Thursday, November 15, 2007

I Suck So Bad

Going through my works to find a couple of somethings to print off for the open read and critiques (ORCs) at the con has turned into a session of ego-mutilation. I can't find anything that doesn't cry out "this Writer SUCKS and here's an example of how bad!"

My excerpt for the writers workshop, which I spent weeks editing and having it critiqued and editing it again until I thought it was the best thing I've ever written . . . now sucks so bad that I'm embarrassed to sit down with a couple pros to go over it. It took all my will not to grab a red pen and start slashing the piece into something less horrid.

This mindset is a familiar one. I experience it before any reading or presentation of my work. My work inevitably plunges and I want to make several changes before it reaches the light of day.

It seems to be getting worse, however, as I grow more proficient at editing. I see my mistakes much quicker and I desperately want to fix them. But with a workshop going over the piece as is, I can't really launch into it.

The ORC is much more problematic. I could, theoretically, edit till my little heart burst, and I really want to, but I'm running very short on time. So do I put the time I have into edits that might not hold up once I get to the con, since I'll be rushing to do them? Or do I just go with what I have, try not to cringe too badly, and put my time into Nano and getting ready for the con?

It's a hard call. Right now, I'd like to skip the ORC altogether instead of going with a piece I feel is inferior to what I could actually produce. But that seems like a coward's way out.

So, back to the documents, and the head banging.


Carole said...

Just talking off the top of my head here but I was editing the living crap out of that Enthusiast chapter 4 (hereafter known as the fingers chapter) clear up until 30 seconds before it was mine turn to read at the San Diego conference last February. Ask Steve. He was sitting next to me watching (and shaking his head at the insanity of it all if I recall correctly).

There's no reason why you can't do it too if you really want to.

Ris said...

I'll probably end up doing that, but not on something like Fool's Errand, which needs some extensive rewrites. I printed out the first couple of scenes to Warrior Storm, though, and it reads without inducing too many flinches. It's one of my newer pieces, which helps I think. Fool's Errand is several years old. So I might scrape by with Warrior, or I might take the first couple of scenes to Reven.

We'll just have to see what I do, won't we. ;-) But whatever it is, I'm sure it will be sporting lots of red ink!