Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Getting It Right

Sometimes knowing when a manuscript is working or not is a blurry line. Barely There has definitely taught me not to second guess myself.

How?

When I first started writing the manuscript I only had a vague idea of where I was going. I did not use an outline either. I wrote a little, shelved it, wrote a little more, shelved it again, and the finally began to push through. This final time, though, I created an outline and went back over everything I had written on it. The first two chapters bothered me, a great deal. I didn't know what it was about them that I dislike so much, but I came to the conclusion I needed to toss them out, so I did.

Then I gave the first four chapters to my critique group who lovingly reminded me with every chapter that they were lost, confused, didn't know the main character as well as they would have liked. This is where the second guessing comes into play. The idea occurred to me that maybe I should never have gotten rid of those original two chapters in the first place.

So, I submitted them to my critique group. I even altered the next two chapters to reflect that change. Then I got back my critiques.

They didn't like those two chapters at all. They were riddled with things they didn't like and felt the two chapters could be deleted all together. Stepping back, I agree with them 100%.

Why did I second guess myself?

That was a moment of weakness, of self-doubt. Something writers have all too often. I also don't think it's something we can escape doing now and then.

Your Turn -> Have you ever doubted a change you made & then realized you were right to make that change?

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