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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


I have a critique group meeting this weekend, and for the first time ever I don't have anything to bring. Not that I haven't been writing, but the story I'm working on, I'm not ready to share.

It's not that I don't trust my cps. I know they are good writers and can see plot holes and have my best interests at heart. But I don't trust myself to continue to love the story if they say something negative about it. I've had trouble writing this past year, and my confidence is still pretty shaky. This book is different for me and I just don't trust my ability to hold onto the love of writing. And my worry is, if they shake my confidence, will I have trust in anything else they tell me that will make the story better?

I need to remember how to trust myself. This is my first paranormal, and as I'm not much of a plotter, I'm not all that great at the world building. It's had to come to me as I write. Only I've been letting the world building bits lock me up, and I wasn't writing. Well, I was, but it was slow going.

So Saturday night I went outside to sit on the front porch. I wrote and wrote and wrote, and the legend just came. It's been there the whole time, but I haven't trusted myself to know this.

My friend sent me her first chapter, a book she's been working on for over a year. She's stepped away from it and gone back to it, and it's a fantastic story, a shapeshifter, very sexy (and not usually my cuppa). So I read it last night, and sent back comments. But now that I'm thinking about it, I don't know if I couched my words so she'll continue to have faith in the story. Will she react the same way I did?

Where do you place your trust in your writing?

And just a PSA - Grey's Anatomy is a rerun tomorrow, but Supernatural is all new - and about werewolves!!

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At 10:40 AM, Blogger Diane Perkins said...

I think trusting ourselves as we write is the hardest thing to do! Some books I worry about all the way through. And I too worry about discouraging my critique partners.

But I also believe that we *know* our stories best. We know the weaknesses. We need to hang on to that while we listen to other people, changing only what we know needs changing. It is hard to have that confidence, though.

How exciting that the legend came to you like that!!!! That is a clue that you are on to something good!

Re: Supernatural. I learned of this series from an Australian friend, of all things! I do enjoy it, as I'm enjoying Dresden Files, too. But Grey's Anatomy, I've never watched. I know you think that is VERY STRANGE!!!!


At 2:49 PM, Blogger Toni Anderson said...

Mary, trsuting yourself and having faith in your own ability is very difficult, but isn't it great when the story just flows? Kudos on the legend coming to you like that. For me it seems to be details of backstory slotting in just right when I need them. How does that happen? I don't know but I'm so glad it does!!

At 4:32 PM, Blogger Trish Milburn said...

I think trusting ourselves as writers is something that has to come with time. I finally got to that point after a decade of writing. I know exactly what you mean about not wanting to show the story to anyone too soon for fear of destroying your love and excitement for the story.

At 3:34 PM, Blogger Sandy Blair said...

Great blog. I never "share" until I've got at least 100+ pages down. Truthfully I don't really know my characters well until then, so how could a Cp?

At 9:18 AM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

I don't share anymore either...not until the entire book is done. Too many times I did lose the love for my story once I showed other people. It took me years to learn that lesson the hard way.

Good luck, Mary. Believe in yourself and this book!!!

At 9:27 AM, Blogger MaryF said...

Diane, Grey's is good - I LOVED the first two seasons, but this season is losing me. Grrr.

You're right about knowing our stories best. I took my Nano book yesterday, just the synopsis, the book I loved (I always hear "the disciple who Jesus loved" when I say that) and they took two major elements of the story away. These two elements make the characters who they are. And yes, maybe it won't sell this way, but hell, I haven't sold by following the rules. Today I'm having trouble writing a completely different book, questioning myself the whole way through.

Toni, I think it's like Jenny Crusie says - the girls in the basement know this all along, and give it to us when we need it. I don't know where they ARE in the basement, wish I could find them more often.

Trish, I know what you mean about trust coming with time, but I've been writing a long time and I don't remember to trust myself when writing, and I talk myself out of knowing what I'm talking about when I'm at critique, you know?

Sandy, exactly! I don't know my characters right away. Another reason I didn't want to take my WIP is that the beginning and end don't match anymore. Where the story is going isn't evident from the beginning, so why waste everyone's time when I'm going to change it anyway?

Theresa, what about contests? Do you finish a book before entering a contest? Congratulations again on the Merritt final!!

At 8:42 AM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Good question! I usually only send finished books to contests. And if it's going to cost me more postage to get feedback I don't include envelopes because I only enter contests where the editors are the final judges. The best thing I can do to improve my writing is write every day and read.


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