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Won't get fooled again


What is it about writing stories that renders us
(and by us, I mean, me) clueless?

I'm revising a manuscript I used to think was pretty damned solid
but with the help of my mentor, I'm realizing I'd hit many wrong notes.

The opening chapter is so much better now
which makes me very happy
but also makes me wonder
what the hell was I thinking before?  

How could I miss the obvious?

I felt a bit shame-spirally last night as I contemplated my cluelessness
but am now trying to focus on feeling grateful for a stronger manuscript,
and am reminding myself I will carry this awareness to later projects.

I won't get fooled again.


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
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(Deleted comment)
Jan. 26th, 2010 11:04 pm (UTC)
Re: Shame-spiraling
Thank you for reminding me of my Mighty Avenger. Dude's got a sword! I'm also thrilled to be working with a mentor and am working hard to hit those notes. (You know all about those notes, on several levels).
Jan. 26th, 2010 05:30 pm (UTC)
I'm feeling very befuddled by writing right now, as well.
Jan. 26th, 2010 11:06 pm (UTC)
"Befuddled" is such a great word. Thank you for using it here! I'm sorry you're feeling that way, though. I just commented on your FB, saying I hoped you find a way to feel good about YOU again. Take care of Robin.
Jan. 27th, 2010 12:50 am (UTC)
With my mind, I can see that it will happen when it's supposed to, but my heart is being very impatient and sulky. :) Thanks so much for the encouragement and support!
Jan. 27th, 2010 01:00 am (UTC)
My heart totally understands the impatient and sulky (as does my mind, for that matter).

You're welcome for the support and encouragement - that's what this community is for!
Jan. 26th, 2010 05:49 pm (UTC)
I feel like this whenever I approach an old mss, a combination of dread and shame. So many wrong notes. Why didn't I hear them?
Jan. 26th, 2010 11:07 pm (UTC)
"Why didn't I hear them?"
Ain't that the truth. But it seems to be the writer's path- writing and cringing, writing and cringing - rinse, repeat.

We always make it out the other side, though.
Jan. 26th, 2010 07:10 pm (UTC)
Aw, my dear Tracy--isn't it grand being human! And aren't you lucky to have a mentor. And remember, clueless or not, only you can tell your story. :)
Jan. 26th, 2010 11:08 pm (UTC)
I am so very lucky to have a mentor. She's already doing wonders for my writing awareness and I'm mostly looking at things this way. I was just feeling a big gobsmacked by what I now see in my earlier version.

As always, thank you, Lorraine.
Jan. 26th, 2010 08:20 pm (UTC)
Every writer needs feedback to make it better, honey. Every. Single. One.
Jan. 26th, 2010 11:09 pm (UTC)
Thank you, wise Dotificus. I needed that.
Jan. 26th, 2010 11:55 pm (UTC)
I mean no disrespect, but I believe you will get fooled again. As we all will, as long as we keep writing. Because we don't notice that we used the word "asparagus" 15 times in the first chapter, or that we introduced a gun and never shot it, or that we have three characters whose names begin with T, and they're all blonde, and they're all boys. Or whatever.

Myopia is a part of the writing process, is all I'm saying. And there is no shame at all in that. The shame would be in not taking steps to recognize it and figure out how to fix things - as by enlisting the aid of a mentor, critiquer, etc.

Smart girl, you, knowing when to get help and when to listen, and having the dedication to do the additional revisions. That's what I say, anyhow!
Jan. 27th, 2010 12:06 am (UTC)
Yep. I was thinking the same thing as I typed those words. Of course I'll get fooled. I'm thinking, though, that these particular gaffes (misplaced conflict in opening scene, for instance) won't show up again because they're BIG. They're not asparagus or a gun that's never fired; those types of gaffes I'll continue to create aplenty.

But I feel as if I'm (re)learning some important stuff right now and that these lessons will stay with me.

Thanks for thinking I'm smart, friend. :)
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )


a.k.a. Tracy Abell

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