Thursday, May 9, 2013

Random Rant Thursday: Multiple levels of Suck

Hey everyone, I'm feeling pretty crappy right now. I follow a lot of authors, and I've read all about their writing process. They all talk about how I feel right now. The time when you're reading your work and you think, "Does this suck?" I heard all about it. How you look at it and you begin doubting it, wondering if it's really as good as you think it is. I hear its a pretty sucky time in the writer's life and the problem isn't that I didn't believe them...I did! The problem is that I didn't realize just how much it would actually suck.

Like in my mind there are levels of suck. There's like a little sucky, sucky, and then "Holy crap this really sucks." A little sucky is when you're walking through your apartment/house in socks and then you walk into the bathroom and somehow step into a puddle of water that your feet left on the floor from the shower that morning. Sucky is when you're walking into the kitchen in the middle of the night wearing socks and then you step in dog pee and track it all through the kitchen, only to realize what happened when you're wondering why your socks are wet, and then you cut on the light to see your dog looking extremely suspicious  with that yellowish puddle and realize you now have to mop the whole floor in the middle of the night. "Holy Crap this really sucks" is when you're running downstairs in the basement to pick up something while wearing socks, and as soon as you hit the bottom step, your foot splashes, and you cut on the light to realize the basement has flooded, everything is wet and holy crap, how am I supposed to get all this water out of here. (I include the socks because nothing sucks more than wet socks.)

That's what re-reading and editing a novel is like. It starts off just a little sucky and then slowly but surely progresses into "Holy crap this really sucks." You find yourself wading through the pool of words trying to figure out how to take all the stuff that doesn't belong out, and make everything else perfect and nice, and you have no idea how to do it, or if it can even be done.

Like the problem with my novel is, first of all, is my premise even interesting? I think it is, but I'm in my head all day, so of course I think it is. Do the words I put on the page make anyone want to read more, or pull their hair out. Is it ridiculously stupid and idiotic? Will people that read it hand it back to me with a lighter to set it on fire?

Then it makes me think about myself. I wrote it. But, like I said before, I'm in my head all day. There are things that I like and don't like that others don't feel the same about. What if all of that stuff is in the book? What if I'm just not a like-able person and all the stuff I write is also not like-able. What if traits of my characters are things that make readers think the characters are idiots? It would be then that I realize that I must be an idiot inside too. Of course, I have an extremely tough skin when I'm in front of people but still.

Anyway, I just wanted to take a break to tell you how I feel. It sucks right now, and I know I'll get through it and feel a little better when I'm done but right now, holy crap! This sucks.


Sue Bursztynski said...

As someone who has been through all this, my suggestion is, put it away and write something else. Come back to it in a few weeks or, better, a few months. Right now, you're still living with it. You're too close to it. Be glad that this is the day of the computer, when you can simply scrap the sucky bits and stick in what you want. I'm old enough to remember typewriters! When your manuscript sucked then, you had to redo the whole thing. :)

Lan said...

I want to give you a big old hug! I'm going through the same thing right now. It does suck a big one doesn't it? No amount of advice that you read can ever prepare you for moments like this and everyone experiences differing degrees of it. I've found that the best way to overcome editing nightmare is to have someone else look at it. I think your premise is interesting and judging by the way you write on your blog your writing will be great. Everything else can be fixed with editing. Once you get feedback from someone else take a step back as Sue suggests. Leave your MS for a while to let the feedback set in. That way once you feel like picking it up again you won't be so in your head about it and can make objective changes. I did that for Seeders' Poison and it's going to be vastly different to the story you read. It just took me a while to get there. You'll get there too I'm sure.

Sherre said...

Sue: Thanks so much for the comment. I would have hated to live during the time of the typewriter. That is a level of suck all its own. Here though, I dont think its a good time to put it aside. I'm afraid I will delay coming back to it. I already put it aside for like 6 months. If I put it away now I probably wont get back to it until after NaNoWriMo this year.

Lan: OMG it does. You're probably right though. I just want to fix the inconsistencies before I send it off though. There are big ones I've noticed and I dont want to confuse anyone. You're right though, taking a step back is probably just what I need.

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