Sunday, August 19, 2012

4 things when everything goes left

Nothing was going right with this story. It was forced or covered in scenes I didn't need or want.

Chop, change, move. Beginning, middle, end.

I'd work on a sequel or attempt to write one to keep my head in the story or sort of brainstorm.

I hear that's a bad idea but to be honest, I got jokes and more character depth. I had foreshadowing and NaNo still wasn't working.

(Did I mention this is the story I penned quickly last November? It's the same that convinced me I'm too competitive and writing is not about the end but getting there.)

I wrought the life out of it. I don't wring clothes as dry as I did this story. (And I was pretty good at that too.)

That story was all about the next plot point. I admit it, I love drama. Gory, bloody drama. And now I know where I went wrong.

Or I think I know.

First: writing nonstop drama is great. Reading nonstop drama with no anchor on character or world? PAINFUL.

Second: just because I'm a pantser doesn't mean that my first draft is all the meat and bones I need. First drafts for me are elaborate outlines. When working drafts, there's no hurry to get to the end point so enjoy the ride. The drama is still there and even better.

Third: if I don't love it, no one else will. And if I love the story but only like the way it's told, betas/readers/toughest critics can only get me so far before they can't pick my brain for those golden nuggets that make this story great. As a writer, all the responsibilty for the world, characters, and story falls on me.

Fourth: when in doubt, cut writing time to nothing. Read awful books (sorry, but I'm reading one that won't get to the point! I haven't stopped complaining about it, I know.) Read books that got great reviews, that sold well, that have nothing to do with what you're writing. Chances are you'll read things that change your view of words. Just get away from the computer and stop trying to fix all the things.

Will all of this be enough to save my superhero story? I don't know. It feels like it might. It sounds smart, doesn't it?

Or did I just hit the keys on my phone and lie to myself?

I'd love to hear what you think in the comments. :)