Some days, it’s just overwhelming. There’s too much to remember. Too many techniques.
Is the pace right?
Does the scene turn?
What’s the character’s motivation?
Is my first line punchy enough?
Is my dialogue boring?
Too many ‘said’s. Too many adverbs. Too many adjectives.
Too much detail
Not enough detail
Are my minor characters too quirky?
What about the internal motivation?
Does it make sense?
Don’t worry about the sentence. Worry about the story.
But that sentence is clumsy.
Is my main character changing enough?
Is it cliched? Is it derivative?
Am I wasting my time?
Q: Am I wasting my time?
A: I’m tempted to say, only if you give up. But I don’t believe creative time is ever wasted. It builds a backstory warehouse of subtle understandings that enrich all manner of life-strands that unravel in the future, from the High Creative to the simple and beautiful Life Itself.
Personally, I’ve rather OD’d on mechanics-of-writing analyses. It’s like trying to assemble a piece of furniture from an unlabelled Ikea box of parts – you could end up with bunk-beds instead of a kitchen.
If you need a raft to cling to on these choppy seas, I recommend ‘On Writing’, by the unsinkable Stephen King. Because, in the end, there’s only you and your story.
Thank you for your beautiful words, Jenny. I felt better after this little rant. You’re right, the story is the only thing that matters.
Actually, I do think it was rather a good rant! 🙂