July 7th, 2009

Gypsy Fiddle

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.
1(25.0%)
No, you should keep it the way it is.
3(75.0%)

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