cupidsbow (cupidsbow) wrote,

Torchwood story beta?

In about two or three hours, after I've eaten dinner and had a cuppa, I'm going to write the final scene of a Torchwood story. It'll need a beta or two. It's looking to come in at maybe 4,500 words, ish. It's timey-wimey, and I need a plot-hole checker, as well as the usual pace and horrible-prose checkers.

Any takers?

If so, gimme your email addy, and I'll give you access to the google document once I'm done.

Writing Thoughts

While writing this story, I've been paying particular attention to the process of writing and how it makes me feel. I've been finding it so hard to do for a while now, and so I was genuinely wondering if I actually hated writing, and was just being a huge secret masochist or something at having chosen it as a career.

I can't tell you how relieved I am to rediscover that I love writing. I've loved most of the actual writing process on this story, and it's been typical enough. I loved turning over the plot in my mind, and making the connections so it would fit together like a logic puzzle. I loved getting inside the characters and learning more about what makes them tick. The writing itself was hard work, but I enjoyed it as long as I didn't think about what I was doing while actually doing it.

Here's the kicker, though: the minute I stopped writing, I started second-guessing myself. So I wrote the first part of the story in a white heat, and that was fine. And then the second half, I'd write a scene, and then go: "Oh, another talking scene. There should be more action and less talking heads. That's just not an efficient way to forward the plot. Also, the dialogue is clunky. Hmmm. And the sequence of the scenes is wrong. That one needs to go there, and that one needs another chapter added to it. Oh, and this next scene needs subtext. I can't just write it without having something to hang the turning point off. Also, that location I've chosen is so dull -- everyone writes Torchwood scenes on rooftops. Bor-ring. I need something fresher and more interesting. And less dialogue. No one actually does anything in this fucking story but talk and talk."

And after all that, I'm so psyched out, I can't actually write the next scene until I've psyched myself back up, like an Olympic athlete about to run the race of their lives. Even though I know I'm just writing it for fun, and it doesn't matter if no one reads it or likes it.

Once I'm writing again, it's all fine. But then I stop for lunch, and the whole thing happens over. And each time it happens, and the closer I get to the story's climax, the more intense the internal conversation gets: "This is a stupid climax. No one will be surprised by this twist. Except I've probably not put in enough clues, so it'll feel like a cheat rather than a twist anyway. Also, the story isn't really building up to the climax very well. There's still too many talking heads. A climax should have some action. God, I suck. Why can't I think of a better way to do this?"

I can't believe I do that to myself. But it explains so much, including why I have so many novellas in my Works in Progress file, which are stalled at 40,000 words, right before the climax. The pressure, with so much riding on the turning point, is just too much for me. And no wonder! No story could ever live up to that!

It's been interesting going through this process, though, because as I realised what I was doing, I told myself to just write the bloody dialogue scenes and stop worrying about it. And now here I am, with the climax written, and just one scene to go. O_o

And the stupidest part? I know I'm a shitty first draft writer, so it doesn't even matter that it's all wrong. Any talent I have is in editing a first draft into reasonable shape. So even if the criticisms are valid (they are, that's what makes them so poisonous), the whole self-sabotaging cycle is just redundant and pointless, because it can all be fixed in re-writes anyway.

In short: I am an idiot. The end.

*goes to have a soothing cup of tea*

This entry was originally posted at
Tags: beta, writing
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.