Monday, March 7, 2011

Fighting the Dragons

Halt. Beware. There be dragons here.

We writers tussle with dragons everyday; the dragon that is our first draft ( that one is a fierce beast), the dragon that is editing (a multi-scaled creature that tends to snap), the synopsis dragon (small but nasty) and perhaps the largest, most ferocious dragon of all, the dragon of self-doubt.

That's the dragon I'm fighting at the moment, and I must confess, the dragon is winning. I am, shall we say, not pleased with certain sections of my current work. Not pleased to the point of wanting to bang my head against the wall or perhaps spend some time contemplating why on earth I ever thought it was good.

I know I can rewrite these sections; but I can hear that dragon snarling "And you think it will be better? Muahahahaha". Yes, dragons have an evil laugh.

There are aspects of my work that I like; I like my characters (bless their flawed little hearts) and I like my plot. I like my twists and I like my conclusion.

It's my actual writing that's making me slightly nauseous. I have beta readers chomping at the bit. Chomp away, dear friends. No one is seeing this mess except me.

I am going to search for my rusty coat of armour, give it a good polish, pick up my lance and do battle. I shall ignore the dragon's taunts, or I'll try. But there are times when those taunts are as beguiling as a siren's song.

No. That last sentence is the dragon in disguise.

I shall prevail; I've spent too much time with this story not to.



  1. Well put...we all fight that dragon, I think. I never feel sickest than when I email my manuscript off.

  2. Get in there and slay that dragon. Get the sheep to make a distraction, then go for the kill. You can do it.

  3. Elizabeth; I understand that completely. Thanks for sharing.

    Carol; Thanks for the encouragement!

  4. Oh, yes, I think we all battle that dragon. Nina Badzin has a great post today on dealing with that snarky non-friend, the inner critic. She compares it to that mean friend who makes you walk on eggshells, always quick with a nasty dig. She's the biggest dragon of all.

    I'm like Elizabeth Craig--my dragon attacks worst right after I've hit "send."

  5. Anne; Thanks; I'll check out that post. Isn't it funny how sometimes the dragon attacks as soon as another set of eyes come into the picture?

  6. We all deal with our dragons. I agree with Elizabeth--once we've committed, we know the gremlins (and dragons) will start messing things up.

    Terry's Place
    Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

  7. Elspeth - I know exactly how you feel. I grok this; I truly do. I think the important thing is your last point. You will prevail. Dragons have nothing on you!

  8. Margot; There are the days when the dragons seems to have the upper hand, though, aren't there? Thanks so much for the vote of confidence!

  9. I'm fighting a few of these dragons myself lately. I like how you put it. The important thing is to keep fighting!

  10. Karen; That *is* the important thing, isn't it? I just wish the dragon didn't roar quite so loud and so convincingly!

  11. That's it! Keep going! It's so hard, but sometimes even writing one word is enough to slay them.

    Also, dragons are very weak to a spear to the brain.

  12. Ehh, I think the dragon's got nuthin' on you. Because here's the thing: I read your writing all the time on this here blog. And on this here blog you write with self-assurance and, dare I say the C-word: Confidence.

    This is not to invalidate your feelings. I don't know a single writer (myself included) who hasn't gone through that doubt. Perhaps that's the precise time to let the beta readers in? Or better yet, if you haven't already done so, go to and make a book just for yourself. Read it like a published book, and I'll bet you'll see things much differently. I know that when Sarah and I started reading WILS in book form (and it had a ways to go before it was done), we each saw it in a new light -- the this-doesn't-suck-as-bad-as-we-thought-it-did light. It helped us a lot.

    In the meantime, I still think you're pop-tart awesome.


  13. Elspeth - about seducing that dragon? "oh come on, Firey Naysayer, I need your attention to detail, your particular way of humbling me so that I can catch what shouldn't go out, but you are going overboard here. Why don't you just give me some of your heat and heart and leave the negativity behind? You have really cute ears...."


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