Your Darlings MUST DIE!

Editing. Slash and burn is probably just as correct a term where I am concerned. A first draft isn’t a proper story, as it is too random and erratic to make much sense to anything but the writer. The second draft should be the point where a beta reader can be given the manuscript and can make suggestions. It is taking me a long time to move my first draft of my Steampunk Work-in-Progress into this second phase. Why might it be taking me so long?

Perfection: We all know there is no such thing as perfection, yet I am constantly trying to achieve it. However, everything you read or hear about submitting work says to send the very best/most polished manuscript you can manage.  Sometimes this feels like a no win situation, where I am damned if I do and damned if I don’t. The only person who can really make the call on whether or not my manuscript is ready for beta reading is me. And it is isn’t ready.

Lack of Confidence: Am I obsessing because of feelings of inadequacy? I really don’t know the answer to this one. I have completed a university course in creative writing, have achieved top marks in my grammar courses, have collected half a bookcase of ‘How to Write’ books, and still have days when I wonder if I’m just going through a lengthy bout of mental masturbation. Most days, I believe it is a matter of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’ when it comes to my dreams of being published. Other days, I am living in a pit of dark despair. Not getting my draft finished might just be displacement behaviour…

(Excuse me while I go put George Michael’s ‘Faith’ on continuous play.)

Depression: Well, yes, I suffer from clinical depression. So do a damn lot of other talented writers. I deal with it on a daily basis. Thanks to the love and support of my family, friends and the fine people of the medical profession, I beat back the black dog most days. In fact, there are days I can easily believe that my depression was just a phase I’ve grown through. But I’m not going to stop taking my medication, because I am delusional. Actually, I believe my depression gives a better insights into creating tension within a story, and making suffering believable to a reader.

Laziness: I write everyday. Some people might be surprised when I list this. However, but I have my lazy days. This is when the house actually gets cleaned, so it is a different kind of laziness.

Those are my personal flaws. What are yours?
Now, it is time to return to the salt mine, comrades…


Filed under Editing, Personal experience, Steampunk, Steampunk Genre, Steampunk Work-in-Progress, writing, Writing Style

7 responses to “Your Darlings MUST DIE!

  1. Great blog. Keep writing!!

  2. therailbaron

    Me too on most counts. That’s why Book Two is a slow crawl. Think think think!

  3. karen j carlisle

    Reblogged this on Karen J Carlisle.

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