1. hankesj
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    hankesj New Member

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    Downhill slide after the first draft high...

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by hankesj, Feb 23, 2012.

    I'm rounding the corner of finishing my first draft and I had that amazing "OH MY GOD, I'M SO IN LOVE WITH WRITING AND CREATING THIS AMAZING WORLD" and now I'm feeling that overwhelming "Oh my word, this novel needs all the help it can get" feeling. I know the main culprits are dialogue, telling rather than showing and wondering how much conflict is TOO much conflict. I'm in that stage where I know I have a great story to tell and characters that are begging to be heard, but how do you overcome that feeling of self-doubt and how in the world do you start fixing and revising when you feel overwhelmed by all the changes needed?
     
  2. louis1
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    louis1 Contributing Member

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    I'm in the same position. it's scary, i'm also waiting for replies on this. ahaha good luck mate
     
  3. Henning
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    Henning Member

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    You do it chapter by chapter. It's really the only way. Self doubt is helpful, just don't get carried away.
     
  4. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    This is one of the reasons I revise as I go. I can't face trying to edit and rewrite a whole novel after I get it all on paper. It's depressing to look at a stack of hundreds of pages of garbage that needs a ton of work.

    But if you revise as you go, that stack of hundreds of pages isn't garbage - it's darn good! Sure, there's still editing and rewriting to be done, but you're starting from a good place, and you don't feel overwhelmed by all the changes needed, as you put it.
     
  5. CheddarCheese
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    CheddarCheese Contributing Member

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    Hi hankesj,

    This might sound obvious, but the only solution to this is to write. You mentioned that you doubt your abilities, and that your story needs overwhelming amounts of changing. Well, how are you going to improve your abilities without writing?

    It may seem like too much, but it isn't infinite. With time and persistence, you'll eventually get there. As you improve, your self-doubt should go away, and small once-in-a-while changes will start to pile up. Everyone has problems with their writing in the beginning, but only the determined manage to fix them. How? They write! Draft after draft.

    Sorry for not being too helpful, I also struggle with this problem at times. Good luck!
     
  6. AmyHolt
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    AmyHolt Contributing Member

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    I strongly recommend you find a few critique parnters and start trading pages. It works wonders and myself personally it's easier to let someone else point out the issues. I tend to look at my story with rose colored glasses.
     
  7. Nicholas C.
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    Nicholas C. Active Member

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    +1 to what Minstrel and Amy said.

    Do a little revising as you go (I know, not much help to you now) and find a partner who's willing to look over it with you. The latter will surely help you feel a little less overwhelmed.
     
  8. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I am not a fan of revising as I go, but it's a matter of personal choice. Like a lot of other writing issues, the answer to dealing with this lies within: ultimately, you just have to keep pushing.

    But first, realize that the fact you know already what has to be revised (and they are very common edits!) means that you've already overcome the first hurdle - which is admitting that it does need work. Moreover, you don't have to struggle with recognizing the items to be corrected - they will probably jump off the page at you. My advice is to finish the first draft, then take a break of at least several weeks. Use the time to recharge your creative batteries. I usually use such time to catch up on my reading or engage in other creative pursuits (music, cooking and photography). If I have ideas for another project, I might sketch them out a bit, and if I have an old project that needs some polishing, I might do that. Then, when you feel you're ready, get that first draft out and go to town with it.

    Having a review partner can help, but I personally like to wait until I'm sure I've done everything I can to make it as good as it can be, then I show it to someone else to see what they have to say. Also, if the subject matter involves something with real-world references - a historical, or something with a lot of technological references, for example - I would show it to someone with in-depth knowledge in that area to make sure I got it right.

    Good luck.
     

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