If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

Here are the upcoming WWK interviews for the month of July!

July 4th Christopher Huang, A Gentleman's Murder

July 11th V. M. Burns, The Plot Is Murder

July 18th Edith Maxwell (Maddie Day), Death Over Easy

July 25th Shari Randall, Against The Claw

Our July Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 7/7--Mary Feliz, 7/14--Annie Hogsett, 7/21--Margaret S. Hamilton, 7/28--Kait Carson.

Our special bloggers for the fifth Monday and Tuesday of July--Kaye George and Paula Gail Benson.

Please welcome two new members to WWK--Annette Dashofy, who will blog on alternative Sundays with Jim Jackson, and Nancy Eady, who will blog on every fourth Monday. Thanks for blogging with us Annette and Nancy!

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Annette Dashofy's Uneasy Prey was released in March. It is the sixth Zoe Chambers Mystery. The seventh, Cry Wolf, will be released on September 18th. Look for E. B. Davis's interview with Annette on September 19th.

Carla Damron's quirky short story, "Subplot", was published in the Spring edition of The Offbeat Literary Journal. You can find it here: http://offbeat.msu.edu/volume-18-spring-2018/

Tina Whittle's sixth Tai Randolph mystery, Necessary Ends, debuts on April 3, 2018. Look for it here. Tina was nominated for a Derringer Award for her novelette, "Trouble Like A Freight Train Coming." We're all crossing our fingers for her.

James M. Jackson's Empty Promises, the next in the Seamus McCree mystery series (5th), was published on April 3, 2018. Purchase links are here. He's working on Seamus McCree #6 (False Bottom)

Dark Sister, a poetry collection, is Linda Rodriguez's tenth published book. It's available for sale here:

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

Shari Randall's second Lobster Shack Mystery, Against the Claw, will be available in July 31, 2018.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I Hate My WIP

Every so often this happens to me: I hate my WIP. The first sentence is flat; the dialogue contrived; the plot infantile. The whole thing sucks.

After a first draft all those statements are true; but I never hate my WIP after the first draft. I know all first drafts suck—well, I’ll not speak for you, but my first drafts suck. The story I started to write morphed into something a bit different. I’ll need to delete at least 25% (backstory, irrelevant story, extraneous subplot) and add at least 25% (relevant story, beef-up subplot, insert backstory.) None of that discourages me. In fact, after I finish the first draft I am so cranked by the project that I have to force myself to put the manuscript in the drawer for a bit. If I don’t, I’ll start on draft two before I’ve had a chance to understand all the things I did wrong in draft one. That causes extra, non-productive drafts.

The point that I tip my head back and shout at the ceiling, “I hate this [explicative deleted] thing” is after I spent hours and hours and even more hours over days and weeks and months, editing the WIP. I’m talking long after I’ve solved all the plotting, character and other problems introduced in the first two or three drafts. I’ve polished this puppy until the manuscript sparkles.

Then one of my helpful critiquers points out this, that or the other flaw (or all three). That’s when I shout at the ceiling and threaten to take the blasted thing to the burn barrel and be done with it.

Which means I am getting very close to sending it to agents. You see, it’s never the big things that cause me to cross my eyes in frustration; oh no, it’s finding yet one more comma in the wrong place. (I swear they migrate between midnight and five a.m.) Or after eighty-eight thousand readers have looked through the thing, the eighty-eight thousandth and one reader points out something so obvious that I begin to wonder what other imbecilic mistakes I have made. Those are the kind of things that set off my self-esteem dissolution process.

Now I know to give it a few days and jump back in; the soup’s almost done.

~ Jim


E. B. Davis said...

You're not alone, Jim. The revision process is exciting but those little things are frustrating. I just hate it when an experienced author says that they write 10 perfect pages per day. Like I actually believe that!
In revision, I find that I've breach a POV, written "isle" for "aisle," and labeled dialogue with the wrong character. Then, I realize I may just want to do more research in a given area, just to make sure. But having critique partners is essential because after you write, read and revise, it all appears as a blur and if you read it one more time, you want to go jog 10 miles just to put off having to read it again. Some of my best shorts were written as procrastination. On my current WIP, I'm not at that stage yet.

P.A.Brown said...

Right there with you, Jim. I always reach some point where I wonder how I ever had the gall to call myself a writer since this pure drivel. It goes away eventually, like a bad virus. LOL.

Susan Schreyer said...

Oh, yeah. It's somewhat comforting to know I don't own that little corner of misery!

What I want to know is, why is it punctuation can make me feel like such a moron?

James Montgomery Jackson said...

EB, Now I understand why I go for 10 mile jogs; and here I thought I was trying to stay in shape. Another bubble burst.

Pat, I like that virus analogy; wish there was an inoculation instead.

Susan, Maybe the reason grammar makes us feel like imbeciles is because it is based on rules -- and you'd think we could remember to apply them correctly.

The rest of writing is more subjective. We can wave our red cape and let the bull of criticism pass us by since those "problems" are just our style or "voice."

Annette said...

I could have written this post, Jim. In fact, I probably have written a variation on it a time or two. Or twelve.

Diane Vallere said...

There is no first love like that of a finished first draft - but getting there isn't always easy! I'm developing a real love/hate relationship with revisions. The longer I wait to work on them, the more I enjoy them. But you're right, a first draft is like a steak. You have to let it rest before diving in with the knife and fork.

Pauline Alldred said...

I regularly think of all the stories I've read and enjoyed and wonder how I can possible believe my WIP could rest on a shelf beside those stories.

I've heard Lee Child and Robert Parker claim to write one draft. So they missed out on the character development that goes with learning from one's mistakes.

Polly said...

Jim, as you've learned, you're not alone. I've been tooting along with my first draft, and I mean tooting--47,000 words in 20 days. Now I realize I HAVE NO PLOT. I'm wondering if this might be my first literary novel. :-)

James Montgomery Jackson said...

I like your attitude Polly. Draft 1 for me is finding the story, and sometimes it isn't exactly as I had planned.

Kaye George said...

My sentiments, exactly! Why did I think I could write a novel???

Hazard of the art, I think.