Friday, January 4, 2013

Why Do We Feel Our Story Sucks? That evil demon on our shoulder...

This is probably an issue almost every author faces at one time or another. You have this great story idea. You start writing the book and it is rocking. Everything is in place and it seems like you can't type fast enough to get the words into the computer. And then it happens. You get to your computer to write that next day and as you look at the story, suddenly all the work you put into it now looks like the biggest pile of garbage you have ever seen.

This moment really happens for several potential reasons and, like everything else in writing and publishing, there isn't one cause or one solution.

The book does suck -
Hopefully this isn't the case but it can certainly be the problem. You have been so hooked with this project that you really were writing with blinders on. You simply didn't look at the project until now and when you did, you now could see all of the flaws. Don't worry about this. It can happen, but there are many easy solutions.

What many authors do is throw the whole story out, and while this is a solution and it might just have to be done, it isn't always the best approach. Sometimes simply just thinking about some solutions might keep you from having to over-haul the entire project. It might simply be a simple tweak.

You are too close to the project -
This is a slightly different version of writing with blinders on. In this case, however, you now know the project so well that you become a bit too critical about every little thing. If a phrase is wrong you now assume everything is flawed. The solution on this one is simple. Take a quick break. Work on your business side of writing and then come back to it. You will likely find that same excitement in your writing when you return to read it again.

Writer's block turns to extra criticism -
This is simply your frustration and you are taking it out on your writing. You know what I mean on this one. You have a bad day and then take out your frustration on appliances, pets, kids, spouses and so forth? In this case, you took it out on your writing. Stop and relax. Just because you stumbled this one time does not mean your entire story is a piece of garbage. You just have a rough spot. Breathe and take it easy.

A non-writing related event brought you down -
See above. Instead of writer's block it might be something non-writing related. It might even be a critique or a review. So what? Focus in on the writing at hand. Look for the good in what you have written and move on.

So, what do you do to handle this? When does this happen to you?

1 comment:

  1. I hate that period!(And it's return frequency.)

    When I hate what I've written, I go reread other stuff I've written and know I love. Something that tickles me, usually. Once I can make myself laugh, I can usually get back at least a smidgeon of my usual megalomaniacal way of thinking I'm awesome. Then at least a glimmer of confidence returns, enough to attempt to fix it and move on. Or enough to just move on and feel like I'll be smart enough to fix it later. Procrastination can be your friend when you're banging out the first draft.