Wednesday, November 4, 2009

WIP Wednesday whine

This here is the working cover of my current manuscript. It's not for any actual publishing house or anything, but for temporary hard copies -- beta copies. I don't know about you other writers, but I'm the kind of guy that likes to print out a few bound books for friends and family. (And don't worry about the 'first publication rights' issue. I use Lulu, and select the 'hell-no-I-don't-want-this-to-be-available-to-the-public' option.)

So I'm looking towards the end of the project, and that right there is the good news.

The bad news is that after almost three weeks, I'm only 100 pages into the revision. And I'm loathing every page. I know that this is a pretty standard part of the editing process, but seriously -- every sentence feels like a disaster. Every character is a flop, and as usual, my plotline is so rigid that it steamrolls right over every other element that so-called 'good books' should have. I'm at the point where I can't stand reading my own writing, and I can't imagine that anyone else would ever want to. Much less pay money for it.

So yeah, I'm being all sensitive and artistic. I understand that. But still... it's oppressive as hell. I guess I'm just needing some kind of attitude adjustment. Anybody got any words of encouragement? What do you do when you feel this way?


Cate Gardner said...


Angela Ackerman said...

When I revise, I'm sure that I'm just turning over crap in hopes that the other side might smell fresher. BUT when I finish, take time away from it and then reread I always find it's not nearly as awful as I feared.

And that's a smokin cover. :-)

Mary O. Paddock said...

I know you don't have the luxury of a long break, but you sure sound like a guy who could stand a short one.

On other hand, it might not hurt to find a positive, upbeat trustworthy reader who would let you know when you're on track and when you've lost your way (someone who knows your genre). I've had a couple of partners in crime over the years who were a big help here.

Super-cool cover.

Anita said...

I think you need to spend some time alone with you wife and some alcohol. But no cigarettes.

And I'm SURE the writing is better than you think it is...keep trucking along. I will buy your book.

Keri Mikulski said...

Love your cover.. :)

Walk away.. It's time. Take a little break.. Then, when you return to your ms you'll realize how amazing it is. I think everyone goes through this.


Jonathon said...

I wish I could help. This is Jonathon by the way. However, as our discussion at Hobo's revealed, I'm horrible when it comes to revision, or at least, over-analytical.

One thing I tried to do while revising papers in college was to take it in smaller sections. Not focusing on the entire thing so much, but on a single topic.

I suppose if/when I go to edit my Nano novel, I'll use the same tactic, looking at it in chapters, or maybe scenes rather than everything at once. I'll still keep the flow of the story in mind, but won't worry about it so much as a whole until I go over it a second time.

I don't know, it's just an idea, and one that I'll probably fail at when the time comes. Good luck with your revisions.

Kelly Polark said...

Love the cover!
I'm struggling with revising my last chapter. I know it can be so much better. I set it aside for a few weeks and that has helped some. Also, suggestions from my critique group has helped...but it is still agonizing.
Good luck!

Bryan B. said...

Hey, I blogged about almost the exact same thing...but about me, not you.

Monica said...

loooooooooooooooooove the cover. very very scary.... i cant wait till its published, Ray, i'm definitely buying one

VeeFlower said...

Sounds like you're micromanaging. It's like a wedding. You have to fit a thousand small details into one huge, perfect production. Getting bogged down in every little thing becomes tedious, sucks the joy out of the project, and makes you crazy. This probably doesn't help you, but it sounded so intelligent and all I just had to say it.

Ray Veen said...

Cate -- I'll take some.

Angela -- I'm sure that I'm just turning over crap in hopes that the other side might smell fresher -- Very well put. Thanks for the thought, it actually helps.

Mary -- I wish I could take a long break. I also wish I had a quick, reliable standy-by reader. Your advice is perfect, but I've kind of painted myself into a corner with the deadline I set with my agent.

Anita -- Thanks for that. The cigarette is actually sounding kind of good right now.

Keri -- You're right, too. I do need to get away from it. Not sure if I can, though. Thanks for the positivity.

Jonathon -- Are you on Blogger? Nevermind. I'll click as soon as I post, and then I'll know. So are you planning on going to the meeting next week?

Kelly -- good luck to you too. Last chapters are as bad as first chapters when it comes to revising.

Bryan -- I'll go check it out in a minute.

Monica -- You are too kind. I may have to charge a whole lot for my book because I think you'll be the only copy I sell.

Mom -- That's actually a really good analogy. Would you like to do some of my editing for me?

HUBBYMAN said...



Sharon K. Mayhew said...

My suggestion is that you put your ms on the shelf and work on something else for a while. Let your current ms perculate. You'll be able to look at it with fresh eyes. :)

Matt said...

Very cool cover art.

When revisions give me trouble, I drive them out to the country and pretend we're going to play, then I throw a stick as hard as I can and drive off when the revisions run after it.

Admittedly, I've never actually published anything using this method.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

You could take some photos of your lovely family...reflect on the good things in life. Heck, you've got an agent...That's pretty darn good!

Tina Laurel Lee said...

So your posted this on Wednesday and I'm just reading this now on Saturday and I'm figuring that I am way to late and you don't need the advice anymore. And that really is the best I have, time. Usually when I can't stand my own words it means some creative genus is waiting in the wings and my magic subconscious is doing some fancy work getting it all ready so the next time I sit dow it will flow out of me.

At least that delusion buys me some TIME and when I come back I seem to have some new words and can stand the work again.

Revision is really hard. It makes sense that this would get tough.
I think it does for everyone--certainly for me. Keep up the good work.

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Anonymous said...

Listen to Rilo Kiley... (What am I doing here?!? Back to writing!)

Ray Veen said...

Fritz -- You might have just won yourself a free copy, sir.

Sister Mayhew -- Thanks for the encouraging reminder. It's good to have an agent, but I'm kind of ambitious. I'd like to have a publisher too.

Matt -- You know what's funny? I live in the country and everything I drop off finds its way back to me.

Tina -- I like your idea: 'delusional revision'. I'm gonna try it on for size.

Viagra -- That's a problem I'm not having. Thanks anyway.

BJ -- I tried to Google Rilo Kelly but the hospital IT department has it filtered. It's not some kind of porno-band is it? Maybe you SHOULD stick to writing.

Anonymous said...

"viagra lawyer ohio" just kind of cracked me up right there. Sorry about that.

You've hit that hideous, devastation crash right after the high of enormous output. It's ineveitable. It also sucks big time. Know that your stuff is fantastic, you'll get through it, and you have an ENORMOUS cheering squad! ...which sounds like it's populated by elephants and rhinos, but I meant that there are a lot of us. Give yourself a night or two off. I usually end up playing video games, but anything fun and mind-numbing is good.

Rah rah RAY!!


Ray Veen said...

Monica -- Terribly sorry. Somehow I completely missed your comment, all hidden in the middle and stuff. And such a lovely comment it was, too.

Mercedes -- 'Crash' is right. I'm getting a lot of the pieces swept under the rug now, though. (Great analogy, by the way)

Nishant said...

I always find it's not nearly as awful as I feared.

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