1. I.A. By the Barn
    Offline

    I.A. By the Barn A very lost time traveller Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2015
    Messages:
    958
    Likes Received:
    720

    Here I go again...

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by I.A. By the Barn, Jul 20, 2016.

    I swear this happens everytime I think I'm getting anywhere, I have doubts about my writing.
    I was getting somewhere with my novel then I read what I wrote and thought, I don't like my style of writing, I need to change it and I'll do some short stories.
    I then was plugging away at the short stories, they were about allsorts and I was having fun. I then thought I need to do better characters and remembered an idea I had years ago.
    I developed characters, wrote a few snippets and then thought there was a reason why I scrapped this, its full of fantasy tropes and stupid things.
    I love the characters I made though and I just can't drop it again. I don't even know what I'd do with these stories but I desperately want to share them. Do I put them on a blog I'm thinking of setting up, do I keep them to myself?
    This has been a lot of waffle I know but I just don't know what to do with myself, I fall in love with an idea but then only can find its faults.

    My question is does anyone else feel this way? And if so, how do you power through the doubt or do you often find its well founded?
    Thanks, I find it very therapeutic doing this.
     
  2. Nightstar99
    Offline

    Nightstar99 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Messages:
    259
    Likes Received:
    136
    Really honestly? No.

    Writing is something I know I can do. I enjoy it a lot and I am hoping that I can manage to convince other people to read (and pay for) my stuff.

    I have written rubbish in the past and knew it was rubbish so abandoned it, but things seem to have clicked now.

    I think the fact that you have some stories finished is a great sign though, and a blog would be a good way to get feedback from other people.
     
  3. zoupskim
    Offline

    zoupskim Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2015
    Messages:
    648
    Likes Received:
    521
    For long stuff:

    Don't you DARE edit your baby until it's out of the womb. Write write write. Do you have a story? Write it. There is no style when you pile logs to make a table, just get the wood in the workshop so you can make the dang table. Do PARTIAL edits of the work you wrote the night before, but don't do in depth self-critiques. Move the plot. Get the words down, be creative, and tell your story.

    Short stories: Do whatever you want, pour your soul into those little things, and post it so people can TEAR it apart. Getting used to failure and criticism is crucial to creating anything.

    "Your story sucked."

    "Myee, well screw you."

    Versus...

    "Your story sucked."

    "Oh wow, thank you so much for reading my work. I'm trying to improve, so what do you think sucked the most?"

    Write constantly. Writing got you down? Write about what you love about writing.
     
    SethLoki, Brindy and nastyjman like this.
  4. I.A. By the Barn
    Offline

    I.A. By the Barn A very lost time traveller Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2015
    Messages:
    958
    Likes Received:
    720
    @zoupskim and @Nightstar99
    Thank you, I really have got to start posting my work to get feedback...
     
  5. nastyjman
    Offline

    nastyjman Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    Messages:
    316
    Likes Received:
    136
    Location:
    NYC
    Love them now, find faults later.

    Or--

    Write now, revise later.

    The editor inside all of us is unproductive and malicious when it's floating around during the 1st draft. Be an exorcist and exorcise that demon.

    The only time you summon them back is when you have a finished and completed your 1st draft.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2016
    Brindy and I.A. By the Barn like this.
  6. minstrel
    Offline

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,722
    Likes Received:
    4,821
    Location:
    Near Los Angeles
    I disagree. Only follow this advice if you like having 100,000 words of wet stinky garbage hanging around your office. I don't know about you, but I just can't stand that.

    I have to edit/revise/rewrite as I go. I have a need to be proud of each session's work. If I'm just piling up garbage, telling myself I'll fix it all later, I wind up hating my own draft and abandoning it. I'll also probably have to seek therapy so as not to slit my wrists.

    So the "unproductive and malicious editor" is NOT inside all of us. It may be inside you, but the editor inside me is an enormous help at every stage of writing, including the first draft. :)
     
  7. nastyjman
    Offline

    nastyjman Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    Messages:
    316
    Likes Received:
    136
    Location:
    NYC
    This is one method. OP can experiment and find out what works for them. I like having a stinky wet garbage for a first draft.

    The thrill for me is diving inside the trash heap and uncovering the gold inside it. It's a method that I enjoy very much, but might be a nightmare to others.

    Like what they say: one man's trash is another man's treasure.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2016
  8. Harmless Weirdo
    Offline

    Harmless Weirdo New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2016
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    6
    I'm of the "Just get it all written down; you can fix it later," school of outwitting my inner critic.

    But while my first drafts aren't pretty, I wouldn't compare them to stinky, wet garbage, either.

    I've done ceramic sculpture, before. And in the beginning stages of a sculpture, all I did was mound clay onto a board into the rough shape of the sculpture I had in mind. I just kept piling clay on and shoving it around until I had this big, rough, kind-of-ugly thing.

    But at the same time, it wasn't just a random form. I was still paying attention to the broad strokes--proportions and angles and volumes, so when I was done with that stage it was obvious how big the sculpture was going to be, the general mood it might convey, and which side was the front or back, and which end was the head or tail.

    A hand wouldn't have individually delineated fingers, and it might have only a vestigial thumb, but by the position and curve of it, and how it related to the rest of the figure, even a casual observer could tell if it was raised in greeting, or warning, or supplication.

    After that rough figure was established, I'd then move on through stages of increasing refinement--first by subtracting clay, then adding a little more, or pushing existing clay into the place it needed to be. Maybe I'd hack off an entire limb so I could rotate it into a better position--or completely re-sculpt it.

    In that first roughing-in, however, I didn't pile on masses of clay that I knew weren't needed. If the finished figure wasn't going to have a tail, I didn't put a tail on it. I gave myself enough extra clay so I had something to carve, and when in doubt gave myself a bit of extra, but with each sculpture I learned a little bit more about how much was enough.

    I did not create sculptures by sculpting perfect feet one day, then adding perfect ankles the next, and so on. I didn't create details such as hair or fingernails or scales until very late, when all the bigger shapes were in place.

    And that's how I write. I mound up a big, rough thing out of story and exposition until I've got the overall shape of it established--and then I go back and put it through progressive rounds of refinement (the first of which is where most of the hacking-away and repositioning occurs). Once I've got the overarching shape of the story established, the refining process is much easier; I never have to stop and ask, "Where am I going woth this?" because I already know where the bit I'm working on fits.
     
  9. I.A. By the Barn
    Offline

    I.A. By the Barn A very lost time traveller Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2015
    Messages:
    958
    Likes Received:
    720
    Thank you guys, you've given me lots of perspectives which should help and have given me something to think on. I do hope to see if my work is garbage or just a scultpture that needs a little work soon. Thanks! :bigoops:
     
  10. minstrel
    Offline

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,722
    Likes Received:
    4,821
    Location:
    Near Los Angeles
    @Harmless Weirdo, all that about sculpting may be true, but my guess is that, even at the beginning, you start with good clay. If you start with bad clay, completing your sculpture with it is a waste of time, no? When I'm talking about using my inner editor and rewriter in the first draft, I mean I'm making sure the clay is good as I proceed.

    Maybe that's pushing the analogy a bit far, but analogies are always questionable. ;)
     
  11. nastyjman
    Offline

    nastyjman Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    Messages:
    316
    Likes Received:
    136
    Location:
    NYC
    Here's a quote from Francis For Coppola regarding "write now, edit later."

    Link to interview: http://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=140870590
     
    zoupskim likes this.
  12. Commandante Lemming
    Offline

    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2014
    Messages:
    1,241
    Likes Received:
    1,000
    So, with writers, a lot of us deal with tons of self-doubt. It's an irrational thing we do to ourselves. Part of it is just learning to recognize when you're going down that mental rat-hole, recognizing that it really is just a mental rat-hole, and shaking yourself out of it. The big thing is just keep writing, keep creating, and always keep trying to get better - also avoid whatever slows you down (for instance, if you're a "serial reviser", stop editing chapter one and write chapter two. If you start a bunch of things and don't finish, chain yourself to one and finish it. If you finish stuff but are scared of editing, find your way to buckle down and edit. Etc.). Do the stuff that you like to keep yourself fueled, and if there's parts of the process you dread, spend part of your time forcing yourself to do that so you learn and become less intimidated by it (that part is always painful but it's fulfilling in the end). So that's my advice - whether it's good or not I'll leave for others to judge but it works for me.

    As for the mental rat-hole of self-doubt - this is where I usually post my trademark "the hard is what makes it great" clip from A League of Their Own. But in this case I'll go a bit stronger - that little voice in your head that always tells you your stuff is bad or that it's hard - this is what you have to learn to do to yourself when that voice starts talking....



    And yeah - unfortunately it stings - I've had to do it to myself more than a few times - but it keeps me writing.

    (DISCLAMER: Advice in video form is to be taken metaphorically, not literally)
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2016

Share This Page