A years work wasted ?(10 Posts)
I am just going through the finishing touches to my novel. And it’s shit.
I felt so great about it before it was done, I had huge dreams of how it would sound and would read like. I felt I’d enjoy reading it.
Now as I go over and over it I feel like it’s not a strong story - there’s other similar novels that have that strong voice that I lack.
Iv spent so much time on it and I feel like it’s all been for nothing. Do I self publish something that I am not 100% proud of? Or do I accept that I have written a stinker?
I feel like I am drowning in my emotions now, I can’t heard my voice in my words on the pages. Just stiff boring prose that no one will care about.
How do I rid myself of the self doubt before I delete it all and get a minimum wage job instead ?
Put it away somewhere and don’t look at it for at least a couple of weeks. Seriously, try not to even think about it in that time. Then pick it up and read it again and see if you still think it’s shit.
If you get too close to anything it can make you hate it. A bit of distance will help you see it more objectively.
If you go back to it and you still hate it, what I would do it self-publish it anyway but under the most ridiculous pseudonym you can possibly think of. You don’t have to claim it as yours, but don’t throw it away. It might become someone’s favourite book
I wouldn't go into writing for the money
Put it away for a few weeks. Get it out again and re-read. Can you improve it? Perhaps try getting some critique partners. Not your friends/family, but people that will honestly tell you to cut chapter three and increase chapter six.
I use Scribophile for that, and love it. You don't always hear what you want to hear but if three people tell you the same you know you need to listen.
And I think critiquing other works has improved my writing more than anything else.
You may find that you think you'd be better to start again. Just a thought. I know that having written three books in my series, that book 1 could be written much better by me now as I'm a better writer.
I’m not going into it for the money, I’m saying that I might as well forget about wasting my spare day times on it and just succumb to the rat race instead.
I will take a look at that ! If anything it feels good to have something productive to do that isn’t re-reading the same chapter over and over and wondering if that comma was necessary or not.
I already feel like I have a better book waiting, but can’t move past it Til this one is done ?!
Thankyou for your advice PP’s
You have absolutely not wasted a year. You've written a novel. That's a huge achievement.
It's a really good sign that you can see the flaws (much more worrying if you thought it was a masterpiece). Being able to see our work clearly is a vital skill.
My advice is to put it in a drawer, give yourself some space and maybe start a new project. You'll be amazed how much you've learned from writing your first one.
Every single novelist (including myself) I know has at least a couple of shit novels in a drawer somewhere. It's just part of the apprenticeship. The only way to learn how to write, is to write. That's what you're doing.
Good luck and if it makes you happy, keep writing
It's possible to be too close to a book (which is why time apart is good!). I reread my book recently and wrote 'are ch 9-17 just boring?' in my notes. That's basically the middle of the book.
But I recently sent it as a document to my Kindle and reread it and you know what, it's fine. Maybe it won't set the literary world alight but it's good enough that I can submit it and keep my dreams alive a bit longer (until it's totally rejected and I have to start a new project, but I might be at peace with that at that point!).
Finishing a novel is an achievement from which you'll learn and become a better writer.
Improving a novel is an opportunity to learn how to self-edit from which you'll learn and become a better writer.
It sound like you're a little too close and perhaps need to manage you're expectations. Were you expecting to finish your draft and for it to be fabulous? You've lived with it for a year so, as PPs have said, perhaps it might be best to take a break then start your next, great novel and then polish your first, great novel.
Absolutely, you are all so right.
I am setting my expectations up as the next best seller, which lets be real - is it not ! I suppose it’s like actors imagining holding an Oscar in the shower !
Do any of you keep your book writing secret from family and friends ? Well. All my family know I’m writing (and ask about it often ) but I daren’t tell mums on the school run or my hairdresser when she asks what I’ve been up to !
I fear that ‘oh you’re writing a novel....I see’ knowing smile, like I’m a raving loon..!
I read somewhere that when you're editing etc to copy and paste your work into a new file and change the font and style of it.
It's supposed to trick you into thinking it's new so you pick things up easier
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