears onto the paper, edited them, revised them, eaten your self-congratulatory cupcakes, you still have sixteen more painstaking and exasperating steps to get the thing published. And once I read those steps, I realized that I didn't like this novel enough to take those steps. At least not right now.


So I have set it aside. And it sucks. I rely heavily on my writing group for support and I feel like I let them down. I know it's for the best, but this feels a lot like a failure.


On the upside, I started my next novel and it's coming along nicely. I love my setting, I love my hero and I think my heroine is awesome. So theres that.


Yay?

12 comments:

  1. Sometimes you do have to push it aside and work on something else. I think it's, like, a rule or something. And who knows, while you're working on this new one, an idea for the other might unexpectedly birth itself.

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  2. Eh, you're not letting anyone down! While I'll miss your old characters, I can't wait to meet your new ones! I've already heard so much about them that I'm super excited to finally read their story. Also, you gotta write what you love, and if you're not loving the other story, there's no point :)

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  3. Hi Mencara!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! "25 Steps..." Lazy Bastard Edition is hilarious! Great recommendation. Made my day!

    -A

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    1. Wasn't it great! Thanks for stopping by my blog.

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  4. You can always come back to it later. Then you will have gained some distance and experience. I went back to a manuscript I wrote over thirty years ago and after a rewrite, it became my first published book.

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    1. Wow! That's cool. I think I learned a lot about writing while working on the manuscript but I had fallen out of love with it. I might come back to it later. Right now, I'm excited because I gave myself no more than a year to write this manuscript fully and to start editing. No putzing around for another four years.

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  5. It is a daunting task to get up every day and write something that is just awful. We get gold stars! Happy IWSG Day!

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  6. I don't think there's anything wrong with setting a novel aside. After all, you can always go back to it. In the meanwhile have fun with the new WIP.

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  7. I think that setting a novel aside can be a good thing. The first two I wrote are sitting out there in the world and I don't actually like them that much now. You have to be willing to say that something is not good enough to have your name on as a writer.

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  8. I think that's definitely a yay! Knowing when to stop on something is a skill that took me a long time to learn. I'm not talking writing, I mean friends who suck the life out of you and add nothing positive to you, only take, take, take and what you do is never enough. No more! I'm off to read that post. I love cuss words. Sixteen more steps you say? Yikes. I'm scared...and I still haven't finished the first draft...
    Tina @ Life is Good, co-hosting IWSG this month

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! I've been neglecting my blog and I missed IWSG yesterday didn't I? Crap. Ah well. My new novel is coming along nicely and it's really a lot easier to write. I don't feel like I'm beating my head against a wall with it. Every edit seems to be for the better.

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