Friday, October 2, 2009

Truly Awful

As I wrote the first half of my rough draft, I knew that it was just okay and maybe slightly bad which is fine because it's my rough draft. And plus the book had direction and the ideas were spilling off my fingertips, and that bolstered my writing-ego.

However, lately I must say that my rough draft has reached the summit of Truly Awful.

The plotline is kind of spinning around in circles and making me dizzy. The writing, losing its spirit in the face of dizzy plotline, is rudimentary and dull. I feel like my characters are really unexcited about what I am putting them through, and they just aren't delivering their lines. In other words, my dialogue is also Truly Awful.

I am embarassed to read it to myself. Maybe if I just pretend someone else wrote it...

While part of me believes stopping and re-examining the storyline would help, I am more inclined to just plow through without looking back. I just need to get to "the end", and then I can clean up the mess later.

The end is so close. I'm almost there. Must. Keep. Going.


  1. Yes, plow through, and then go back and clean up the mess. That's the only way I know how to do it. Good luck, and I'm sure it's not near as bad as you think it is right now.

  2. Ah, the crippling doubts. Been there. Go there once or twice a week, actually.

    All I have to say it, "DON'T LISTEN TO IT!!!" It's the evil Doubt Demon, sent to torment you.

    And don't get me wrong, I happen to be a fan of Inner Editor. She's something different. Inner Editor says, "Hmm, maybe his character arc could be stronger." or "I'm not sure this motivation is consistent."

    Doubt Demon says, "This sucks. Don't kid yourself. Why waste your precious time slogging away in a book that's garbage?"

    See the difference?

    So just kick that Demon hard in the pants! (Says Renee who is daily tormented by it herself. . .) Well, do as I say, not as I do :)

  3. When this happens to me, it's usually because I am not sure how to get from point a to point b....I find myself getting mired in mediocre-ness (yeah, I know, mediocrity). What I do is just skip ahead to scenes I know I want to write. I tell myself that I'll fill in the rest later, but sometimes, it doesn't need filling. Sometimes it just kind of works.

    Good Luck.

    (It isn't truly awful.)


  4. Girl, I totally feel you. FINISH IT!!! (I say that selfishly because I'm psyched to read it partner! :P You'll have plenty of time to revise and edit when you're done. Just get 'er done! (Trust me, I'm preaching the same thing to myself!!!)

  5. I, too, and going to be a cheerleader and say, "Plow through!"

    *Jumps, doing a very pathetic attempt at a mid air split.*

    Characters, I've found, don't like going through the crap we put them through. And judging by the word count you have up, you're at the part where I the really bad stuff happens. So they will drag their feet like stubborn toddlers do at the doctor.

    That doesn't mean you're a bad writer or that your story is bad. Writing is just HARD. But you can do it. You will finish. And then you can worry about the whole "making it better" part.

  6. Susan-Ha! It may be worse than truly awful, but I also know that I can make it better. Just not in this stage.

    Renee-Wow, I knew all about Inner Editor, but you've never told me about Doubt Demon. Is there anything else I should know?

    Shelley-That's good advice. One reason I haven't done that yet is because I am such a linear writer, but I should give that a try.

    Patti-You're right about the motivation. I've tried editing as I go before, and it's way too slow. There is no light at the end of that tunnel.

    Beth-Thanks for the encouragement! I will try to get my book out of the Truly Awful stage before I send it to you :)

    Natalie-That was a very pathetic mid-air split. Never do it again on my blog. The stubborn toddler analogy is perfect. I feel like my book is more difficult than my three year-old. And yes, very hard, this writing thing.

  7. I always feel this way. LOL It might just be you, or it really might be horrible. But once it's done I think things are so much easier to fix... unless there's a plot point gone awry. In that case, you might want to fix it now. Depends on how close you are to the end though. Good luck, girlie!

  8. I'm so sorry to hear this! I'm going to go out on a limb here and say maybe you should stop and start over?

    I'm only saying this because I felt this way with Monarch and I totally wasted my time plowing through. And then I ended up rewriting the whole thing anyway.

    In these instances, you HAVE to trust your gut. I ignored mine. Everything inside of me kept telling me to start over, but I never did. URGH.

    However, if there's something inside you saying it's worth it to get to the finish, then DO IT! I really doubt it's Truly Awful, as you say. One of the best things is to take just a little bit of time away from. I know that sounds impossible. :(

  9. Jessica-I think that lately there have been several plot points gone awry. But it is hard for me to diagnose the problem. More work for me later? Probably. Will it feel good to finish something, even a Truly Awful something? Oh yes.

    Glam-I think my gut is telling me to finish. I've written most of my first draft (all but about 5000 words) in the last five weeks. So I think I can wrap it up in a couple of weeks. Since it hasn't been months and months it is easy for me to say "I'll finish and then we'll see." I do plan on pushing pause after this rough draft, and I do plan on rewriting. This baby definitey needs it.

  10. I only stop and go back if I get writer's block. When I get blocked, I think, oh no, something went wrong somewhere. Then, when I go back and smooth it out, it seems to fix everything. So I say, stop and analyze if you're getting stuck. But if you're still writing away, I say: LET MEDIOCRITY REIGN. :)

  11. Kasie-That is one of the biggest writing lessons I've learned lately-that my rough draft can be just mediocre.

  12. I frequently hate my books and then I have a breakthrough, change a few small things, and I LOVE them!! It definitely is a love hate relationship. But I think your smart to realize that your rough draft can be just so so, a diamond in the rough, so to speak. And we all know what you get when you take the time to cut and polish said stone: beautiful, sparkly, happiness (does that make me sound materialist? really, it's just an analogy). :)

  13. Ha! No, not materialistic just realistic because beautiful, sparkly manuscript can equal happiness. You are right-a love/hate relationship. I hated my book for a few months, and then when I restarted it (for the third time) I loved it again.

  14. I've come to believe that every draft (whether it ends up in a dusty drawer, or gets reworked 10x over) is much-needed experience for a budding writer. In other words, you're NEVER wasting time when you write, because it's all one big tutorial. Keep the faith, and best of luck!

  15. You can do it! As much as I dislike editing/revising, I dislike leaving a story in a muddle. It's hard to write through the muddle, but it must be done. Good luck!