Friday, September 4, 2015

Friday Fricassee

So the ON THE BLOCK buzz has been bringing us some new folks (welcome! welcome!), so I want to make sure that nobody runs pell-mell toward the submission line next Thursday without understanding what a logline is.



Michael and I are looking for a couple folks who are willing to help us test the new bot tomorrow morning (Saturday).  If you're available (9 to 10 a.m. EDT), please ping me on Twitter or email me at facelesswords(at) ASAP.  First come, first served.  It's fun in a weird sort of way to try to break something, yes?

And, finally:

Yesterday, I tweeted this:

Backstory:  My manuscript is too huge right now, and I've simply got to cut it back.  Hence my glee in the above tweet!  But someone responded to me that he hoped I'd saved the deleted text.  And I hadn't.

(Did you gasp just then?)

Thing is, I am all about saving good stuff!  But this wasn't good stuff.  It veered too far from the arc, and I knew I would never use it.  So I highlighted that chunk of 1000 useless words and POOF!  Gone.

The tweeter's thoughtful advice got me thinking, though.  Years ago, I think I probably would have saved EVERYTHING.  As in, EVERYTHING.  Now?  I'm more seasoned.  And I feel like I can tell the difference between things that MIGHT be useful later, and things that absolutely shouldn't be allowed to exist in the known universe.  Yesterday's deletion definitely fell into the latter category.

I'm feeling like this is another hallmark of being comfortable in my writing skin.  Of being sure that, for the most part, I know what I'm doing.  I still get stuck from time to time, but I am no longer floundering.  And there's a huge difference between being stuck and floundering.

It takes courage to tell ourselves, "Hey. I've got this!"  Mostly we want to second-guess ourselves.  Self-deprecate.  Lament over our shortcomings.  And, of course, none of that gets us anywhere.  When we've worked hard and learned a lot, we need to stay in that place of YES-I-CAN-DO-THIS-THING.

Mind you, I'm not talking about delusions of grandeur.  People who think they're great usually...aren't.  People who think they know it all often know only half of what they need to.

I don't think I'm great, and I don't think I know it all.  But I do think that I KNOW HOW TO WRITE A NOVEL.  And it is with that level of confidence I continue to move forward.

And those are my thoughts for the week.  Please share yours!


  1. A couple of years ago I did a post on my blog about pretty much the same thing, so this struck a chord with me. I was wrapping up the last week of the Write-a-thon I participate in every summer, and I talked about how rewarding it is when you realize you've reached the point where you actually have all the tools you need to accomplish your writing goals -- or, as you put it, you truly 'know how to write a novel'!

    So even though there's always more to learn, and you'll always keep pushing yourself to get better and better, it feels pretty good to know that after all the years of hard work you now have the full set of skills necessary for writing the kind of books you've always wanted to write. :)

  2. Haha, I did feel like gasping. Or at least my eyebrows raised. =) I should do this more often too, as I've got so much crap saved that I've never gone back and used.

  3. I rarely save anything when I chop. I do keep my first draft separate from the one I edit, so I could go back and get it. But I never do. I keep the old draft so I can see the difference. And apparently I'm a virtual hoarder. >.<

  4. A backup tool like Dropbox, Google Drive, or iCloud is extremely useful for writers. For those among us who worry excessively about deleting something and losing it forever (Who me? Never.), these tools retain a complete history of edits.

    Should you awake in a cold sweat in the middle of the night, and suddenly need that line of dialogue back, it can be recovered. Not to mention permanent protection against crashes and accidental deletions.