Hot & Cold!

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Hot & Cold!

Post by kenpochick » April 1st, 2010, 10:04 am

Ok. So the other night I was revising my MS and thinking, ughh this is a mess I've got to re-write the whole thing. Last night I sat down prepared to revise the crap out of it only to read it and think, actually this is really good.

Ugghh. Does anyone else run so hot and cold about their writing? Maybe I just had a bad day and it colored everything.

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Re: Hot & Cold!

Post by JTB » April 1st, 2010, 10:54 am

I feel your pain

To combat this - i have two stories on the go at the same time. It helps. the stories are different too.

I think the: this is crap, no it's great, no it's crap, no on this is genius thing - is a natural part of any creative endeavour - learning to live with it is the hard part

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Re: Hot & Cold!

Post by r louis scott » April 1st, 2010, 11:40 am

Oh good Lord yes...

I can't seem to convince myself that my book is good enough to bother querying. Why go to all that effort writing three versions of a synopsis (small, medium, and large according to various agent desires) and a killer query only to be rejected? It's time to consider ceramics or something for a hobby I guess. At least you can end up with something that, while perhaps not beautiful, might find some practical use.

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Re: Hot & Cold!

Post by Bohemienne » April 1st, 2010, 12:12 pm

JTB wrote: To combat this - i have two stories on the go at the same time. It helps. the stories are different too.
HAH! I'm doing this myself right now. I'm revising one big fat fantasy MS, and when I decide it's total garbage and want to tear my hair out, then I swap over to my new YA paranormal story. Once that one starts to annoy me and make me feel inadequate, then I go back to rewriting the fantasy story. Probably not the most efficient way, but it does keep me from ceasing to write completely when I'm frustrated with a story, which is what I used to do.

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Re: Hot & Cold!

Post by gonzo2802 » April 1st, 2010, 12:19 pm

*raises hand*

I haven't done it as much since I got into the later stages of my revision. (Now, I just hem and haw over whether each sentence sounds its best) But while I was writing it, and then in the first revision of the rough draft, I had several "this is crap!" moments ... along with several "ooh, I want to read that again" moments as well.

For some reason, it's almost always easier to believe the "my writing sucks" feelings than the "hey, I'm not half bad at this" ones.

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Re: Hot & Cold!

Post by shadow » April 1st, 2010, 12:51 pm

YES!! I have this all the time. I read it and I am thinking its horrible and then I see it in a new light and realize that its actually really good... I honestly don't know why but it happens.. we all have our doubs
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Re: Hot & Cold!

Post by polymath » April 1st, 2010, 12:56 pm

My self-doubts come when I intuit I've overlooked something knowable but unknown. Whatever it is hovers at the edges of awareness ungrasped. With creative writing, self-doubt is a consequence of knowing what I'm writing, but not completely writing what I mean. There's a disconnect between my creative vision and an audience's creative vision from unrealized context. When I read what I've written, I become immersed in my creative vision again and can't easily reconcile self-doubt because I've got the complete picture again, partly fom the writing, partly fom my creative vision of a story. My creative vision fills in gaps that interfere with completing the picture for an audience.

One workaround I use, besides reader panels, is to distance myself from the writing by visually and orally conceptualizing a story away from the text, in other words, acting it out as though perceived by a camera representing an audience's perspective.
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Re: Hot & Cold!

Post by mmcdonald64 » April 1st, 2010, 1:22 pm

*raises hand* Yep. I'll join the club. I was just reading some of my middle chapters last night because I cut something that didn't work (which made me feel my writing sucked) and had written a new scene. As I inserted the new scene, I read the part before and after to make sure I didn't have any plot inconsistances, and actually got caught up in the story.

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Re: Hot & Cold!

Post by Colonel Travis » April 1st, 2010, 1:38 pm

If you can afford to put some time distance between you and your writing (not a day or two but at least a month), it's very helpful. When I can make myself laugh or say - whoa! or whatnot, while not remembering I even wrote it, that's a good sign. Whenever I finish some major writing I shove it in a folder on my computer, save a few backup copies because I'm uber-paranoid and forget about it. Allows you to come back with a more critical eye.

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Re: Hot & Cold!

Post by Wryan » April 1st, 2010, 2:35 pm

Never. I remain eternally convinced of my own genius, and any paean that can't grasp this is clearly addled in the head.

Nah, it happens to me. A lot. A lot a lot. Sometimes I'll be writing and think, "Ugh, this is the most disgusting sentence ever set down in the English language." Then I'll go back and reread it and think, "Oh, I forgot I'm so clever!" (Or something slightly more muted, like, "Huh, this doesn't suck as much as I remember it did.")

But I agree with Colonel Travis; time really does help. I reread and make changes to everything I finish at least twice -- once just after it's finished, while everything about the story is still fresh in my mind, and once a month (or two, or four) later, when I can look at it with a much more critical eye. That really helps, and so does working on two projects at once. One often falls to the wayside, but it's still nice to come back to different characters and settings to recalibrate myself.

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Re: Hot & Cold!

Post by wildheart » April 1st, 2010, 2:57 pm

I'll sound like a broken record and agree with everyone else here- it happens to me all the time. And it is very normal. Annoying at times yes, but nothing to worry about. I would suggest that you wait a while before revising. How long ago did you finish your rough draft before deciding to revise? Because I have heard from many authors that it is a good idea to distance yourself for at least two weeks, but a month is better. And also...don't try to edit while you are unhappy. An unhappy writer might think their writing is crap when they might have come across something great. Just a thought. :D
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Re: Hot & Cold!

Post by otherside89girl » April 1st, 2010, 7:21 pm

That happens to me all the time! Yesterday I was thinking, "man, I'm a genius." And today I was panicking and thinking about cutting out whole characters, changing others, and adding completely new sub-plot lines. And now I'm just like "I just want to finish it!" Sigh.

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Re: Hot & Cold!

Post by maybegenius » April 1st, 2010, 8:32 pm

See: my username, heh :)

I often have these moments. I'm brilliant! Maybe. Maybe not. Urp.

Feeling this way seems to coincide with reading something simply amazing and then turning to my work and going "I AM SUCH A NOOB."
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Re: Hot & Cold!

Post by kenpochick » April 2nd, 2010, 11:56 am

I did put some distance to it and that helped. I put it away for a few weeks, worked on something else and then went back to it.

Last night as I was going through it I came to a realization. I'm nit picking.

You know that feeling when you're taking a test and you've gone through it over and over again but aren't sure whether you should turn it in or not. Then you finally realize, turn it in, you're just going to change the right answers to the wrong ones. That's what hit me last night.

So I have a couple of sentences to change and then I need to stop. I'll start querying. If (knock on wood) I get a request for more I'll look at it again before I submit it. I need to stop touching it.

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Re: Hot & Cold!

Post by HillaryJ » April 2nd, 2010, 2:27 pm

I wrote a sentence that was so bad that I blushed when I was reading through the chapter a week later. It was a filler, because I couldn't get the wording quite right and wanted to keep moving, but was as bad as watching a steamy love scene in a movie with your parents on the couch next to you.
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