Insecure Writers Support Day – March


It’s the first Wednesday of the month, and you know what that means don’t you ;)

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Many thanks, again, to the wonderful Alex J Cavanagh who created and hosts the blog hop :)

Ok, so last month I was in a real state, suffering from Writers Block, big time! And, although I was able to establish why I was struggling (because it just wasn’t working), I couldn’t see a way out of it. Thank you so much for all your kind words of advice and support. It really helped me make the decision to start rewriting the WIP again (scrubbing the 25,000 words of rewrite number 2 and starting rewrite number 3) and it was the rewritten first 5000 words that I submitted for critique to my fellow students at Faber last Monday night.

At this point I’d just like to add that my class are 11 fellow students (plus my tutor) who are all, in my opinion, very talented writers. They come from different backgrounds (and countries in 3 cases), are different ages, different sexes, and write different genres. I value their opinions so much and respect their judgements. It’s probably one of the best parts of the course (although it doesn’t feel like it when you’re being critiqued lol), a pure emotional roller coaster, and possibly one of the bravest things I’ve ever done!

Anyway, back to my critique and how I’m feeling today… I had some very positive responses to my piece, but also lots of comments on the structure. When I started rewrite number 2 I decided that, as it was really Ruby and Laura’s story, I had to find a way to have Laura’s story from the past, running along side Ruby’s story from the present. I thought about doing part one then part two…..nah, boring. Then i thought about just having different chapters in a different time frame…..nah, that can be annoying lol. So i decided to go for the idea of having Laura’s journal. Cliched? Probably, but, I like reading novels that include letters and diary entries.

But there are a few problems in doing that.
1. Making sure that the two voices of Ruby and Laura are different (the journal is a younger Laura and then an older Laura appears later on, which complicates things even further).
2. Making the journal entries believable and not just sound like the narration of another story.
3. Deciding on how reliable Laura’s version of events really is.

So, yep, you guessed it….I failed on numbers 1 and 2 and hadn’t even considered number 3! Lol…back to the drawing board.

So now I have a page full of notes and ideas from class and 7,000 words that need sorting out (again) lol. But I’m ok about that. Everything they said made sense, and I can see a way forward now. I’ve just got to decide exactly how to structure it, and iron out the problems with voice (which I think is going to be the hardest! Haven’t I always said that I think all my characters sound like me lol). Lots to think about, decisions to be made, a new Synopsis to be written and then…..back to page one! (Which also needs to start somewhere else) Lol

Not good when I have so many deadlines looming :(

So I guess today I’m feeling stressed…Stressed, but optimistic, panicked but positive. I beleive in this story. I believe in these characters. Perhaps I’m just not a good enough writer to give it the justice it deserves? My insecurities are what they’ve always been, am I good enough? Can I really do this?

And the hardest part is trying to kick those self doubts in to touch (you’ve all been there I know) and actually start writing again. Knuckle down and actually get on with it!

One day I’ll look back at all this and laugh….hopefully :)

Are you feeling insecure about your writing today? Please share so that I know I’m not alone lol ;)

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40 thoughts on “Insecure Writers Support Day – March

  1. Have you ever read Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevalier? She has two different time frames in her book. They alternate chapters and by the end of the book, their stories merge. I think that might work for Laura and Ruby too. Just a thought. Good luck!!

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  2. Have no fear, you’re definitely not alone. I’m both super excited for my writing weekend and dreading the moment when I have to sit down and commit to one story line to start the second book in the western trilogy. The week is whittling away and I still am not 100% convinced that my decision is the right one. Oh how I envy you and your group of writing colleagues at Faber!

    It sounds like you have piles of critiques, support, encouragement and suggestions to help you with your novel. Good luck with the re-write and enjoy the process. Remember, this is one of the few times in life when we can make HUGE mistakes and with a swipe of the cursor and tap of the delete button it can be erased.

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  3. Your class sounds amazing – or brilliant as you would say. At least you’re writing. I do my two blogs a week and “play” with my WIP. And thinking I should edit what I wrote for NaNo.. At least you’re moving forward :D

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    • It is/they are Sue :)

      Ha ha ha, 2 steps forward and 3 steps back you mean!

      If it wasn’t for the class I’d be doing the same, just tinkering. What words of advice can I give you to get you moving forward? Or would a kick be more useful? :) (((((hugs)))))

      Xx

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  4. Vikki, ignore the insecurities. They are part of the package. You can do this. I give you a portion of a Writer’s Digest interview with best selling medical thriller writer Tess Gerritsen. The interviewer asked her when she knew the book was “ready.” Her response was, “When I get to the eleventh draft, I feel like I’m almost there.”

    If you believe in your story, it will resonate and you will find your way through the maze of rewrites, revisions and edits :)

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  5. I wonder, sometimes, if we are too critical of ourselves, and our work, as we struggle to perfect it.

    My first attempt at writing a novel was, I felt, nowhere near good enough to seek publication, regardless of how many edits it might take. Because of this, I settled for the option of having a handful of copies printed via the self-publishing route, just as a keepsake, really, without making it available for purchase.

    Some of the feedback I’ve received, however, from readers of the book, has included phrases like, “I really can’t put it down”, and “I don’t usually read much fiction but I really want to know what’s going to happen next, and find I’m reading it every night!”

    I still don’t think my novel is good enough to publish, but I am encouraged by the response to it, from people who have actually read it.

    Maybe sometimes we should stop striving for perfection and realise when we have a good story that people will enjoy reading!

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  6. Hi Vikki, this may seem obvious but have you thought about trying to find a published journal of a person near Laura’s age? Maybe even a blog out there that does the same just the person writing it is not afraid to share their intimate thoughts with the world.

    As for insecurities, mine are heavy at the moment. I’m doubting my ability to write, which in turn makes me think that my work is not worth the effort. I know its not, I’ve had a few people tell me that I am a talented writer, but I’m in one of those slumps where I need to ride it out. I know I will, but that does not remove that doubt x

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  7. Very glad for you that it went better than last time! Yes, making sure characters don’t sound the same is a challenge – I’m quite worried about my current WIP incase they all sound the same. I’m comforting myself that it’s only the beginning of the first draft and by the end I’ll know them so much better and can sort it out. Enjoy sorting yours out. I really love time-slip novels, but I know they annoy a lot of people, so a journal is probably the way to go. Best of luck! :-)

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    • Thanks Bel :)

      How many characters have you got? Are they the same sex?

      Yeah, even I get a bit irritated with time slips, especially when I’m enjoying one part more than the other lol.

      Thanks honey xx

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  8. OMG your so brave, I get upset when hubby starts changing a blog post lol I’m not sure how I would feel if people started going over my prized novel. Having said that I just know you’ll do it, and look forward to reading the end book.

    Sending positive vibes :) xxx

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  9. I wish you the best of luck. I think everyone suffers a little from insecurity. It’s difficult to get your story out of your head onto paper. As horrendously “cheesy” as it sounds, it is not the story alone that brings value to a piece, but your unique voice that gives it life. No one else can do or be “you”. It has to be you and therefore, of course you can write it. No one else can. How’s that for some truly convoluted thinking?! :) Personally I think you have a great handle on what to watch out for with the construction you’re trying and I think it sounds like a great idea! I also love letters and different ways of moving a story along. Brilliant idea, I say!

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  10. You are so brave to put your draft out there for the group to critique! It sounds like you got some great feedback though, and are going to make some really positive steps forward in your work. Personally, I don’t mind journal entries as a way to tell a story, especially if they are interspersed with another point of view. And as far as juggling two time lines, I’m right there with you. My current revision project has a similar dilemma, but one I’m unwilling to give up on.

    Keep on keepin’ on! :)

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    • Thanks Kirsten :)

      I did think about giving up on it last year, and put it away for a couple of months, but it was haunting me. I owe my characters resolution ;)

      Thanks honey, you too! Xx

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  11. I agree with what everyone else said!! I am so insecure that when the galley proofs of the WDD arrived I was nearly sick on the postman’s shoes and could not open the parcel for hours in case it was all a lot of c…p! And fiction is a lot larger than NF re structure and voice I think, so don’t worry if it takes a while to fall into place.xxx

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    • Hi Misha, thanks for stopping by :)

      Querying *gulp* yeah, THAT’S scary! Lol

      Thanks honey, and you’re right, I WILL figure it out, I have to ;)

      Good luck with the queries!

      Xx

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  12. You are good enough! In fact, you’re more than good enough, you’re brilliant! Remember they don’t let just anyone on that course, Vikki. :) All this stuff is just the nuts and bolts of being a writer, everything you are feeling is completely normal and will never go away or get better ;) Happy IWSG day – I feel your pain xxx

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    • Awwwww, thanks Jo :)

      Ha ha ha, is that suppose to cheer me up? LMAO! You mean I have to go through this with EVERY book? Think I might just go and work in Tesco’s ;)

      Seriously, thanks honey xx

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  13. You’re right….one day we will look back on all of this and laugh! I also hate re-writes. I always tell myself, why didn’t I get it right (write) the first time! ha ha
    Keep at it girl. I see a best seller in your future! New York Times…..here you come!
    Hugs
    Katt

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  14. Well, doll, I think you earned your cake! It’s fantastic to hear that you survived your critique intact and that the response was useful and made sense to you.Sometimes people can feedback something that, no matter how hard you look, you just can’t see – but it sounds as though you got some great practical advice that you can use to round off your fiction.
    It’s brilliant to hear (read) you actually BELIEVE in this story, these character, this novel – because what that actually means is that you believe in yoursefl: it may not feel like it, given all those insecurities but remember you’re the one who came up with the story, moulded the characters and you are the right one to go on this journey with them.
    Keep going hon – you’re an inspiration. x

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  15. Believing in your story and knowing the way forward are the keys to your success! Best of luck with this now that you’ve found your confidence and inspiration again :)

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