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Seriously? I think I jinxed myself

I think I jinxed myself with Gypsy Fiddle by posting it on OWW. I should have finished it before starting to post. My plan made sense at the time, but now I have all these changes to make, and not even a finished product to work on. In some ways it should be easier, since I can just make changes to what's already there without worrying about changing 13 chapters. But at the same time I feel pressure on both ends, to finish it and to fix what I have, and it seems to be a bit much at the moment.

The biggest sign is that I'm working on the sequel more than I am on GF. That's not gonna work.

Real life just won't leave me alone long enough. I think I'm going to thank the last commenter, then take the chapters down for the time being. As far as OWW, I will concentrate on reviewing the work of others. It should help my own writing, no?

Then when I have the whole story written, and I'm no longer worrying about 'omg it will be too short if I keep cutting!' and no longer stressing over finishing it, I will repost.

Also, I think I need to download all the reviews I've gotten and start organising them. Make bullet points of things that have cropped up more than once and things I think I need to change. That way I'm not all over the place with 5 different people telling me 5 different things.

I have to write. Even if it's tripe only I care about. The dream is the only thing keeping me alive. I can live on the dream, indefinitely I'll bet. But I have to write. If something is keeping me from writing, then I have to change that. Not that I don't think OWW is worth it. It truly is, I've received good crits that I have already put to good use. But I think I have to find my own approach to how I use OWW, so that I can write better, but keep writing. And in an ideal world, I could keep up with the crits and the writing and editing all at once - back when I was unemployed, that's what I did, 24/7. But I have too much stress going on right now to put so much pressure on one of my main outlets.

Something else I'm learning about my own writing - again, thanks to OWW - is that when I add an element I previously did not have in a particular point in the story, I forget to go back and see the big picture it (re)creates. I'll have to focus on that as I go forward. I think for the most part I'm capable of portraying likeable characters (reviewers who didn't like them for one reason or another are a tiny minority), and for me that's a major victory.

I think it all goes back to what gets me off as a reader. There has to be a plot, of course (Way of the Wolf anyone?), but I can deal with a so-so plot if I really like the characters. Fuck, how do all of you think I sat through 4 seasons of The Sentinel? That show was shite, but the characters were so engaging, amusing, and real that I couldn't stop watching. The main reason I cite for liking Star Trek's 'Enterprise' show is the characters. Highlander: The Series was so formulaic it was painful... and yet I think I've seen every episode, some more than once.

Another thought I've had is that we all seem, to some degree, to fall into the mindset that we as writers have to follow certain 'rules'. And yet, when I look at books I read and enjoy, they're breaking most of these rules. I think I want your opinion on one of them.

Poll #1426270 Dating yourself?

I've been told to use 'a classic TV show' rather than '24' as background noise to avoid being 'dated'. Is being 'dated' such a bad thing?

Yes, you should use something timeless.
No, you should keep it the way it is.

If you answered 'Yes', please explain. Can't a story just take place in 2009? Everything about it will become dated eventually.



( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 7th, 2009 03:29 pm (UTC)
One of the things that made me hesitate before sharing the YA WIP with my critique group was just this -- I've got changes to make now to the first three chapters, and I'm not sure if I should work on that before I continue, or if I should just keep the notes and move on. :)
Jul. 7th, 2009 03:35 pm (UTC)
I think you're right about taking it off OWW for now. Not because you don't need crit etc, but because you need to finish it before you start editing it. I know from the small amount of writing I've done, that once you actually get your ending on paper, it's usually not exactly what you'd envisioned at the beginning and the story evolves while you write. You can't keep returning to chaps 1-3 and editing them to death when you're not really set in stone about how chap 13 is going to play out.

Just my opinion though, you know how pedestrian I am about certain things - gotta finish point A before even thinking about point B. ;)
Jul. 7th, 2009 05:36 pm (UTC)
Also, you may someone who can't talk too much about the story before you've finished, at the risk of...well, for lack of a better phrase, "letting the magic out." At times it feels like you simply have to share it with other people or you're going to burst, but I think that this sensation is part of what's driving you to write. So if you share it before it's done, that feeling is no longer as urgent, and it's hard to finish the story without it, usually because there's another story working in your head and wanting you to share it...does that make sense?

I know not everyone works or feels this way, but it seems to be true for me.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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