I'm working on my new story and it's not going very well. I've got it all laid out. I know where it's going. The plots and subplots are in place and I've started writing. I'm 72 pages into the story. And I think it's atrocious. The problem is, I don't know why.
One of my friends is taking a look at it. She's an excellent writer with a strong background in telling good stories. And I know she'll be honest with me. If it's as bad as I think it is, she'll tell me. If I'm just going through a "my writing is horrible and nothing is any good" phase, she'll tell me that too.
Unfortunately, I don't think it's the latter. (Although I do go through that on a more than regular basis.)
Actually, I've noticed writers tend to feel that way more often than not. We can't be objective about our own writing. We need others to pet us and tell us we're good. Even when we're not. I think it's the nature of the job. We get so many rejections and so little good feedback that we starve for it. We need that occasional little pat on the back to let us know that everything is okay. It's human nature. Nobody can continue to work well in the face of constant negativity.
My other friend who's been getting nothing but rejections was ready to quit the other day. But after some time together, reassurance that her writing is not the worst I've ever read, she's back out there, submitting. I applaud her. She will make it, eventually, because she did not quit.
So, for those of you out there who haven't had that positive pat in a while, please accept my virtual one. Find that spark deep inside you that says you are okay - I know it's in there somewhere. Hold onto it and keep the dream alive.
As will I - even if I have to scrap all 72 pages and start all over again. :)
Birthdays: William Cobbett, Vita Sackville-West, Mickey Spillane, Mircea Eliade
Tips and Teasers: A redundancy is the use of a word or words that are not necessary and can be eliminated without losing the meaning of the sentence. "That" is often a redundant word. Consider the sentence: She told him that she loved him.
Better: She told him she loved him.
The meaning is exactly the same but the second one is tighter, without out extraneous words. Go through your manuscript. Are there places where "that" can be eliminated? Look for other useless words (She looked up at the sky - up is unnecessary. If she's looking at the sky, up is implied.)(He sat down on the floor = He sat on the floor.)
Thought for the day: "To note an artist's limitations is but to define his talent. A reporter can write equally well about everything that is presented to his view, but a creative writer can do his best only with what lies within the range and character of his deepest sympathies." - Willa Cather