Friday, October 22, 2010

Not letting self-consciousness kill the magic

I recently got my hands on the latest JR Ward, Crave(thanks, Molly). The book is great, so far, at least. And as usual, she builds her world really convincingly. A large part of that world building is in the character's voices, their word choices. And she has a different voice for each character, and their convincing, and real, and she commits to it completely.

There is always a point in a book where I wonder, am I going too far with this? Is this realistic, and when I think about it too hard, I can pull back, not commit completely and some of the magic dissipates.

It's why at a certain part of the process, primarily the rough draft, I have to shut down the outside world, forget about what everyone else is saying, selling, where certain books failed, really, what anyone else will think. Because it screws with my head, kills my productivity and can kill the magic.

Basically at this point, I'm just trying to stay out of my own way. I can fix something that isn't working, and my critique group will tell me what needs to be fixed, but it's really hard to add magic after the fact. The best magic, for me, always comes from the first draft, and as Molly pointed out earlier this week, we have to protect the magic.

I'm completely not jealous that three of the drunk writers are at a conference together. Not jealous at all.


Eileen said...

Really? Cuz I'm totally green with envy. I want to see Steph's cocktail dress and Maureen's shoes and have Molly buy me a delightful beverage. Oh, and talk about writing and network and stuff, too.

I'm just at the beginning of a new project and I'm a little terrified of what I'm attempting. It could be a great book, but only if I throw myself into it headlong and completely commit.

The real thing that terrifies me is that I could totally commit and still fail. I think I will probably always fall short of what I want to achieve, but I feel like I have to at least try.

Sinead M said...

It's the fear of not getting it right and coming across like an idiot that paralyzes me.
Then I get over it, and realize, my critique partners are too nice to laugh at me, for long, and they'd pull me back from the edge.

Maureen McGowan said...

This post is a great reminder, Sinead. I pull back out of fear all to often.

Plunge into the abyss!

PS. Molly and Steph and I just had a delightful beverage together and admired each others' shoes. No cocktail dresses yet.

Eileen said...

I am almost sick with jealousy.

Molly O'Keefe said...

I need to get out of my way and everyone else's way too. I think sometimes a confident critique partner is a great thing and sometimes my uninformed and single-minded voice gets in people's heads at the wrong time. So...get out of your way Sinead and don't listen to me.

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