1. howaboutamagictrick
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    howaboutamagictrick New Member

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    The "I hate my work" thread

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by howaboutamagictrick, Sep 25, 2011.

    Whether your work be a novel, a short story or anything else.

    I've recently finished my novella, and I just can't find anything good in it. I felt reasonably good about it during editing, but now I can barely stand the sight of it. Everything in it seems wrong. Not just some chapters or paragraphs, but really everything. It feels like it's something else than it's supposed to be. Too much this, too little that.

    Now I know these are at least partially justifiable feelings. I know there's need for improvement. The thing is, I don't know how to improve it. I can't find anything to cut and throw away, while at the same time I feel I should delete it all. Making corrections in selected places won't change the fact that the very essence of it is something else than I wanted.

    It's not about how others feel about it. Even if i could get this thing published I wouldn't be satisfied with it. I guess that in all creative work one has to be able to please oneself. Some who have read my story say that it's good, like "I can't keep my hands off it" good, but it doesn't make me feel any better. I know the plot, and it can't keep me in suspense any longer. I just look for the beauty in it and find none. I wanted to like my work, and now I can't.

    Ever had that feeling? I bet some of you have. Let's share the pain.
     
  2. Victoria Baye
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    Victoria Baye Member

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    I totally understand!

    I literally hate everything about my work the moment that I've finished writing it... I can't even bear editing.

    That's the thing that I've grown to love about this forum though... the people here give very particular critique, which varies greatly from my sweeping "I hate everything about this" opinion. Even though I'm new here, I feel like this forum gives me control over my writing. It helps to end that despairing feeling of having something with no redeeming quality. I immensely appreciate the ability to be able to IMPROVE my writing by changing specific things throughout the piece. It has spilled over into all of my writing, and made me a more willing writer who is more tolerant of their work. :)

    So yea, personally, coming from a place where before this no other living soul had read my fiction, it's really changed how I view my work... although I'm certain that I'll never have full confidence in my writing or adore anything that I've written. XD
     
  3. tristan.n
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    tristan.n Active Member

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    I've always been a bit of a paradox of egotism and self-consciousness. It's possible for me to think my work is just the way I want it and couldn't be better, while at the same time not good enough for others to read. lol
     
  4. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    I'm pretty optimistic about writing, so I've never felt that I hate my work overall. But I'm in the revision process on my book right now, so I can definitely identity with the feeling of thinking "aw crap, did I seriously write this?" about a given part of it that I realized I did a poor job on. When a scene just needs some minor tweaking to be written in a better tone or style, it's not so bad, but it can be infuriating realizing that you have to remove, add or change an entire subplot, character, etc.
     
  5. Quezacotl
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    Quezacotl Contributing Member

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    That's what all published authors say. After they submit it, they refuse to read their own book - they read it and wish they could go back and re-word a sentence. Then an entire paragraph, then an entire chapter, and then the entire book.

    Sooner or later you have to let go of it.
     
  6. dawidgetwriter
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    dawidgetwriter New Member

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    That's why you get other people to edit your work for you. Just have all the fun of creating your piece. And then pay your editor to do what he does best!
    I sympathize with you all. I feel like redoing whole chapters, and wonder why some parts of my writing don't feel right. But like Quesacotl says:
    "Sooner or later you have to let go of it."
     
  7. Pythonforger
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    Pythonforger Carrier of Insanity

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    My advice is to pinpoint down that sweeping "everything" into a few points.

    For example, when I was editing one of my stories, I got this list.

    Strengths:
    Good description
    Flowing words
    Characters I can relate with

    Weaknesses:
    Choppy dialogue
    Overabundance of thoughts
    Overuse of flashbacks
    Overuse of backstory

    Then I improve on my weaknesses and strengthen my strengths.
     
  8. Yoshiko
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    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't have anything I've written -- not anything I've stuck with, anyway -- that I can say I truly hate. If I start writing a story and I decide I dislike it then it will be tossed aside within the first 5k. If it makes it past 5k then it means it's enjoyable and therefore no matter how terrible the outcome is I'm still going to like something about it. So, rather than hating my work I'd say I love it: I adore my characters, enjoy the plotlines and I have fun rereading my stories every few months/years. If someone else thinks the story is boring or hates my characters then I don't give a damn because I do not write to please them; I'm a selfish writer who writes only to please herself and it's just a pro that I've found people who enjoy my work, too. As long as I continue to write in this way then I enjoy every second I spend working on a story even if it turns out to be terrible - I still have fun doing it.
     
  9. Dryriver
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    Dryriver Senior Member

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    Print your novella out and put it in a desk drawer. Keep it there for a few weeks, don't look at it (on paper or on the computer), and focus on some other thing - maybe writing something completely different - until you have forgotten exactly what you wrote, or your feeling of "saturation" or "dissatisfaction" with your own work has dissipated and been replaced with a more optimistic frame of mind.

    Then take out the printout and give it a fresh read, editing pen or pencil in hand. Remember to read it afresh, like someone who doesn't know the story and characters and plot points/tricks at all.

    If it still strikes you as "dissattisfying", edit it with vigour until you feel it is "solid" or "good", perhaps adding additional material that makes the work stronger. Just replacing some of the adjectives and wording in the novella with better terms can lift your work up, and your frame of mind with it.

    If that doesn't do it, maybe a partial or complete rewrite may do the trick.

    Good luck,

    D.
     
  10. Cordoma
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    Cordoma Member

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    If you hate everything about your work, then I'm tempted to say that you probably kept writing a skooch too long. Start over, or publish something else.
     
  11. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    In my view, anyone who either hates writing or hates the product of their writing should look for something else to do. Life is too short for that kind of self-inflicted misery.
     
  12. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I completely understand what it feels like because I've been there myself, several times too. and then i do exactly what dryriver just "ordered":
    Really, this is the best thing to do. Don't throw anything away. because the feeling often change when you've let it rest for a while and look at it again. Even if you still dislike it you will probably at least know why and what to do about it.
    Good luck from me too.
     
  13. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    ... why does the site double post my posts all the time lately? argh!
     

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