That novel thing

5 Jan

Well, I’m happy to report that I finally finally after two months, including two weeks of vacation doing nothing useful, just watching videos, I finally did a little work on my novel last night.

It was very mechanical work, the kind with little substance that allows you to say at least you did it.

I’m going through that “This novel is crap, I write like crap, I am crap” phase right now. Picking it up and looking at it after all this time, it’s slow and it drags and the characters spend every scene sitting and yapping with each other like talking heads and at this late date in the editing process, I’m not sure I can change that. Not without a heck of a lot more imagination and a major overhaul.

*sigh*

10 Responses to “That novel thing”

  1. mamculuna January 5, 2004 at 10:09 am #

    Do I know that feeling!
    But I have decided that I will finish it, and even revise it, even if it’s hopeless to ever make it any good. And whenever I’m truly disgusted, I think about how I’m going to make the next one so much better, by getting started right in the first place.
    I’m sure yours is probably a lot better than you think it is.

  2. neshaffer January 5, 2004 at 10:16 am #

    Re: Do I know that feeling!
    I’m sure yours is probably a lot better than you think it is.
    You’re probably right, but in the depths of the editing phase, you’re so caught up in the trees you can’t see the forest.
    And I’m less than flexible about all this. Publishing a novel has been my dream since I was eleven years old, and I want this novel to be the first one that gets published, not some better one I’ll write down the road.
    *wah*

  3. mamculuna January 5, 2004 at 10:27 am #

    Well–you already know this–
    But now is the time to look at the parts you like. Good plot? Interesting characters? Feeling good about it is where you’ll get the energy to stay with it so you will make the changes that you can make, while focussing on what you perceive as the basic flaws will drain your energy. If it really is a problem of trees, you can work on them.
    I feel like such a cheerleader–but like you, publishing a novel has been a longtime dream of mine. So these are my little daily speeches to myself.
    On a more cheerful note, a friend found an agent who expects to be dealing with major publishers on his first novel–and I can’t say I was totatlly impressed when I read the ms. So flaws don’t equalled not getting published. And perfection’s probably not a real option.

  4. neshaffer January 5, 2004 at 10:36 am #

    And perfection’s probably not a real option
    I hate when people say that! ; ) ; ) I must be perfect.I must be perfect.I must be perfect.
    My strengths are dialogue and characters. I make great characters if I do say so myself. I just have to get them off the couch yapping with the other great characters in my wonderful dialogue and get them moving faster towards the climax of the story.
    Action! Plot! What are these strange things?

  5. neshaffer January 5, 2004 at 12:43 pm #

    All encouragement is good
    It’s that “I’m not alone” thing that makes it work.

  6. neshaffer January 5, 2004 at 1:01 pm #

    Re: All encouragement is good
    sitting in front of the blank screen and comparing myself to someone like oh, Yeats maybe.
    Yikes! That’s guaranteed to give you writer’s block. Banish those thoughts!

  7. neshaffer January 5, 2004 at 2:05 pm #

    Re: All encouragement is good
    Well, I don’t know much about fan fic, since I don’t read it and only attempted to write it once, a group fic at the ATPo posting board in the summer of ’02. But from what I understand, writing Mary Sue characters is almost human nature when you’re trying to enter someone else’s (i.e., Joss Whedon’s) fictional world. It’s that element of trying to be part of the fantasy, I think.

  8. mamculuna January 5, 2004 at 3:08 pm #

    The lurking Mary Sue
    I’m also seeing her in things other people write–good things. If you think about, Buffy herself is a Mary Sue. I think the real MS-ness is more problematic in fanfic though, because she’s so obvious there.
    Actually I’d begun to think that one of the real motivations for writing is creating a world the way you want it to be…

  9. rahael January 5, 2004 at 3:57 pm #

    I hope that phase is over very soon!
    Personally, I’d hazard a gues and say it has absolutely nothing to do with your writing or your characters, and everything to do with the holidays being over, having two weeks off from everything, and expecting 2004 to be all sparkly bright, and really all it is is the cigarette end of the last year.
    I’m cheerful ain’t I! Anyway, I’m sure that the muse will return shortly!

  10. neshaffer January 5, 2004 at 7:10 pm #

    Interesting analogy
    New Years is crushing out the cigarette stub of last year and lighting up a new one. Life as chain smoking.
    My main character is my muse, and she’s having a nicotine fit.

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