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Monday, October 28, 2013

FAQ: What do you do when you hate your book?

Hey Matthue,
What do you do when you hate your book? Start from the beginning? Randomly change words here and there? Delete paragraphs? Chapters? Help!!!

No! Don't delete anything! I save every sentence I write. I'm a total diva, but this is one thing I'll freely cop to. If I'm deleting stuff in my manuscript, this is what I do first:

1) Get to the end of the story. Finish it! No sense destroying the walls until you've got a floor you're happy with.
2) Make a copy of the file. Sometimes I'll go back and steal stuff from earlier drafts. There's always goodness, and there's always sloppiness. Sometimes you don't know till later which is which.

Best thing to do is put it aside until you get over yourself. The problem is, when you're writing, you're too much in the middle of things -- you can't step back and look at the book as if someone else is writing it.

What you can do is, start over. Not from the beginning. But just turn the page, skip to the next chapter, or the next big fight scene/explosion, and start writing something you do feel good about. Don't worry about tying it in, or making it fit. That's what editing is for. Right now, just get all your ideas down and get yourself to a place where you love what you're writing.

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