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Saturday, February 10, 2007

Shaken, Not Stirred

Last night, I realized something. Of all the things the Book From Hell has done to me, the worst is how it's shaken my confidence. I used to trust myself and my characters when they showed me where I should start the next chapter. Even if it didn't seem abundantly clear that the scene I saw propelled the story along on multiple fronts, I wrote it anyway and darned if it didn't do more than I thought it would.

But here I am, thinking about the next scene and questioning if I shouldn't figure something else out. That's when I realized just how much my confidence in my writing and my process has been shaken by this book. And not only am I second guessing this next scene, I'm second guessing everything I've written in this story. Should I gut it again? Do I have enough conflict? Is there any sexual tension between the h/h? On and on and on it goes.

All writers are insecure (and neurotic), it's just a matter of degree, but I've never been like this before about the actual story. Sure, I've questioned the writing, if it was good enough, strong enough, etc. But not the story.

I hate this.

Somehow, I have to lose this logical, nitpicking, self-doubt side and just immerse myself in the characters and their story like I usually do. I'm just not sure how to go about it. This is new territory and no one handed me a map when I wandered into it. :-/ And even if they had, what worked for one writer might not necessarily work for another.
There's nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.
~Red Smith
Yeah. What he said. BTW, I found this at The Web's Most Humongous Collection of Writing Quotes. There were plenty of other good ones as well.

I've decided not to go to my chapter meeting this morning. I have too much writing to do and I won't get much done today if I go.

And now for something completely different. Eternal Nights finished 4th in the Judge a Book By Its Cover Contest. It's a contest where the cover art is judged by booksellers. The Paranormal winners are here.