Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Sunday, August 17, 2008

#123 Sunday Scribblings

Observations. I only have this. When the writing goes well, all else goes well. Each day of writing brings struggle, but when my characters all move, when the tiniest detail brings a scene to life, when I cry or laugh along with my characters, when I know with the deepest part of me that this story has value, then all else goes well.

And yet, how I shiver with the slightest criticism. I wonder if all writers suffer this way with doubt and indecision. On those days, I'm lucky to get over 100 words done, my characters seem like cardboard, and I wonder again and again where the story is going. Yes, I have a synopsis (not updated yet). Yes, I have back stories. Yes, I know this story as if it happened to me, even though it's set in mid-19th Century.

On those bad days, I settle within and try to listen for the threads of the story. Time runs out. I study writing techniques and try to apply them. I read research, and for the highlight of the day, take a walk with my husband. And all is well. The sun comes up in the morning, and suddenly, the story flickers to life, and I'm off again.

But even the lightest criticism nearly stops me every time. I'm just about ready to start posting some parts of my draft online for feedback, and I wish I didn't dread it. And yet, I want to look into the mirror. I want to know.


  1. Look at that, 92% finished! That's awesome!

    I think you are wise not to look in the mirror. Don't slow down. Write like the wind. Don't worry about exposing your baby to the elements until well after it's born -- I remember being advised not to take my baby out for nearly two months after birth. Seems like this measure might apply here as well. Good luck!

  2. nothing ventured, nothing gained - you use words well, so don't be too scared to put yourself out there, else how will you know???

  3. Dear Goddess Beth,

    Thanks for stopping by.

    Wow!!! 92% of novel done. That's 92% more than most people. Tell your critics that!!! Hee hee!!!

    Criticism, doubt and indecision - not part of who you are anymore. Old voices sitting at the table - thank them for sharing and helping you get this far and let them be on their way.

    There is no such thing as failure - just feedback. Time to look into the mirror.

    Wishing you,
    Peace & Love, Just Because,
    Goddess Diana
    Peace & Love, Just

  4. Thank you Beth, for you sweet words. I needed them.

    I totally understand. I just posted my first chapter ever on because I needed an audience for a new genre I was trying out... the hardest thing was pushing the SUBMIT button!

    But you know... someone always has something good to say, even when someoneone doesn't.

  5. You are brave to be writing at all - most people never get that far. I enjoy your posts and I'm sure what you're putting out there is great. I tagged you on my latest post and linked it to your other blog. Check my blog for more details.