But Not Forgotten Needs Forgetting

Ok, what can I say about the critique *laughs hysterically*

If I just say that it looks like 65,000 words will be going in the bin within the next couple of days does that indicate what they thought? πŸ˜‰ (a metaphorical bin of course!)

Seriously, I knew it was a mess, which was why I decided to use that piece. I just didn’t realise how much of a mess it was 😦

I knew I’d tied myself up in knots, I knew that was why I hadn’t been able to come up with an ending, but, what I was hoping was that I could tinker with it, make it better. What I didn’t expect was to find that the general consensus is/was to start from scratch!

A different angle, a different POV, don’t start with the suicide, in fact, don’t kill him off….WOAH! Concentrate on one aspect of the story and forget the rest! OMFG!!!!!!! I WAS NOT EXPECTING THAT!

So now what? Complete restructuring that’s what! A completely new novel really, only using the same characters and only part of the original plot line *slumps*

I don’t know if I have the energy!

Don’t get me wrong, everyone was helpful and sympathetic, but I came away thinking perhaps I’m not cut out for this, and what the hell am I doing in this class? Be prepared for a major self pity trip post on IWSD next month, honestly πŸ™‚

I went for a Spa day today. I was going to cancel because all I wanted to do was sit in my jim jams, drink hot chocolate and sulk lol. But, I made the effort, went, and had my nails painted. I went for a walk and contemplated stuff. It was a nice day πŸ™‚


I’m signing out with Edwin Collins

I need to think……

59 thoughts on “But Not Forgotten Needs Forgetting

  1. Sometimes starting over is the best option. I was 30,000+ words into a story and decided to restart it. Things just weren’t turning out how I had hoped. But now that you have some perspective on your story you can write it better than before!


  2. I’m sure all your commenters will say something similar. 65,000 words is quite an accomplishment even if it belongs in a bin. In June I spent the month writing a 10k word piece that I thought could be published by a specific publisher. The consensus from two writers that I trust… trash it. I didn’t. But I do know I am too old and lack the energy for the publishing thing. My original piece that is now the Misfits needed so much work I couldn’t face it. Turns out I did start over. Used some of the original, some of the June piece and a little of this and a little of that. I will have 50k in a day or so. What I will do I don’t know. But you’ll figure out what to do with your piece. They say writers need a thick skin…

    And I agree with Chris there too


    • Thanks Sue πŸ™‚

      Wow, good for you honey!

      I know, I’m not particularly thick skinned, but I wasn’t upset by the critique, I knew it was a mess, it’s just the whole idea about starting from scratch with a deadline scares the hell out of me! Lol



  3. Hang on there! I’ve been told to restructure my MG and I just don’t want to go there. I’m happier with poems. Leave it a while and see what your instincts say πŸ™‚


  4. Ah, the ripping to shreds of the ego, self confidence, etc. I WISH I’d had that experience before my first submission. It would have saved me so much time. My advice? (Not that you asked, lol) find what three people agreed on, the. Ask yourself how you feel. I had one story that was complete and only one person ever said anything about it. That has been rewritten no less than three times. It’s one of the ones requested by an editor. Don’t let the comments stop you. Use my three step rule. 1 get pissed. Call them all the names you want to. 2-read their suggestions again. Call them more names, but make notes of a y new feelings/thoughts you have. 3-read the comments again. Look for common agreements, then really think about them. You’ll be surprised what happens :). You’ll be fine and don’t give up!! My offer still stands if you want another reader.


  5. Ok, I agree with all the above, but have one more caveat to add. Your a write and this is one story. Like a football player who looses one game, you have another game next week. You have another season. You have more stories to write. And with coaching (critiques), you get better.
    Sorry about the sports metaphor, but i’m watching a football game and my team is loosing.


  6. Vicki, I completely understand how you must be feeling. Nothing I can say will make this feel any better but I do think there are some great comments above. I also think you’ll come out the other end a great writer for the experience, even though it feels like hell now. Take some care of you. You deserve it x


  7. To start with Vikki, you are a very brave and honest and special WRITER You need to let this ms.sit awhile and do something else. When you go back to it with fresh eyes, try to keep in mind what the general consensus was and whether you agree or not.

    In my experience nothing is ever wasted so for heavens sake don’t hit that delete button. It may be that it was written under too much pressure and does need to be reworked but hey that’s what we scribblers spend our lives doing isn’t it? A big hug from down here. xxx


  8. You could have have gone for the easy option – submitted something that was polished and had already been revised and workshopped. You could have used it as a platform to show off – hey! look at me. Instead you submitted something you had deep misgivings about because you wanted to know….I think that’s the difference between wanting to be a writer (half the population) and being a writer. But, having said that, I know it hurts. It hurts a lot. And it is so tiring. Rest, relax, reflect. You can recreate your story – perhaps ditching a lot of the suggestions made in the group (it’s your story not theirs) but taking note of what they felt didn’t work. You can do this. You’ve done tougher things. (You’re a mum – I KNOW you’ve done tougher things.)


  9. Oh Vikki sweetheart you sound so low, don’t be. Everything is a learning curve, how we handle it is how we progress things. Everything I’ve ever read from you has always kept me entertained and wanting more. These guys weren’t there to tell you how brilliant your doing, they were there to help you move your project on. Don’t give up, even if you feel like it. We wouldn’t of had Harry Potter if JK Rowling had given up. I know you can do it πŸ˜€ xxxx


  10. I know how you must be feeling, Vikki, but it will pass. It’s a shame you got so far before the feedback came in but my advice would be to put it away for a while and your brain will carry on sorting through it while you’re busy elsewhere. There’s no hurry, and when the time is right to pick it up again you’ll know. The comments will make sense and you’ll see a clear way forward, whether it’s to rewrite or use parts for something different. Nothing will go to waste – certainly not the experience!


  11. I agree with all the fantastically supportive comments above. But even though your group found lots about But Not Forgotten that they thought needed changing/improving, remember this is only one group of people. In this context, you’re right to shelve BNF for the course – but don’t write it off totally. In years to come you may come back to it and see instantly what needs to be done to make it perfect for your readers (because by then you will be published and will have readers). For now, now you know the Faber group aren’t 100% behind BNF in its current form, and while it feels a mammoth task to make all the changes they’ve advised, you probably are better off starting something new. But as someone said above, this is one story. This is not the sum total of you as a writer. You are cut out for this, and you’ll bounce back. πŸ™‚


  12. (((Vikki))) but to look on the positive side – you knew it was a mess and didn’t really work and being able to tell that about your work is very helpful. If you can see that then you can make changes until it does work.

    The characters are good – many people (myself included) think good characters are the most important aspect.

    Parts of the plot work.

    You will have learned a lot just by writing this version – and you’ve learned even more since then.

    Now go have your sulk and then get back to writing. Maybe work on something else first, but I’m pretty sure you’ll want to come back to BNF and when you do, you’ll greatly improve it.


  13. Okay the critique was bad but actually they only told you what you admit you already had recognised yourself so obviously you are perfectly suited to be in the class, it was not actually as big a disaster as you think there was obviously something there that they liked you just need to put it into perspective, they liked the characters and want to see them again so much they don’t want you to kill one. Yes they say pick one bit of your plot but the obviously think that element that you created is good enough to carry a whole novel. You know at heart I am right so time to get a new notebook and get started πŸ˜€ xx


  14. I can’t really add anything to the previous comments, but you ARE meant to do this. Gone But Not Forgotten? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe you will be up to taking on the task or who knows or perhaps another brilliant idea will capture your attention. But one way or another, you will end up published. I don’t doubt it for a second!


  15. You were very brave for submitting something you were unsure about – and it does show you are serious about being a writer and learning to be even better. Great advice and comments above, far better than anything I could say, so I’ll just say that my heart goes out to you… I haven’t been as brave as you yet, so I really admire you!


  16. Don’t ever forget that it is YOUR story that you are writing. I haven’t read your book, but if YOU feel that you have to start with a suicide, to use a specific angle and a specific POV, do it. Sure, listen to critiques and beta readers, but at the end of the day, write the story YOU want to write and the story YOU feel is the right one. Your story won’t go anywhere if your heart is not 100% in it. That’s my piece of advice anyway πŸ˜‰ And keep writing!


  17. Wow, Vikki, everyone has already said it all! It was obviously as useful as it was painful, even if it feels more painful than useful right now! Better to come from them than from an agent or editor! Give yourself a little time to sulk and swear and when you feel the “I will not be beaten!” spirit returning, then is the time to attack it! Do you have to re-write all 65,000 words?!


  18. Ah Vikki … Go have a major pout, yell into the wind, doubt yourself and everything you’ve ever written AND THEN GET OVER IT. A lesson learned is the most valuable gift we can receive. Embrace it and move on.

    We’re all been there … done that. It hurts beyond what non-writers can ever imagine … but each of us has gone through th epain of feeling low-down and useless. Use it for when you start over … AND YOU WILL START OVER πŸ™‚ Good luck with the next rewrite.


  19. Firstly, well done. You opened yourself up for criticism, there are a huge number of people that would go too afraid of that.
    This was one piece. To be good at anything you need to practice and then get feedback, you’re a few steps ahead of me!
    Take it on the chin, let what was said perculate and come back to it later. Hugs x


  20. I told you some of the best lessons are the painful ones. Yes start again and use what you learned. Suddenly you will see more answers and things will be clearer, and you will know if you really are learning. Tough, but stick with it.


  21. Pingback: Insecure Writers Support Day – December | The View Outside

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