As I have now hit the 30k mark (slightly over it!) in the new book, I am reaching that terrible Second Guess point. The point where everything I’ve written feels like crap, where I’m convinced I’ve blown my wad early and given too much info on some thing, but not enough on others (I still haven’t explained why a particular entity is in charge in this world, because I thought it made sense to wait, but now I’m wondering if people won’t have given up at this point, but it’s not like it’s really important to the story, blah blah blah), and my characters are dull, and why would anyone want to read this shit, and since I don’t have any guarantee the book will even sell or go anywhere why am I wasting my time, etc.
I honestly believe this is where people give up.
I’m not giving up. Because I know myself and my insecurities. I know that when the book is done I’ll be pleased with it. My cp says it’s awesome and that’s enough for me. I want to finish it.
But if I didn’t know this about myself…if this was my first real attempt…I could see giving up, and deciding to try something else. And falling into that trap. Because the 30k curse will hit with the next book too, and the next, and the next. Until all I have is a huge stack of unfinished ms and nothing else.
I see the second guessing a lot online, too. People constantly asking for advice on what their people should do next. How should they kiss? Is it okay if they do this or that? What about if they do that? Would that be good? And I just want to bury my head in my hands because if you are trying to write a book based on what other people tell you to do, it’s not going to work. I mean, okay, in my opinion it won’t work. I suppose it’s possible half the books out there were written by people who constantly called their friends to ask what should happen next or if Scene X would be okay here or there.
This is my story. I know what it is. I know most of what happens (this is actually one of the only, if not the only, books I’ve written where so much of it is in my head. I don’t know exactly how it ends but I have a good idea, and I know almost everything that leads up to it, which is very rare for me as I’m a pantser.) And it’s because I know what happens later ad who these people are that I’m the one who can write it and make those kinds of decisions. The sooner you learn to stop replying on others, the better your work will be.
I’m trying something new, inspired by Caitlin Kittredge: metrics, a little chart for my books. Hopefully it will be fun.
New Words: 2,620
Total wordcount: 31,122
The Good: A faintly sweet “getting to know you” moment
The Bad: Evil ghost stalking Chess in a dark house while a family sleeps
The Gross: Mutilated corpse’s heart beats
The rampant drug use: Snorting crushed amphetamine pills off a hairpin in a church stairway
Location: Abandoned haunted airport
Downspeech:“What you see, ladybird? You think witchy?”
I Hate My Work: I don’t think the scary scene is as scary as it should be. I think it’s stupid and pointless.