Self-Doubt in Writing: This has come up a lot during this last story. Self-Doubt will rear it’s pointy beak and threaten to pinch me with it. But after wasting a month earlier this year listening to it talk trash to my face, I decided to try something new: listening to my instincts instead. I have a theory that I’m actually a really good writer. ^_^ If this is true, then if I listen to my instincts, I can only be heading in the right direction.
Two years ago (thanks in part to encouragement I got from a friend) I got this crazy notion. I was going to make a medieval/renaissance/Juliet-style costume blend for Halloween…from scratch (including a mask)…in less than a week. I looked at some pictures for inspiration, drew a picture of what I wanted, and 6 days later I had this – complete with corseted back and two-toned chiffon sleeves:
I believed I could do it (though why I have no freaking clue) and I followed my instincts.
My instincts told me to work on this story even when I couldn’t find the right main character to carry it. I decided to think about writing it anyway (after all, I had everyone else dressed and ready to dance), and one day without warning my villain brings me my main character. I didn’t really like her at first. Decided to trust my instincts and use her anyway and what do you know, she’s actually freaking amazing. Then I felt this horrible urge to write in present tense. I always story board in present tense and write scene ideas in present tense. Then I see that Suzanne Collins did it and a light bulb went off in my head because I seriously thought I wasn’t allowed to do that. So I decided to go with my instincts and write in present tense. (After a month long fight with myself that included me changing my first few paragraphs from present to past and present again to past again and then present again)…BEST writing experience ever!
Last thing I did was change the way I edit. Instincts told me to take a little longer on the first rounds (I usually breeze through the first rounds looking only for grammatical errors, missing words, and the like). Did that and I’m now going through the best editing experience of my life. It’s still exhausting, but I’m having much more fun.
So far, it seems to be paying off. But like any good scientific experiment, the true test is the field test. Which brings me to my writing journey update. ^_^
Query Update: I have something I’m happy with! And made my deadline too. =^_^= Then I went trolling for agents and Google stalked a bunch to see who would be the best matches. I also got a decent synopsis together and tested it on my brother who likes to read serious non-fiction books. It passed. *thumbs up* So my query and synopsis are ready. And after another round of editing, my story will be ready to go, too! I’m trying really hard not to be excited.