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Dark Night of the Soul

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Ghost, Aug 10, 2012.

  1. Ghost

    Ghost Inkling

    I recently saw a link to this chart about the process of writing (from here.)

    This is exactly how it is for me. When I begin writing a story, I think I'm a genius. It's a great concept and the trials of my characters will be a compelling snapshot of human emotion. I kick ass!

    As I write, I start to feel differently. There's a good concept or whatever, and the characters are kind of alright. Meh.

    The further I go into the story, the more horrible it becomes. I realize it's the worst attempt at fiction anyone has ever committed to paper. I'm a hack. To call this a story would be an outright scam on innocent readers. Somehow I've managed to make characters that are boring and bizarre at the same time, and the barely existent plot flatlined near the beginning. This thing should be put out of its misery. It's a miserable creature dragged up from the deepest, darkest abyss. Any sane or responsible person would hurl it back into the darkness and try to forget the sight.


    But I push forward. I see the light at the end of the tunnel because the story is almost finished. I'll purge this and move on. Finally, the first draft is done, and hey, it's not so bad. I need to fix this and that, adjust those things. With some polish I'll have something.

    Anyway, I thought it was a fun picture to share with everyone. :)
    Lorna likes this.
  2. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

    Interesting. I'm currently at step 2 with my WIP. I'm hoping I can just hop from step 3 over to step 7. xD
  3. FireBird

    FireBird Troubadour

    Those are somewhat similar to the feelings I get when I finish a story and then go on to the second draft. Looking at first drafts makes me want to hurt myself. I just look at the book and think, "This is stupid; why did I ever bother writing this in the first place?"
  4. Lorna

    Lorna Inkling

    Yeah. Then you go through the same process on draft 1.2, 1.3, 1.4,1.5 set it aside and repeat for 2 - 2.5. Then you get to the third draft and some of it looks ok. But you know when you set it aside for a bit then begin work on the fourth draft it's going to like a school kid wrote it... aaargh. But then you contrast the third draft to the first one and think 'wow I've come along way!'
  5. My graph looks more like this:


    I never doubt my own genius, of course, but I do run out of steam pretty fast.

    Half the time, "Finished?" can be replaced with "I thought of something I would rather write. I'll put this project aside for later."
  6. SlimShady

    SlimShady Troubadour

    I never have self doubt about the story I am trying to tell, because I truly believe that it will be something that people will want to read. However, I will admit that sometimes I run out of steam and sometimes I start to doubt my ideas. But, I never really abandon the project. The only thing I do is start changing stuff (sometimes minor, sometimes major) to the point where I am happy with the story again.

    The only thing I have trouble with is keeping interest. For now, I have been trying to force myself into working on one project at a time. Once I finish a project, I will move onto the next project.
  7. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

    I hardly ever doubt my ideas, but I very often doubt my ability to effectively convey them. At times I wish I could bring up Tolkien from the grave and make him write it for me. lol
  8. SlimShady

    SlimShady Troubadour

    YES! That would be a good way to put it. I often have the same trouble, doubting my own writing ability instead of the idea.
  9. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

    In this case, you just need to get comfortable with a truth. That truth is that your 1st draft is going to be bad... It's probably going to blow.

    At the same time, grasp another concept. Books are rewritten in revision. That's where the real work begins.
  10. SlimShady

    SlimShady Troubadour

    Yeah. I always heard that a writer's friend is revising. I've even read that some people spend more time revising than they did actually writing it.
  11. Ivan

    Ivan Minstrel

    That's an innate part of writing. That's why editing is also an innate part of writing. (I suggest resisting the urge to kill everything and start over.)

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