Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Work In Progress Wednesday!

This week, I finished (BAHAHAHA, oh, ahhahah, excuse me *cough, cough* ) revisions on my manuscript.

And by finished, I mean I finished going through a last comb-through edit for passive language, clunky sentences, etc. Now, I'm working on upping the anty in my ending scene, fixing a middle scene which my husband pointed out needs fixing (bless him), and sending it to betas, and editing it again myself.

Thinking about this whole process today, I have to admit, I started to get discouraged. Looking at my book, I found myself thinking "will it EVER be good enough?"

After thinking this, I had a couple of epiphanies, I'd like to share:

1) I'm the one judging myself most harshly. I am asking if it will ever be good enough to please ME. Not if it's as good as I can get it, but if it's good enough by my impossible standards.

2) To be "good enough for me" I would have to concentrate hard enough to instantly become George R. R. Martin.

3) I'm never going to instantly become George R. R. Martin just by willing it to be so.

4) I want each book I write to be my absolute best possible work in that moment. And then I want my next book to kick that book's ass.

In conclusion, no my work will never be good enough for me because I'm the kind of person who always wants to be better. I will do my absolute best on everything I write, but when it gets to that point where I can't do any more, I have to let it go.

I realized, too, that I'm proud of what I've done with LEGACY OF THE EMPRESS. Sure it's not George R. R. Martin, but it's me. And maybe that's a very good thing. I like to think that it is :).

Now it's time to do another once-over (or twice-over), and believe in my book and what I've accomplished.

I think, too, that those of us who are unsatisfied with our level of work (even though it's our best) are the ones who are going to continue to improve over the decades, getting better and better with each novel. That's going to separate the good writers from the great.

I want to be great. I want every novel to be as close to perfect as possible, and then one-up myself next time.

What do you guys want? What are you going to do to get it?

How was your week? :D


Abby said...

Yea!! You're done! Woot! Woot!

I'd do a cheer, but it would be lame. Trust me. :) Scary lame.

I know exactly how you feel. I've always been my worst critic on everything I do. I don't think my writing will ever be up to my unreasonable standards. And those standards are always getting higher, because I'm always learning new things. All I can do is try to improve and somehow find the ability to accept that it's good enough to submit. Hopefully, soon. ;)

christine said...

#4 is SO TRUE. When I finished Chaos Within, I thought it was good. Until I wrote Agent of Chaos (the sequel) and saw all the problems with book 1. Then I started to write something TOTALLY different for me - Lacrimosa. And in doing so, I figured out a couple things I MUST do to the other books to make then better. I can absolutely understand why people say that your first book really isn't always THE ONE...This has been an amazing learning curve!!!

Great job on finishing!

Cole Gibsen said...

I used to be that way - until I started the year of 1,000,000 revisions (kind of like Disney's year of 1,000,000 dreams - only replace the fun with crying). Now I can't get the dang thing out of my sight fast enough. LOL

FictionGroupie said...

I'm a perfectionist, too. Sometimes, you have to pry the manuscript from your hands and just walk away for a while.

Mandy said...

Congrats on finishing! I know what you mean about worrying about every little tiny thing. I just went through that, and desire to make the MS ab-so-lute-ly perfect is exhausting! Take a deep breath, fix those scenes and send it off to your betas. I'll bet they they'll be impressed!

Badass Geek said...

I am forever my worst critic, whether it is music or words that I am writing. But if I let it sit for a week and come back to it with a fresh mind, I realize that more often than not... it's better than I thought.

Rebecca Knight said...

Abby--like my cheer on your blog wasn't scary lame ;). Good luck w/ your own revisions!!

Christine--learning curve is an understatement. At least we're growing, though!

Cole--"only replace the fun with crying" made me laugh out loud! SO true!

FictionGroupie--I know, man. I feel like it's almost my book's first day of Kindergarten and I just have to let it go. So I don't embarrass it in front of the other books.

Mandy--thanks for the confidence! :D I needed that.

Badass Geek--that is so true. Doesn't everything seem like poo right after you've written it? Then later you're like "huh, this kind of rocks!" Keeps us humble, at least :).

B.J. Anderson said...

I like things to go fast! The faster the better! Ok, maybe not too fast or you might miss something, but there has to be some kind of middle ground.