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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Endurance and Victory! - Part One


Endurance, apparently I've failed at enduring in keeping this blog up ;) Once more I cry that "school work and such" has busied me. And it is true, but no excuse.

Aside from school I've been hurriedly reading away at The Victor, a book that I will very shortly be giving away on my blog. Next comes Curse of the Spider King and then a boatload of others. So as if school was not enough I have plenty to read.

BUT, have no fear, I am starting a series of blog posts about endurance and um...victory.

Many of you who have read or are familiar with COTSK will know that a common saying of its characters is "Endurance and Victory!" And as lately I have had to endure in school, reading, writing, and life I thought I'd blog on it.

The first in the series will be about writing, as this is a writing blog.

I'm well connected in the writing world, or at least I'd like to believe that I am, and specifically I chat with a lot of young aspiring authors (like myself). Many of these writers have amazing ideas, tales that I'd pay arm and leg to read. Many even know how to write them. But often a thing they lack is endurance. And that, in my mind, is one of the most important characteristics of any writer.

Not only does writing novels take a long time. But it requires patience to wait on characters, plot development, and ones own self--willing to let a project sit so that it can be done correctly. And once the story is done it requires enduring numerous amounts of critiquing and shaping on the part of others.

I know writers who don't get writer's block, Bryan Davis as an example, but most all do. It's a fact of life. And often I find myself just waiting on my characters asking them what they want to do next, and what is happening to them at the moment. Naturally, this requires a good deal of endurance. The strength to wait, which I don't have ;) I choke answers out of my characters.

This next part is where I've recently been having the most trouble, enduring through the times when I'm too tired, or my brain is too fried, or I can't get into the story, and then forcing myself to not writing. It's a sacrifice I've had to make. I've been in this spot for a while now, where I'm just too dead to write. I have to endure through this because I know that if I do try and write, the story will be unbelievable and, to be honest, garbage. As you can assume, I don't want my story to be garbage and this spurs my endurance.

Next comes the point that ends the journey of most writers--publication.

It seems to me that the path to publication is too strenuous or difficult for most to endure. From the stories I've heard, it's pretty hard. Even if you're not a writer, imagine this scenario. You pour your heart, mind, and life into something--a child perhaps--and then when your child is old enough, you are told that he is a worthless piece of garbage. How would that make you feel?

You see, many writers get this. They're told by publishers that their works are awful or are simply not told anything--only given cold rejection notices that leave open imagination. Questions arise, "What'd I do wrong?" "Was it that bad?" And many others. To many writers, this is a sting too sharp.

And so the process of publishing something is a task that requires endurance, and I've seen many give up and seen many achieve victory, and know many enduring that race now.

Though I've had one work published, my collection of short stories, I never truly tried to get published and so as of yet I cannot identify with this. I take writing criticism well and so I assume that rejections won't hurt quite as bad as others. On the other hand, it could kill me.

Here's how I look at such criticism or even blank rejections; if the story was written publisher worthy it'd likely have been accepted. Simple.

Now this rule does have many drawbacks, one could have sent the work into the wrong company or maybe the editor just didn't like it and others might. But generally I believe this is true. I try not to get my feelings hurt because I don't want the book to be printed until it is print worthy. If it's not a good story, I don't want people reading it.

I'd rather wait till I'm 99 years old to have TSOF published and it be perfect, than have it printed tomorrow and it be a piece of junk. Do you follow?

13 comments:

Chris said...

Nice post. Thankfully, writers block has never really been something that stopped me. I either go ahead of where I am, or I tuck my head in and ram through the tricky scene. As a rule of thumb from now on, I'm not going to edit anything until I've got a full first draft. It IS hard, though, to keep writing when you don't want to or are tired... or simply don't have the time.
Nice post! =)

Pyrosian Heir said...

i am in agreement with this one completely. i have had to wait two stinking years for the gang in knights of the elements to get their act together and show me wat needs doing. now that they are, i'm struggling to find the words to describe it properly and if i'm trying to write and its late or i'm really tired its just a bad idea cuz i will hate it and rewrite it like as soon as i realize its bad. but i'm getting excited cuz the stuff they are doing is showing me what's gonna happen down the line and its making me go 'DUDE!!'

Nathan R. Petrie said...

Wow you guys...I just realized that I never finished this post ::laughs:: That's strange lol

Chris, yeah I typically tuck my head and out comes a piece of crud. Typically if I get writer's block I end up where I couldn't write even if I wanted to....which is never fun.

Ben, I understand what you mean. LIke you, it seems, I tend to edit on the fly...which is good sometimes, but can kind of hold one up as it seems to be doing with you. Maybe do like chris was saying and just write write write and worry about editing out bad stuff later?

Seth said...

Nice post, sadly, I'm only about 2 months into my book, so I can't connect very well, but yeah, from what I've seen you've made a very good point here.

Pyrosian Heir said...

but see the thing is, i'm working into the futre of the book in hardcopy, and then i'm working on the editing stuff in digital form while taking it from hard copy to saved on computer. mostly cuz i wrote alot of what i'm rewriting two years ago and i didn't write very well back then. i've doubled wat i had written back then due to added necessary chapters and descriptions. its redic.

Anonymous said...

You are totally right, Nathan.

I struggle with Writer's Block a TON. I mean, I have this short story that my friend is practically begging me for. I haven't even gotten three pages done! Part of it is just sitting down and doing it, I know, but a lot of the time I carve time out of my day, sit down, and my mind goes TOTALLY blank. I'm working on not sitting down to write unless I have an idea of what to write. : D

I think that this series of blog posts will help all of us, Nathan. Thanks!

Get TSOF done so you can tell us just how hard it is!! ; )

daughteroflight

Gwendolyn said...

About manuscript rejection - I figured that one out a long time ago. Enough authors with off-the-chart books have been rejected numerous times, only to get published and have massive support(take Madeleine L'Engle for example) that I just figure if I get repeated rejection, I'm brilliant!

All kidding aside, though, I agree. The last thing I would want is to publish a less-than-worthy book.

When it comes to editing as you write, I think that's a huge mistake (even though I do it all the time). With me, I lose heart so quickly because I want everything perfect the first time. And when that doesn't happen, I feel like quitting. So my strategy is just to write as fast as possible and go back to edit later when I'm finished with the scene, the chapter, ect. No point in getting bogged down at the start.

Nathan R. Petrie said...

Ben, I totally understand..that's percisely what I'm doing with TSOF right now. It was finished four years ago and now I'm finally getting serious about it. And so I've nearly tripled since then. But still...maybe once you've caught up to yourself just write straight on ::laughs:: Or you can be like me and don't ;)

DOL, maybe you should do writing challenges ;) Say...tomorrow on here at 8:30?

And yeah, I'll likely blog about living a life of endurance next...but I'll toss some writing stuff in there too if you'd like ;)

Gwendolyn, right there with you too. I've tried my hardest to quit editing old stuff and just write...this is easier partly because I'm nearing the end and have quit sharing most of my stuff with people until it's finished. That helped solve the editing problem ::laughs::

Pyrosian Heir said...

writing challenge? wat? when?

Nathan R. Petrie said...

Every Friday on here. At least during November, maybe into December.

Pyrosian Heir said...

ooo, cool.
i can't make it to the one tomorrow but i'll try to hit up the ones after that.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic post! Encouraging, and I've picked up some tips for my writing. ~ whisper

Nathan R. Petrie said...

Ben, hope you can make the next one :D

Whisper, glad you liked it :D Let me know if there's a topic you'd like me to blog about. I'm no expert, but I can come up with something ;)

"Stand tall now and proclaim what you have seen, speak in whispered roars..."