Thursday, April 23, 2015

T is for the Terrible Trouble

I may have made that up. Maybe.  Remember to check out other blogs in the A to Z challenge.

What do I mean by terrible trouble? First, both start with T and I couldn't decide which one to use, but also because it's a terrible mindset that can cause trouble during edits. It's the "everything is terrible" problem causing thoughts that surface when trying to make that final draft shine.

At some time or another, elements of the story will seem terrible. It happens to us all. One has to be able to tell the  difference between something really needed deleted or fixed versus being in a bad mindset where one might make a poor judgement call. It's also why you shouldn't edit the same copy of the novel. Make sure to have previous drafts as their own copy saved some where, just in case a mistake occurs and you delete whole chapters under the misguiding of "it's all terrible." Don't let a trouble hour lead to days of repairs and make sure to give yourself some space  before going into an edit to begin with because there are times when we are too close to a story. It can go either in the "it's perfect" or "it's all terrible" way of thinking and neither will give you that polished draft.

Also, as troubling as it might be, there will be a time when you can't fix everything. Even years after a book is published most say they had things they would change. At some point you have to let go.

I had a painting professor who would often say "a painting is never finished, it is only abandoned" because there is always something that can be changed. The same goes for novels.

Do you struggle with "terrible trouble" and how do you push the negative mindset away in order to get to a point where you can abandon the edits?