ext_34182 ([identity profile] fantasyecho.livejournal.com) wrote in [personal profile] rosefox 2016-04-20 04:59 am (UTC)

It seems to me another part of the problem, which I'm getting out of your desire to get a good working first draft out rather than have to re-write, is that you don't like feeling like a failure, and a shitty first draft would be a signal of exactly that.

I entirely feel you on what you say re: watching others so you can knock out completely satisfactory work on the first go, and not feel like you're wasting your time, or anybody's time. And this is the sign of a perfectionist, which I think is also perfectly normal.

When you write about being uncomfortable with critique, that's also another sign of wanting to be perfect, AND of wanting validation from the get-go, rather than having pointed out to you where you could improve. And it can be especially scary if you're going to put yourself through the wringer for no pay.

I'm given to understand that developmental editors are a thing, who read your manuscript or WIP with detachment and give you feedback on how to proceed, without the baggage of it getting personal, but you also have to pay them. (Nonetheless, the results can be really great. Stant Litore's Zombie Bible series was written with Jeff Vandermeer as developmental editor, and Jane Irwin released Clockwork Game having had Nisi as her editor. You could ask folks who've worked with dev editors how that experience was like?)

And the other thing too, really, is, you're so success-oriented, that the goal seems meaningless without the success, that when it looks like it could fail, you'd crash and burn.

I have not tended to learn by making mistakes myself either--my first dissertation chapter was a hot mess of horrible writing and lack of organization which left me crying after I saw my adviser about it--but I think DJ's advice to "forgive yourself" for any bad writing you do is a pretty good frame when it comes to failure on such scales.

(I personally use the Snowflake Method of novel-writing myself for these projects. Then when I get through the slog of writing the middle parts, it feels like I AM getting somewhere because I've got a list of things to check off. This ALSO helps with the problem of writing characters' problems without yet knowing how they will fix it. I usually just.... don't start writing until I have a firm vision of how that's gonna work out, and I don't understand people who seem to be able to write without a road map.)

Anyway, you seem to have worked out some sort of solution for yourself, good luck!! Still waiting to see that historical romance novel :D

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