Wednesday, November 7, 2018

IWSG: Cave Dweller


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I am way down here in the deep, dark NaNo caves, and I'm struggling to find my out, to find my way through. I'm searching for a rope so I can haul my word count to higher ground. I'm looking for a light to show my plot the way forward. I'm digging for hunks of confidence, buried like precious metals.

The other day, I was reading blogs (instead of working on NaNo!) when I came across these lines:

". . . I absolutely read what I wrote the day 
or hour before and believe that it is 
this horrible, unpublishable dreck. 
I'm usually typing away at something 
and shaking my head at the same time, 
because I think it sucks. 

It's true. I've got eight published novels . . . 
and guys - it just doesn't matter. 
Whatever I'm creating right now 
is going to be the book that reveals me 
as a fraud and a hack. 
I have no confidence when I'm creating, 
so if you're in the same place - congratulations. 
You're a writer."
(Mindy McGinnis)

Maybe I'm not as alone down here as I thought . . . .

*****

Are you and your project stuck in a cave, too, or is the sun on your skin, the breeze ruffling your manuscript's pages? Any suggestions for how to get there? How's November, in general, going for you? 

52 comments:

  1. I've been there, and it's why I also failed the past two years at NaNo. Even in this project, which only started with the start of NaNO, I have a "chapter" I've labeled "FAIL" with a scene I've already decided is rubbish and isn't going to work for the story.

    I've seen your stories though. I know you've got great stuff. I believe you can do it!

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    1. I've got a version of a FAIL section in my NaNo ms, too. :) Good luck to you!

      Thanks so much, Loni! I really appreciate that.

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  2. I'm doing NaNo for the first time. And I'm working on a book that is a departure for the norm for me, and I am struggling with it. I feel as though I am doing it wrong.

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    1. Yeh for a first time NaNo-er! You might just need to find your groove with your story. That's sometimes what happens for me. You can do this, Chrys!

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  3. I have my bad days, too. Often it means a scene or chapter needs some revision, but sometimes it's just me.

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  4. I have a scene in my NaNoWriMo project that started off all right but quickly turned into something just...really weird. I just keep staring at the monitor, like, "What even is this thing?!?" So unless I can find a save for it before the end of the month, it'll be moving to the deleted scene file in December. As it is now, it is some truly horrible unpublishable dreck.

    All part of the process, right? :)

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    1. I have a section in my ms where I move stuff I don't think is going to work, but that I don't want to delete because - hello! - I don't want to mess with the word count. I think I'm going to call that section "TRULY HORRIBLE UNPUBLISHABLE DRECK." :)

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  5. You are definitely a writer. I am happy you are doing Nano. Even if you don’t make the word count I believe you have a book in you!

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    1. Oh, I've got lots of books and stories in me. It's the getting them out and in some form anyone would be able to - would want to! - read that's the tricky part. :)

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  6. I can always which drafts I write in NaNoWriMo because I write myself little pep talks right into the story. A little silly, but hey, it works for me. Have fun!

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    1. I like that idea! And it helps with increasing the word count.

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  7. I'm not in the Nano cave but I could still use a rope... or a candle. Remember echoes are fun, but sometimes so is writing. hehehe

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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    1. And if that echo coming back at you isn't repeating what you said but is actually saying something totally different??? Eeek! Watch out! :)

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  8. I've already had dreck days and good days, and today is a "whoa, how am I supposed to get all that done in the next three hours and hang out with IWSG peeps, too?" kind of day. So, back to work, then writing - dreck or no dreck.

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    1. I debated doing IWSG this month because of NaNo, but I think I'm handling it all. For the most part.

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  9. It's a joke between me and my daughter. Every time I finish a new first draft I tell her it's the worst book I've ever written.

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  10. Oh, words are pouring out of me no problem. I'm pretty aware how many of them will have to be cut for the final draft, and that the rest will all need to be changed :p It's the only way I know to write, though, so I usually don't get too discouraged. I certainly don't go re-reading stuff :)

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    1. I've gotten better at re-reading my previous work during NaNo. I allow myself to go back just a page or two, and I'm only allowed to add words or to tweak things here and there.

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  11. I've definitely felt this way. Many times. But maybe being in the editing/revising process isn't so bad because when I'm able to figure things out and everything falls into place, I don't feel this way at all! I feel the opposite, actually! Sometimes I'm amazed at how good things turn out when they started out so horrible.
    Good luck with NaNo!

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  12. Good luck this month! I love doing NaNo. Don't worry about the words this month. Just GET THEM DOWN!!

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  13. I'm always stuck in the cave wondering how to get out. But I don't worry about it or stress about it. You can do it! :)

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  14. Yup, I know that feeling, too. >< Gotta keep on trucking.

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    1. Uh-oh. Seems like we might be running out of room in this cave . . . .

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  15. So glad you shared that quote. I'm feeling it too while I'm doing NaNo. And it's so true. I think we have to think it's terrible because it means we'll fix it later. ;)

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    1. Maybe if we focus on the fixing part, the actual writing part might get easier? :)

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  16. Great words of wisdom from Mindy. I always find myself in that dark cave of despair thinking my words are the worst ever. Good to know that I'm not the only one.

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    1. If enough of us fill up this cave then maybe it will become so full we'll have no choice but to work our way up to the top. :)

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  17. I'm doing fine this November though I did not jump into NaNoWriMo as I usually do. I'm at that point in a novel where I need to spend most of my time reading and revising and editing. When I do NaNo, I like to have a brand new project to work on. Maybe next year!

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  18. Good luck with the NaNo! I'm impressed with all of you guys and gals who are down in that NaNo cave madly scribbling this month. For me, the NaNo is a No-No. I write far too slowly to ever make it to 50K in a month's time. As for feeling like a big fat fraud who is writing nothing anyone would ever want to read... yep, I've certainly felt that way before. It takes a certain amount of masochism to continue writing anyway, I suppose, but hey! It beats sitting on the front porch watching the leaves fall.

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    1. Thanks, Susan! NaNo has been - and still is! - a real struggle this time around, for different reasons. But I'm hanging in, pushing forward.... :)

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  19. Is there room in the cave for me, too? When I do a final read-through, I wonder what the heck am I doing? Will anyone read this? Although I don't do NaNo, I admire all of you who do. Congrats and happy writing.

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    1. I hope you brought chocolate! I've been down here a long time . . . . :o

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  20. I love your writing! It's so colorful. I'd love to read some more of it in a book setting!

    I used to feel like a fraud when I first started writing. I felt embarrassed to own the title of "writer". I've been writing for decades now; even with just one book published, I've completed over 10 of them and am waiting for the right moment to POUNCE back! Hahaha!

    I don't cringe at my work anymore. I honestly feel that it is good stuff (maybe that's a sign of a bad writer?). :P

    Lately, my writer's cave has consisted of editing other's stories. So much that I cringe at all the common mistakes we make when we first start off writing but I see it as an opportunity to teach and mentor!

    I still have so many stories waiting to be born and I am super excited to get back once I'm over this hill of my current project (working with relatively new writers for an upcoming anthology).

    Thank you for visiting my blog! <3
    ~Elizabeth
    :)

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    1. Thanks so much, Elizabeth! I don't have any novels/books out in the world, but I've got lots of stories - in my own collections and other publications. And thank you for Following us here at TSR!

      Good luck with all of your projects!

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  21. I often feel my work is worthless, especially the first draft. Then, once in a while, I read a section that flows and is interesting and think, Yeah, I've got something here.

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    1. I love that moment when you feel the "click" of recognition, that you really might have something.... :)

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  22. Hope you're finding your way through! You question your ability every day as a writer, but it's the only way to grow. Good luck.

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    1. Thanks, Nick! I'm getting there, slowly but surely, just like a tortoise. :)

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  23. Every book I write feels at times the worst and best one I've ever written. Writers are strange that way, aren't we? :) Keep on pushing forward. Good luck!

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  24. I'm thinking that maybe posting every week is a bit overwhelming and should break back into blogging with just our IWSG posts!

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    1. I used to blog once a week, and I might go back to that schedule in the new year, but for now I've got NaNo brain and it's pretty much all I can do to keep that from going off the rails. :)

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