Monday, 16 September 2013

A Monday Morning, Self-Involved Whine

Disclaimer: I used this title to warn people in advance of the whiny, self-pitying nature of this post. Also, this may not make any sense whatsoever, but I've had a bunch of stuff going around in my head for a long time, so it's time to purge my brain to make way for new, more positive thoughts. I promise to be my usual self next time!


Urgh. The joys of self-doubt. As a writer, I know this is part of the deal. I see other writers feeling the same way I feel right now, and I think, "But... you're amazing, everyone loves you and your books, how can you be insecure?" Which inevitably leads to me wondering if anyone feels that way about me, and my books.

I just finished writing what I consider to be my best book so far. According to some of my past reviews, I didn't set the bar that high to begin with lol. My reviews for Game On continue to baffle me. I know it's FAR from perfect, and I've been itching to edit it since I hit publish lol. The thing I cling to every time I see one of the bad reviews for Game On is that mostly, it comes with a "I think this writer has a great writing style, but..." - so I guess I just didn't nail the story as well as I thought I did. And I guess that's okay. It was my first book, and I had way more to learn than I even realised. 

And my new book. My CPs have been AMAZING.  They've all brought so much to the story, helping me re-shape things a little, spotting the silly mistakes I made. They all said they loved it - so what's the problem? Why isn't that enough? There are a couple of reasons. My MC makes a very questionable decision in the middle of the book. One that is so obviously going to backfire on her - and I'm worried it will be an issue. People will say she's stupid, made the wrong choice, hate her for it. But for her, in the context of the story, it makes absolute sense. Or it does to me. But my judgement isn't always the best - so maybe I'm wrong. And maybe, what I think is a strong book, is actually complete crap.

Also, what makes a book go from, "That was really good, I enjoyed it." to "OMG, I need to tell everyone about this RIGHT NOW!"? I definitely haven't written that book, but I'd like to think I've got it in me. Maybe I haven't. Maybe I'm destined to live in the land of mediocrity.

Blah. Sorry. The verbal vomit has been festering for a long time, which is why I sound like someone who sits alone in her room, rocking back and forth, and crying into my keyboard. It's not THAT bad. New ideas are forming, I have a couple of books tentatively started, and I'm too busy to sit around dwelling on all this. But it has been on my mind more and more recently. So, there you go. My Monday morning, self-involved whine.

I'm not really seeking answers here - but hugs are always appreciated!

P.S If you're new here, I'm not usually like this!

44 comments:

  1. No answers, I'm afraid. We all feel the same way. BUT... I tend to find the books that EVERYONE loves and MUST READ tend to be lacking something. It's the quieter, sneaking in when no one's looking books that stand the test of time. I read a book that everyone said was awesome, the blurb said it couldn't possibly tell me the story because it was too awesome, and it was actually quite a mundane, all right sort of story.

    In short, write books you love and other people will love them. I liked Game On - from what I've seen from the reviews people want angelic people to gravitate to other angelic people, and all the 'baddies' should get their comeuppance... Very much like in real life... Oh no, wait... :-)

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    1. I know those books that everyone loves aren't always the best books ever, but wouldn't it be nice to have people say, "No really, you HAVE to read this!"? It's like the giddy feeling you get when you get a good review lol.

      And LOL! :D

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  2. You are still writing so you're not letting doubt defeat you. Keep doing that and loads of hug.

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    1. Thank you! And yes, I'm still working, yay!

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  3. You're a terrific writer with good stories to tell, so you'll get there. And even though you don't have the confidence in yourself right now, know that there's others out there that do.

    *hugs*

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    1. *hugs*

      Thanks, Suzi! That means a lot!

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  4. I feel your pain. I've read books where I got what the author was trying to do, but it went over the reviewer's head.

    Glad you aren't the type of author who uses reviews as beta readers for your books. It drives me nuts when authors do that. It's like they don't value the reader's time, and it doesn't make me want to read their next book. You might as well wait several months so they can edit it first.

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    1. I agree! I'm not THAT writer, but there are some definite flaws that need to be addressed.

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  5. If your critique partners thought the decision was right, then stick to your guns.
    What's the difference between good and great? No idea except maybe for the way readers connect with the characters.

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    1. It probably is that simple, but man, I wish I knew if I'm getting it right!

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  6. HUGS. We all feel this way, published or not. I promise. :)

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  7. :( I'm sorry you've been feeling down. But you're right, we all feel that way sometimes.
    Try not to worry about whether people will hate your MC for making a bad choice. The truth is, some people probably will. But other people will get it. I mean, who among us has never made stupid decisions? Those tough choices, letting your character make mistakes, those are the things that make great books. :)

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    1. I agree. Books would be super boring if the characters did everything perfectly!

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  8. Everyone needs time to voice worries and inner fears. You get it out so it doesn't fester and build a dam that stops you and move forward. Thing is, look at any author you enjoy reading. If you've been following them from the first book can't you see their growth? No one stays the same on this journey, there is always growth. But, even bestsellers can write a book they like but readers are Meh about. They go on and write the next.

    Bottom line is, reactions to story are subjective. What one reader may love leave another cold. All you can do is write the story you love and write it the best you can. Even negative thoughts on characters show that the character touched the reader and that's what you want. She makes a stupid mistake.So what? She faces the consequences and learns and changes. That's is how life is. That's how good stories are written.

    Hang in there!

    Sia McKye Over Coffee

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    1. Thank you so much, Sia! Your comment really lifted me up!

      It's definitely true that reactions are subjective. And after the first bad review I ever got, I don't tend to dwell on them much anymore - but the naggy voice in my head about what's wrong with my first book won't go away until I at least read it back again lol!

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  9. Hang in there, Kyra. You know we all go through it. I just did, lol. If you find the good to great secret, let me know. :) You rock!

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    1. Thanks, Ilima! I did think of you when I wrote this, remembering you felt the same way not so long ago. And just like you, I know it will pass but at the time, it really sucks lol!

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  10. Sorry, I've got no answers, but I do know that what you write touches people. I think that's the first step towards "OMG I have to tell everyone I know about this book!"

    And people do feel that way about your books. Insecurity is part of the human condition.

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  11. *HUGS*
    I love Game On (and Radleigh) but you already know this. :)
    I think you're an awesome writer!!!

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    1. *hugs* Thanks, Jackie!

      I know you love Radleigh, I always think of you when I write him now!

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  12. I'm sorry you're feeling down. For what it's worth, I think you're a terrific writer, and I like characters who make questionable decisions. They make me feel less alone in life.

    Hang in there... *hugs*

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    1. Thank you! I'm a big fan of questionable decisions, too lol!

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  13. Awww, can I join in your whine? I'm having one of those days too. Maybe we both need to have a glass of wine and a rant!! Big hugs!

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    1. Sounds like a plan! Hope you feel better soon!

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  14. *hugs* ;-)

    When Knee Deep came out, I knew exactly what the bad reviews were going to say. I knew people wouldn't understand why she stuck around. Why she didn't chase after the guy when he left. But I knew it was what my MC would do in that situation. SO. At that point, I finally sent the book on to my agent knowing that I felt good about what my character did, and also knowing people would have issue with that.
    Also.
    Kyra.
    STOP READING YOUR REVIEWS.
    That is all ;-)

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    1. *hugs*

      I remember you going through this with Knee Deep, but her decisions made perfect sense to me! :D

      LOL, I don't read my reviews that often, I just stumbled across a new one yesterday. As it turns out, there are more good than bad, but boy the bad ones can be brutal!

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  15. Don't feel bad about feeling low and having a whine, we all need to do it. You have determination and talent they will hold you in good stead I'm sure.Sending hugs and a big bar of choccy your way.

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  16. Of course you have that in you. Can you discuss that section with one or more of your crit partners? Maybe that'll make you feel better about it. I usually send rambling emails to a friend about what's irking me and usually by the end I worked out how to fix it.

    Maybe you just need to add in a few lines here and there to make her decision seem more sensible to the reader.

    Don't let the trolls get you down. The beauty of writing is we're all always improving and learning.

    And no, you're far from the only one filled with doubts. I'm currently editing my next book and am questioning my sanity. lol

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    1. Lol, I try not to bug my CPs too often for fear of sounding nuts, but I did go over it with some of them. I have explained my MCs decision, and I think it's enough. I don't want to hammer the reason over the reader's head lol. But it still makes me nervous!

      Good luck with those edits!

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  17. None of us can know for sure what makes the difference between enjoyable to "I need to make sure everyone I know reads this book!" If we did, we'd all be bestsellers.

    As a writer, you clearly have skill, and I think you tell engaging stories. You're also brave enough to put your work out there. Those things all count for a lot.

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    1. Good point lol!

      Thank you - it definitely takes courage to let people read your work!

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  18. Woman, none of us is perfect. Nor is our work. The point is that we do the best we can and improve with every subsequent project. Chin up, and go eat some cheese eh? ;)

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  19. don't doubt yourself! you're an awesome writer.

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  20. It's good to voice things... especially our doubts and insecurities. I think it helps us digest things and move on. I've been in an awful slump myself... and I think sometimes we have to allow ourselves to go through these down moments... because when we come out, our perspective isn't forced, it's real. And we're stronger for it. :)

    You are wonderful, Kyra. And I totally believe in you!

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  21. First off...major sorry for going too slowly to be any help. And as for the twist in the middle...sometimes the characters speak to us and you have to allow that. You went with your gut and it works.

    I know what you are talking about with the insecurity over the mediocrity. I have the same fear and I too get a measure of comfort from hearing the laments of talented writers like yourself. I have read the works of best sellers and finish scratching my head with wonder for their success. Then I will read AMAZING books that get very little anything. I think without the major ad budget and promotions, it's just going to take time. I read somewhere that most overnight successes are years in the making and I think there is a lot of truth in that.

    Good luck! Be confident...you have all it takes to make it!

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  22. Fear not. This is normal for writers to feel that way. I, too, feel terribly mediocre. I'm also honest when it comes to reviews. Your books are great! It's hard to handle that not everyone is going to like us, but that's a reality of being a writer. Keep writing. Your books keep getting better. The doubts will be there, but don't let them stop you. *Hugs*

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  23. I've felt stressed over certain things about my novel also, but for me it's about trying to make sure everything is good before I am set to publish it. The only advice I can offer is to never doubt yourself or your writing. It's common that writers feel this way and by you being a writer, you're no different from the rest. However, don't let the negativity control those thoughts!

    Continue writing and never give up! :)

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  24. Keep going Kyra :)! You're doing a fantastic job! If you ever feel down, just think about it this way - you've already written more books than I have :P (current finished book count: 0, WIP: many...).
    You say that you worry that people will hate your character for making a particular decision, but I don't think so - so long as it ties in with the MC's personality and doesn't go too much against what she's like as a person (for example, if she was strong minded, but then fainted over a hot guy looking at her or something ridiculous like that...), then I don't think you need to worry :). It's when characters make irrational decisions that don't have anything to do with the way the story will progress, or goes completely against their nature that there might be an issue. But if it's justified and if YOU think it fits, then honestly don't worry about it :)!
    Sending a hug your way to cheer you up ;)!

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  25. If you can rationalize a decision, I think it's safe to assume a character could, too. Reviewers come from different walks of life. They may not understand that. They may rate you harshly because of it. But it happens.

    Do what's right for the story. Screw everything else. <3

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