Stopping the stopping

Part of my problem as a fiction writer is that I’m too quick to go back over what I’ve written and declare it to be irredeemable crap. The pacing is bad, the characters are weak and uninteresting, the plot is thinner than watercress soup, etc. etc. Far, far too often, I stop to think about what I had in mind for the whole arc of the piece, and decide that it was a dumb idea to begin with.

This is usually the point at which I jump ship and start work on something far better, a story idea with much more promise. That is, until I abandon it as well.

This is a common mistake, I know. I’m not claiming novelty in my neurosis, just a recognition that I have not been consistently able to keep working on things when the writing undergoes the glass transition from fun to work.

The question is, why is it not fun? Answer: because my internal critic is whispering in my ear as I write. How can I be expected to finish anything with a refrain of “This is crap, this is crap, don’t you know this is crap” dunning in my ear?

I need to get deeper into the work of writing fiction, the part that comes after the fun of it. If writing were fun all the time, then people wouldn't say that they are working on a novel, would they?

1 comment:

  1. I've started to write without reading. I just keep moving forward. I write in Notepad, and then when I'm done I copy that into a Word doc with all the raw Notepad entries. The idea being that I'll go back and edit it in Word, but I at least have it down on paper via Notepad (which doesn't go in much for a lot of tweaking;-)


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