Thursday, October 14, 2010

the untold story

As a writer, there's some things I'm not supposed to say.

I can't talk about how hard it is to get an idea and follow it from first draft to publication because it makes me seem like a whiner. I'm not supposed to talk about the struggle to have a balance between sweet and sexy, story and character because this thing should look like effortless magic. I shouldn't discuss the difficulty with producing a story of any length because other people can do it in weeks or even days without the slightest issue with regards to content.

I can't doubt myself. I can't doubt my characters. I can't doubt my ability to tell a story, this story, better than the next person with a similar idea.

Well, I can. I just shouldn't tell anyone.

That kind of thinking makes it hard for me to write this blog. Not all of my posts are positive, I am well aware of this. But as a somewhat beginning writer, I feel more anxiety and doubt about my writing than rainbows and sunshine. My posts reflect that. I want this blog to be honest about my writing process, which is different from everyone else's.

I have trouble focusing on one thing at a time, so I end up writing half a dozen or more stories at once. (This makes NaNoWriMo like a version of hell every year.) I am constantly checking and rewriting pieces of my story out of sequence because I'm obsessed with details. I can't finish anything longer than 5,000ish words without rewriting half of it before I get to the end. In my WIP, my concerns are those I have with every romance novel: Are the characters realistic? Does there feel like a real transition from friends to lovers to in love? Does the story drag? Is there enough description? Am I fooling myself that any or all of this is good (because I can't believe I've wasted this much effort on drivel)?

This is what goes on in the back (and sometimes the front) of my head with every scene, every chapter. It's why I'm sometimes paralyzed to the point of leaving a paragraph at the end of a chapter unfinished for days or weeks. It all has to meet my standards or none of it is worth anything. I sometimes hate that about myself. I'd actually promised myself a few weeks ago that I wouldn't get quite about the one I'm writing now. But I can't help it. I always feel like my entire career hinges on the next one being perfect. As work standards go, it's nothing to sneeze at. I just hate that I sometimes feel like I'm getting in my own way.

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