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23 April 2009 @ 09:06 pm
The Reader Wants to Buy the Car! (A Writer's Pep Talk)  
All right, I'm done editing a huge couple of 400 page projects (see the anthology zine "Brotherhood 7" and the Supernatural zine "Brotherhood 8", see [ Pyramids Press ], see trade paperbacks that ate my life for the past several months, see I'm way too addicted to caffeine now) and I was actually crunching down and writing again.

Okay, I was actually more like thinking about crunching down and writing again and failing miserably.



I've been staring at the blank screen with my cursor quietly blinking, blinking, blinking (with all the ominous drumming of the heartbeat sound of Doctor Who's the "Master" coming) and worrying about getting what was in my head on paper in a way that people would see, would understand, would…just everything…would feel like it was a good story.

I called [ Mr. Wubbles ]. "The story is so much better in my head, what if I can't get it out right!"

She said, "Just write it down. Use Nouns and Verbs. Oh, and maybe some punctuation. It'll turn out fine! If not, that's why we have beta's and editors. It'll be okay. But just do it!"

But then the evil Master voice inside me said, "Of course, she'd say that she's your friend. What if you write it down and it sucks?"

I want to write about Sam-Dean-Jack-Daniel-the other Jack-Ianto-John-Rodney-Blair-Jim-Ezra-Vin-Chris and a lot of other company but I want to write them so that people feel the story that's in my head.

I looked wistfully at the big pile of fic I'd just edited. They all managed it. They got their stories done. Why is it so hard to dive in?

Why is getting started so HARD?

I just wanted to give up and go read some fic. Sodakey has some new stuff up that is just soooo good. And Kikkimax. Sigh. That would be nice. I just wanted to go read some good fic.

And then I had a big, old light bulb go off.

The advantage all fic writers have is that we ALL want to read fic.

We already love Sam-Dean-Jack-Daniel-the other Jack-Ianto-John-Rodney-Blair-Jim-Ezra-Vin-Chris-and everyone.

We ALL want fic.

We ALL want to read it.

We are already rooting for it to be good when we click on it and will be actively looking for good things in it.

We are on the writer's side.

Really.

Don't be so afraid to write. Don't be afraid about making it perfect. Don't be afraid if you can't find the exact right word to describe Sam's smirk or you can't think of yet another word for "glanced over". Just make it the best story you can write today.

Write what you can today.

Because the reader already wants it.

They will not hate our story on sight just because we can't describe it as good as it deserves.

They already want to buy the '67 Chevy Impala. So stop worrying so much about the fact that it has a few dings in it and doesn't even have air conditioning.

It's okay.

Just go write!




PS Don't believe me? How many stories do you love that weren't perfect all the way through? How many stories have you recommended to others because you liked them even though they had some wobbles or clunky sentences but there was still something in them that you liked?

Go start your story and stop worrying!


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redpimpernelredpimpernel on April 24th, 2009 06:37 am (UTC)
Manifesto of Done
Have you seen this yet?

The Manifesto of Done

by Bre Pettis & Kio Stark

1. There are three states of being. Not knowing, action and completion.
2. Accept that everything is a draft. It helps to get it done.
3. There is no editing stage.
4. Pretending you know what you’re doing is almost the same as knowing what you are doing, so just accept that you know what you’re doing even if you don’t and do it.
5. Banish procrastination. If you wait more than a week to get an idea done, abandon it.
6. The point of being done is not to finish but to get other things done.
7. Once you’re done you can throw it away.
8. Laugh at perfection. It’s boring and keeps you from being done.
9. People without dirty hands are wrong. Doing something makes you right.
10. Failure counts as done. So do mistakes.
11. Destruction is a variant of done.
12. If you have an idea and publish it on the internet, that counts as a ghost of done.
13. Done is the engine of more.
margec01margec01 on April 26th, 2009 04:22 pm (UTC)
As a reader who can't write fiction worth crap, I agree wholeheartedly. Whatever the fandom is, I LOVE reading about the characters and I want MORE!

As long as the emotion is there and the author can show me something new about the characters, I'm pretty forgiving about all the niceties. And by something new, I don't mean you can't still use an old standby plot--every author brings a new slant towards even the old favorites.

All that being said, once you get your ideas and the plot down on paper, a good beta and/or editor can help to make things clearer, get rid of awkward phrasing, and lessen those pesky tipoes...er, typos.