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In case any of my friends or family members actually read this Blog, please consider all Names, Characters, Places and Incidents to be the product of the author's imagination and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locales are entirely COINCIDENTAL...Muaaah!! Now, really, about me: I bring the crazy wherever I go, so I've been told...I make fun of myself more than anyone else ever could. I hate: the awkward silence in elevators, watches with no numbers, picky eaters, Cancer and legalism. I love: coffee, stalking Hugh Jackman, my Spanx, COMMENTS, sarcasm and writing: Middle Grade, NA, YA Paranormal and Urban Fantasy.

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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

IWSG Entering the Revision Cave

 
 
I don't know about you but I feel like January just started- yet my calendar says it's the first Wednesday of the month of February and it's time for another IWSG post! Yikes. Time is just whizzing by in my personal life. With respect to my writing, not so much.
 
 
I've entered the revision cave. And hit a wall. Revising. Um, yeah, not my strong point. Although I have made some progress (far beyond where I've ever gone in the past)  it's only because of the support of some really amazing CPs and Betas. They are patient, kind and have helped me tremendously already. They have been nothing short of wonderful. Somehow, these ladies  actually admit to liking my story and where it's going. Overall, their critiques have been very positive. This giant stall, my friends, has nothing to do with them. Nope. Once again, it's all ME.

As soon as I get inside that revision cave, my insecurities go berserker and I begin to seriously doubt  my ability to write. I know, I know, I'm the world's worst broken record. I keep repeating the same old tired song, over and over again.   I can't seem to help myself. Because as soon as I look back, I start tearing myself and my story apart. All of a sudden,  everything I liked about my characters, disappears. I hate them. They are all flat and uninteresting. My plot is suddenly played out, stupid and trife. And my pacing, forget about it! The whole story needs to be scrapped. Who am I kidding when I call myself a writer? I am a  giant can of Chef  Boyardee instead of my Nonna's home-made ravioli. I'm a poser and no where near as good or tasty as the real thing. UGH.

Anyone else ever feel like a giant can of Chef Boyardee? Cause I could really use a few lessons in how to open up a can of whoop butt- instead of sitting here in the revision cave drowning on some seriously unsavory insecurity sauce, getting no where fast.

34 comments:

  1. Wow, it's like you've read my mind...seriously.

    I've been working on revisions for my story and have had each and every one of those thoughts.

    Don't think you're the Lone Ranger here, because I'm sure a lot of us are right there with you.

    Many times I've felt like the can of Chef Boyardee but, that's the great part about the blogging community...we can light torches to help illuminate our own 'revision caves' :)

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    1. It does help that I'm not alone in how I feel about writing. Thanks for the support and encouraging words!!

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  2. But some people like Spaghetti-O's!
    Listen to your critique partners. They are wise.
    And Mark was commenting at the same time I was and my first comment was gacked!!!!

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    1. "But some people like Spaghetti-O's" Oh my gosh LOL!!! Sorry your comment got gacked. Thanks for the laugh and encouragement. I have to confess, in my Italian family, eating sauce that came from a jar is never done. It's considered straight up heresy. LOL

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  3. Sadly, that insecurity is never going to go away. I could be having an amazing day, where people I respect love something I wrote and can't stop raving about it. I feel on top of the world. But a few days later, when I go back to read my stuff, I decide all those people were smoking something because there is no way they were talking about THIS. *sigh* I feel like a giant can of Chef Boyardee all the time, and I don't have any spectacular advice except that if you love writing, keep going. Learn what you can as you revise, listen to CP's, and if it's terrible in the end...so what? Start writing something else. It took me several books to get to a point where I feel good about my writing. And that's okay. Do it for you.

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    1. I do love writing about (99.9% of the time), LOL. I hope that this insecurity is just me being too hard on myself and I don't actually suck it as hard as I think I do.- Knowing that I am not the only one plagued with such doubts (even someone as talented as you feels this way from time to time) makes me feel much better. Thanks so much for the comment. It really helps xo

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  4. I actually like revising. Weird, I know. It's the first draft I find hardest. I hope you're not in your cave for too long.

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    1. Wow- you really like it? Holy crow Annalisa I wish you could rub some of that love of revising off on me, LOL

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  5. I think we have all been there. Listen to the CP's is a good idea but another is to learn something new. It has helped me great deal when I got to hate my wip. I learned something new about those things I didn't like (my character development among them). It has worked miracles. :)

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    1. Thanks so much Al- loving all the support today.

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  6. Definitely, definitely can relate. Revisions on an entire story can seem insurmountable. If you're really stuck, try picking one thing out you'd like to improve and work on it until you feel you've nailed it.

    Maybe it's that stupid, nebulous term 'voice'. (Just an example.) Take your MC and think about the three things most important to her in the world. These don't have to be things in the story world, or even mature things. Maybe she loves video games, misses her dead brother, and is obsessive about romantic comedies. What kind of mindset would someone who is lonely and loves romantic comedies and playing video games--I'm talking over the top loneliness and love here, because you can't go small with voice--have about everything?

    Start going scene-by-scene and layering it in. When your done, and perhaps a beta/CP or three says, 'I love the voice!', move onto the next thing troubling you. If it's plotting, get some craft books and try to apply a couple of things in the same fashion (scene-by-scene).

    It's tedious for sure, but you'll quickly develop a sense of purpose in your revisions, and like painting a room, be motivated by being able to finally visualize what the final product is going to look like.

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    1. E.J.- Oh my goodness what great words of wisdom, and how incredibly kind of you to take the time to write all of this out for me!! I am going to take your advice to heart and get started right away on that technique. Thank you. I really appreciate the help.

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  7. I always hate it when I get blocked while revising. It can be so difficult to overcome sometimes, just like the insecurities! The best way to get over it, though, in my experience, is to take a step back and not think about the project so much--or, if possible, at all. (I know, I know--easier said than done!) Good luck finally getting past your own revision block and not letting your doubt get the best of you!

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    1. Hi Heather- I was thinking about taking another break from my work, but if I keep doing that, I'll NEVER finish this stinking story. And I have more I want to tell. Oh, yeah, that's another one of my problems, I can't seem to move on to another project, with all the revisions on this one looming over my head. OY!!

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  8. As soon as I get inside that revision cave, my insecurities go berserker and I begin to seriously doubt my ability to write........Wow, I could have written that! We might be related. For whatever reason I decided I should be writing 3rd person instead of 1st person......so I started over with my manuscript. I throw it in a drawer, I pull it out, I throw it in a drawer, I pull it out! You see where I'm going with this! ha ha
    I love to write, but hate edits. But I guess that's part of this writing game? I'm so glad Alex started this IWSG.....and I'm so glad I found you! Good luck to you and keep writing----you really are very good!

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    1. Hi Kathryn- So nice to meet you- Great big *hugs* and welcome to the crazy! (A/K/A the Bird's Nest). I'm sure glad you found me too. I'm seriously relieved to know I am not alone in my insecurity. It's hard to overcome, but I think all "artists" and creative types suffer from this type of thing, from time to time. Wish I could stop comparing myself to everyone else around me, and just be proud of what I've done every once in a while... Thank God for Alex starting up this group of nutters, LOL

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  9. I think I prefer revising too. But, just take it a little at a time. I like EJ's idea. Just tackle one thing at a time...or 5 pages, or one chapter. Baby steps...then maybe it won't feel so overwhelming.

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    1. Hey Liza- Baby steps- I like that. It's what I need to do. Looking at the project as a whole is just too overwhelming. Thank you so much for the comment and great advice!!

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  10. I hate editing, I hate revisions, I hate it that I can't write that super novel right out of the box. BUT, no matter what I love my story and storytelling and I really, Really, REALLY like my MC. So, I remind myself that NOBODY writes that super novel right out of the box (especially not me) and I get to work. I do finally have the help of a super CP and an excellent writers group. When all else fails I crank up some of my favorite music and sing along especially 'Die Vampire Die', Ha, ha, ha.

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    1. You have been such a great help with my revisions- I feel like such a beotch for even complaining!! It's just me doubting myself, again. I do that a lot. In all areas of my life, not just my writing. It's my personality to be self-depracating to a fault. Honestly, I make fun of myself more than anyone else ever could. I don't like to give myself a break very often. I need to learn to do that.

      And a little Die Vampire Die cranked up would definitely help make me laugh.

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  11. Lol! I don't mean to laugh at you, but I think the 'Chef Boyardee' metaphor alone proves that you are a writer! That is so perfect!

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    1. Oh, you can laugh!! Please- you are one of the few people who actually gets my warped sense of humor. LOL

      You really are so awesome Rach- and have helped me so much. I can't begin to express the appreciation and love I have for you and your never-ending help, with the neurotic mess that is me. *Hugs*

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  12. I know what you mean! I'm in the revision cave too, but I keep running out for snacks and forgetting to return. We just have plunder forward. Those CP's are lifesavers! :)

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    1. Hey Krista- Keeping a never-ending supply of chocolatey snacks and coffee is paramount to the success of any writer, if you ask me. Nothing else will do. Cheers to plundering forward and amazing CP's!!!

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  13. Focus on the positive. One of my favorite parts of revision is stumbling upon a piece of great writing that I don't remember creating, and thinking, "Wow, I made this? That's great!" I'd much rather focus on that than, "Wow, I wrote this? I'm an idiot." :)

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    1. Hey B-Um, I think everything you've written (that I have read so far) is genious. I'm sure your moments of wow, I made this, seriously out weigh your moments of idiocy. :)

      Believe it or not, this morning I found an old writing folder from high school that made me laugh and smile. It was a little "dark" (but I was listening to The Cure a lot back then, LOL) but some of it was pretty good. I might even post some of it in the future.

      At first I laughed because I can't believe I wrote all of that deep stuff back in high school when I didn't know shit about life or anything in general. And yet, it made me smile, because it wasn't all made of suck. I have to say, for a high school kid, some of it was pretty good. Amazing! I actually complimented myself on something. There's a first for everything.

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  14. Revisions are definitely no fun, even if they are so necessary. I tend to go through the extremes of "This is the best thing ever!" to "This is all terrible, terrible crap." Good luck revising! And it's almost always better than you think it is. :)

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    1. Thanks so much Cherie! The writerly support and love here is outstanding.

      Yep, I vascillate between loving and hating my work too. Here's hoping it's really much better than I think it is...

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  15. I think everyone feels like this sometimes!! It seems to be an inherent part of being a writer. But, if you need a fresh set of eyes, I'm good at critiquing. I'd be happy to look at a couple chapters if you want. I know sometimes a totally new perspective you haven't heard before can be helpful. Just let me know if you're ever interested!

    Also, I nominated you for an award on my blog. You don't have to answer any questions or anything. :) It's an easy one--you just have to pick it up. Feel better and no more beating yourself up!!

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    1. Aw, Tamara, you're a doll!! Thank you so much for the gracious offer and the award. I am so grateful. You really know how to lift up a girl's spirits!! Thanks again-

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  16. Hey Jaybird, thanks for stopping by my blog. When you write your first draft, do you do any editing as you go? I tend to edit parts of the chapter and then the entire chapter before I move on, and that seems to make editing slightly less mortifying. But it also makes the first draft writing very LONG. No easy way around it, I guess--writing is full of insecurities! I do like your cave, though! Hope you don't drop your laptop into the water. I'm glad you have great CPs and betas.

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    1. You're welcome :) And to answer your question, yes I do stop and go back and edit. That's probably one of my biggest hang ups- because whenever I stop and go back I hack everything I've written to death. Most of the time it was so much better in it's organic state than after I tear it apart. I've got writing insecurities in spades- ugh.

      The cave in the picture is Penn's Cave (in Pennsylvania). First cave I've ever been in where you need a boat to get around in it. It was a super cool place! The kids and I had a ball exploring it.

      My CPs and betas are the best. It's me who's the rough one. I have always been very hard on myself, unfortunately.

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  17. I've been in the revisions cave for months and I'm almost out; I'm finally able to see the light ahead of me. When I hit the point where I change something just to change it back a few minutes, then I know I'm where I need to be and can move on. Follow the light and paddle out of the cave. Best of luck with your revisions!

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    1. Thanks so much Michael- I will make it out; eventually!

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