You know that little voice in the back of your head that whispers at night, telling you everything you don’t want to hear? Sometimes it’s right.
I decided to not query TH yet. In fact, I’m going to rewrite it. It was third, and while it was a close third, I’d felt from the start that something wasn’t quite as good as I wanted it to be. I’d sent it off to my betas after I was done with my edits on it, and the initial feedback I had was very positive. They were enjoying the story, and so I figured, eh, maybe I’m just to harsh on myself. I used to routinely whip out papers in school and think they were bad, yet ace them, and I am my own worst critic. So for the most part, I’ve learned to weigh out the voice of doubt with the input of my writing partners. But something was nagging me about this story, and I couldn’t shake it.
While reading all the Writers Voice entries, I kept feeling like mine just wasn’t hooking. I knew part of that was because where the story starts. It starts in a very light place, and the story gets darker as it goes. But the first scene as it was just doesn’t show this. It doesn’t give the sense of there being that depth there. And I told myself, this kind of contest, maybe, just isn’t for me with this story. This story doesn’t have the style that can grab you by the throat. It’s the kind that sneaks up on you, pulls you into a dark alleyway, then stabs you in the gut, turns your insides to jelly, and shakes you upside down until all your candy falls out. Then it kicks you, for good measure. So I tried to ignore the doubts.
Meanwhile, KT read the first chapter rough draft of SW. It’s first person, far more immediate, and it has a MUCH stronger voice. When she went to revise another chapter of TH, she struggled to switch back.
One thing I adore about KT: She always tells me how she sees things. I trust her judgement, and I know she’s honest with me, even when she thinks it’s something I don’t want to hear. In fact, she’s probably the person who can most easily tell me what I don’t want to hear. I’ve done the same to her before, though usually less massively.
Funny thing is? I hadn’t told her anything specific about my doubts, only that I was having one of those bad nights the other evening. She picked up the same thing I was already thinking. So now I have more work to do, but I’m glad of it. I redacted the post that had the query/250 in it, and told them to remove it from their consideration. Because for once, that doubting voice in my head was right: It’s not ready. It’s strong in plot and characters, but it’s weak in the telling, compared to how it could/should/will be.
So I’m eating a bit of humble pie. And I wrote almost a thousand words, while being distracted anyway, on SW. And in a little bit, I’m going to settle down with some cookies, and I’m going to write more. And when I’m done with SW, then I’ll go back to TH. And I’ll change the POV, and we’ll see from there. But that’s two #Writemotivation goals decided. That’s good, at least.