I’m kind of in a weird in-between phase in writing at the moment. I just finished the first draft of a story I’m really excited about, and despite my desire to immediately call it finished and begin sending it out, I know I need to let it sit. I know I have a tendency to put down that last period and think, THIS IS BRILLIANT, and then reread it and think, THIS IS NOT AS BRILLIANT AS I THOUGHT IT WAS. I truly think the act of COMPLETING SOMETHING floods a writer’s brain with dopamine levels that create a drunkenness or a high.
However, I’ve found that some time and space allows me to see things clearly so that I can make edits that truly improve the work.
So while I’m sobering up and letting that story chill, I’m returning to a manuscript that I wrote about a year and a half ago. I did a couple of drafts and did not have the wisdom mentioned above. I finished it, thought it was brilliant, and started sending it out. Not surprisingly, I received nothing but rejection, and looking at the story again for the first time in probably just under a year, I understand why.
And this time around, I’m trying something new. I’m using SCRIVENER. I forget how I stumbled upon it (maybe NaNoWriMo stuff?), but it seemed like a pretty rad piece of software, so I bought it. It basically allows you to section your writing into parts and then easily view and manipulate these parts as index cards on a story board. There’s also a section where you can compile and view your research. I’m just starting out with it, but so far I like it–and I promise that nobody is paying me to say this.