Monday, January 24, 2011

Ideas and Story Commitments

I'm often skeptical to classify an idea as book worthy. Its easy to come up with a few scenes and to define characters, or to pound out some real conflict, but determining if an idea is truly deserving of a full manuscript can be difficult.

Like right now. I've been working on a story concept that has consumed pretty much every non-blog related writing thought. For weeks I have been building up the plot and characters, outlining, taking notes, and occasionally even writing a few paragraphs, and the idea still hasn't left me. I think its a winner, and will have a better idea in the coming weeks.

This is, of course, where the problems start. I allow myself to worry if the project will last for 20,000 words, much less the prescribed standard of 70,000. I worry that the industry and readers will find it unacceptable or cliche. Toxic thoughts try to steal my focus, and it leaves me frustrated and without anything to show for my time spent.

What it comes down to in the end is confidence. As a beginning writer, I am loaded to the eyeballs with self doubt. I constantly second guess the quality of my work, and too often, let uncertainty control my production. I know I will eventually stick with this idea. I will sit down and write it despite the best efforts of my psyche to stop me. For now, I must cope with my concerns over the project, compartmentalize them, and move on. I have to commit to finishing, even if the story only serves as a learning experience. That's what real writers do, and if I am ever to be labeled as such, then I need to follow through.

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