Well, I didn’t final in the first pargraph contest, but that’s perfectly fine with me 🙂 The ones that did semi-final and final are truly awesome so I suggest you go to Nathan’s blog and check it out!
Anyway, I have to admit that I’m finding my writer’s ego inflating. It’s not a bad thing per se, but I want to keep it in check so I don’t become too proud. I think much of it has to do with the comments I seem to be getting on a daily basis over at the NaNo forums. I started a thread over there about making mock book trailers and it seems to be quite popular now (5 pages of comments last I checked). I think that starting the thread is what’s making me get the daily NaNoMail comments about how much everyone wants to read my book 😛
I’m glad I started that thread because it at least makes me see that there could be a market for a historical fantasy based in Japanese mythology. (Also glad that it’s really inspiring people to want to write!) Of course that may not be an accurate representation of the market, but it’s nice to see the comments. It’s really helping me stay more focused on my novel as opposed to the last few years.
I’ve always been self conscious about my writing (what writer hasn’t?) and sometimes I don’t think I’m ever going to be talented enough to get an agent, let alone get published. I know I shouldn’t be thinking this, but I tend to be an negative person by nature, unfortunately, so it’s hard for me to break that mindset. But the comments are really helping me break that perception I have of my writing.
Of course I know I still have a lot to learn and a great deal of crafting to do. I’m still searching for my writer’s voice–not quite sure I’ve found it just yet–and I should be reading up on the craft a little more.
Perhaps my dream is not as far off as I once thought. 🙂
I know every writer at some point in their life struggles with the feeling that they aren’t meant to be a writer. I know I have (probably a lot recently too). It’s hard in the face of rejection and critique to see the good sometimes. Many of us (and by this I mean me mostly :P) sometimes take the critique personally and sink into a minor depression of sorts for a day or two (or longer).
But then there are times when I realize that I’ve probably been a bit too harsh on myself and realize that my stories have something special. It may be a very long way off from being published and I’ve still a great deal to learn about the craft and finding my voice, but I’m not as horrible as I once thought.
My day was made today when I received a message via NaNoMail (the site’s messaging service) from a fellow writer. Reading it over still makes me smile:
I think your story sounds fantastic. Far and away one of the best synopses that I’ve read since I started looking. I’d love to see how it progresses.
It’s nothing major but it really boosts my confidence level.
Also, all the lovely comments about my “mock” book trailer make me smile too–it makes me think that perhaps I’m not as bad as I think 🙂
What helps boost your confidence in your writing?
Well, needless worrying from me yesterday, as only one other member showed up to my critique session 😛 We went over my chapter for a little while and then over my story as a whole. I received a great deal of insight and how to progress further. For one, I know for certain that I’m sticking with third person POV. I was told that I convey it very well. So no sense in messing that up by changing to first person.
I also figured that I am going to cut back a bit on the other viewpoints. It seems like the other characters’ stories are taking over (but it is the rough NaNo draft I’m reading…). There will still be four different viewpoints (My MC Kaiyo, her father, Iesada, the love interest, Ryuji and the villain, Kaemon). The other three will be shown only occassionally as it pertains to the story. It’ll probably take a great deal of adding/removing/changing as the book progresses, but at least I don’t have to worry about too much sidestory.
I’m still going to have to research the yakuza of the time…even though I don’t think they were called that just yet in 1890…and even though I’ve looked all over for books detailing this period, I only ever get a paragraph or a page at best. So that’s still a bit of an issue. BUT I managed to find this really nifty book about traditional Japanese furniture, so now I’m not completely in the dark about that.
So overall, my critique went well–I was told it was the best chapter written so far. So I KNOW I have it in me to write a compelling novel. Sometimes I struggle with the whole confidence thing–always have–but last night’s critique built it up considerably 🙂 I haven’t gotten any of the other critiques back, as they were all absent last night, so I have another week to wait before I see the varying opinions (as some are a lot harsher than others). Still, I know that at least one person likes it (and he tends to be one of the harder reviewers), so there’s something there…:P