I’m going to go all stream of consciousness on you right now. Hold on tight.
[Something happened, which I will explain after I discuss the emotions involved.]
- Huh. That happened. That’s interesting. I should blog about it. It’s a look at the writing life I’ve not experienced before.
- No, I shouldn’t blog about it because it’s bragging.
- What the hell is wrong with you? You’re only allowed to blog about your fears and anxieties? You can’t proudly say that you feel good about something? DON’T YOU SEE THAT THIS REACTION IS WRONG IN SO MANY WAYS?
- …You’re right.
So here I go.
I was solicited to do a novella. I spent the last week researching and brainstorming, and last night I wrote my outline. As I was writing it, I felt good, it went a lot smoother than any other outline I’d experienced. So i have a character in a setting. What happens to her? What next? What next? What mistakes does she make? What next? How does it end? BOOM- 1000 word outline. Done. LIKE A BOSS. (link NSFW)
I checked it over a couple of times, all the while feeling a slow sinking feeling. This was drivel. It was predictable and weak and trite and lacked any depth at all. They were going to hate it and regret asking me to write for them. They would take my gin away. And my puppy.
Then I had an epiphany. I realized the following things:
- The text was predictable because I FREAKING WROTE IT. Of course I knew what was going to happen. The damn thing happened in my head. I knew the beginning, the end, the twists, etc.
- It was trite because I had to write it in my own style. I don’t think my own style is exciting just like I don’t think I’m particularly pretty and I think my voice is lousy. This is the same me, same face, same style, that I wake up with and go through my day. Of course it’s trite, contrived, and appallingly boring — to me.
- And lack of depth? It’s a freaking OUTLINE. Outlines don’t have depth, as a rule.
So once I remove the watermark of MUR WROTE THIS THEREFORE IT IS SHIT that I place over every story I write, and look at the story as a standalone, it might, you know, be good.
Half an hour later one of the editors contacted me. He really liked it. Mur the gladiator got a THUMBS UP and lives to
fight write another day!
And the crowd goes wild.
And then Mur stressed about whether she should blog about this newfound confidence.