Update 2: UGH. Putting it away for a bit, again. Driving me crazy. I keep changing things Protagonize seems like a great site but upon further review, seems more for collaborative writing. And for the most part a lot of 15 yr olds with angst, at least that’s what I’m finding. Read a couple of pieces, one which thoroughly confused me. Offered some words of encouragement but overall felt like I could spend some more time on my own work and closed the page down.
Now I am back at my own piece and asking myself questions, like why? Why would my main character stick with this person? Do I need to explain that? What does she see in him? Since this is just a snapshot, should I leave people wondering and asking themselves the same question? Does it just seem like she’s whiny and weak, or does she have any kind of resolve in her? Do I want my readers to like her or hate her?
This process is maddening. Every time I think, okay this is the best it can be and maybe I should just save it and email it to the submission site, I read it again, and see more things I could probably change. Grrrr. I need to leave it alone for a bit again.
Update: More editing, reading through, perfecting. And I joined Protagonize, a community of writers who sometimes collaborate on works but most importantly read and offer critique. Sometimes I need to hear from people who don’t know me and aren’t obligated to be nice. Though it’s nice to get that pat on the back from my friends, too. I’m sure I’ll open myself up to a few of those.
I’ve posted the current draft at Protagonize here.
I’ve been doing some editing this morning on Calm Waves and Smooth Moon which has now been retitled ‘Try to Say No’.
I’m wondering if I need to add more to it… more reactions to what’s going on, more internal thoughts. It’s in 3rd person, pretty much from one perspective, so the reader gets a view into that character’s thought process. I don’t like to write what I call ‘diary entries’. This happened and then that happened and then happened, the end’. I like to be introspective and bring elements out. At the same time I want the author to draw conclusions and not have to be told how the character feels.
I also went for it with Autocrit. Got the basic package which lets me run a series of reports on things like overused words and phrases, cliches, repeated terms, sentence length variation. It was quite helpful. I’m learning that I am repetitive by nature. While I do it on purpose, overuse loads the story down– it’s just meant to carry a central theme, not be annoying. Autocrit directed me to get rid of as high as 42 occurrences of a word! It did help me think about the point I am trying to get across and try to use other words, more complex or simpler terms.
I think I am going to seek out a few people to read it and get some thoughts. Let it sit for awhile and look at it again. I’m not in any hurry, but sometimes I can overwork a piece and it turns out worse. I want to get it complete and submitted so I can stop messing with it.
It’s break time, here at the ranch! Back to writing later,