If it’s your first day back, Happy New Year. Welcome to the January edition of the Insecure Writers Support Group post. You can sign up or visit other insecure writers here… What we do is write about our troubles, or successes, or discoveries, or blocks, and hopefully get support from others in the same
We get a hint for months when we are so blocked we can’t think of anything to write about even in a blog post. This is particularly useful in the post-Christmas days of ‘Writing? Yes I’m supposed to be doing that. Maybe next week.’
I’m in that interim stage of hoping my editor will make good on her promise to finish correcting and commenting on my Willoughby the Narrator by the end of 2016, and wondering how long I should wait before nagging her. I’ve been meaning to get down to rewriting the first half of The Perihelix, in accordance with my feedback on that. This is third stage feedback, on the rewritten version. It still sucks, and it isn’t just the first chapter that’s at fault, according to the new editor, it’s the first half. The second half is quite good.
What I don’t know is where the second half starts.
I wish I didn’t know that it’s okay in parts.
I wish some of my beta readers didn’t love it anyway.
I wish I didn’t know, deep down, that this has always been a problem for me, and that I’m really not a writer at all.
But then… I don’t seem to have this problem with the Princelings books, and that took me off on a thought process of ‘why not?’ which left me with a nagging doubt that maybe they’re just as bad and nobody’s wanted to tell me. Well, that’s not true. I have lots of independent reviews which suggest they’re at least okay if not better than that. Readable and enjoyable, in fact.
Actually, I know what the problem with the first part of the Perihelix is. I cheated. Or, if you prefer, I was lazy. I put in some short stories I had already written about these characters and used them as a kicking-off point for the adventure. I didn’t really craft the reason for the adventure at all. So I DO know how to fix this. And what’s more I DO know about a smart technique Jennifer Ellis mentioned, about having each scene change the situation from good to bad, or from bad to good. It’s to create tension and flow.
And I DO know I’m lazy. I can think of lots of little incidents in my life when I did the lazy thing hoping it would be good enough, and most of them weren’t.
And while I’m wishing I wasn’t lazy, I wish I didn’t know I have to stop putting two spaces at the end of my sentences like I was taught to. I know the new style is to stick to one, even in the UK.
I just wish my thumb knew that, because it is perfectly trained to follow a full-stop with two spaces.
I really wish I didn’t know that. Because now I have to fix it.
Happy New Year!