Thursday, December 3, 2009

Root Cause

Last night was very productive. I started out trying to force progress on Sorcerer's Carnival. That didn't end so well and almost had my Muse and I not speaking to each other. So I moved back to Galileo and made great progress (cut 2200 words but ended up almost 500 ahead of starting word count in revisions).

This morning, I sat back to review why I've been having so much trouble with Sorcerer's Carnival. There are several factors playing into this story. First, this is my first serious fantasy story. Second, this genre - while great to read - is not easy for me to write. And Lastly, I don't think I liked the original revisions I made based on critique feedback.

Let's address each core piece and figure out how it's affecting my progress:

First: First Fantasy Draft
I had to delve into a lot of research prior to outlining and drafting this story. It was exciting for me and the first version was a bit sentimental for me. I was so excited about it. I love new opportunities for creative outlet. I don't this this is the core issue for further development.

Moving on...

Second: Difficult Genre for Me to Write
That first draft came out like a rushing waterfall. The editing and revisions have been more like water boarding torture. You wouldn't think fantasy would have so many boundaries and rules. But there are many. This is more apparent with the subject matter of sorcery and powers. Trying to be consistent with industry and reader expectations has been very difficult, aggravating, and stressful. Not too mention I hate rules and unlike sci-fi where the more implausible the farther out in the future I go...sorcery rules are bound by a historical and sometimes religious constraints. This is a definite issue to my progress on this story.

Okay, keep this going...

Third: Unhappy Critique-based Revisions
Because my weakness in the previous area, I relied heavily on the critique suggestions. Too heavily. By the time I was done changing what all the reviewers thought needed to be changed, both my Muse and I seemed pretty cut out. It didn't feel like my story anymore. This is unacceptable to me and my writing ethics.

Well, enough whining. I've come to the core of my problem and really laid out my issues. To fix this and get back on track I think I need to do the following:
  • Reread the original draft
  • Go through the critiques again and mark which ones fit with who I am as a writer
  • Outline a balanced plan of action
  • Stick with my instinct
  • Put the story that I feel is right out there and hope for the best

Okay, feeling much better. Good writing all!

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