Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Recalcitrant WiPs Never Die

When do I know that a WiP isn't working? 
1) When it's hard to write.
2) When I'm bored while writing it
3) When I'd rather paint a ceiling than write a scene (seriously, I loathe painting ceilings)

When do I give up on the WiP? 
1) Never.
2) I may give it a long, long break, but I never give up on it.
3) I let it rest when I've devoted two weeks and am still tooling with the same chapter(s).

How do I know if it's fixable? 
1) Dudes, I'm a writer. Everything is fixable.
2) A broken story is like a headstart in Mad Libs. Keep the core, shuck the rest, try again.
3) Still broken after the Nth attempt? Walk away. Work on something else. Get lost in something else. Come back with a mind full of wild and crazy notions. Try yet again.

How can I have such a blasé attitude about recalcatrant WiPs?
1) I'm not under contract. I have no legal obligation to deliver something to someone for them to render judgement. Score one point in the Pro Author-Publisher column.
2) I don't ~cough~(anymore)~cough~ publicly annouce release dates for books I haven't yet written.
3) I sure as shit don't start a pre-order before having the book DONE.

Yeah But...
1) What about setting reader expectations for the next book?
2) What about losing audience because you take too long or don't deliver on an arbitrary schedule?
3) What about [insert stress sitch here]?

Quality over Quantity, my friends. Rule for Life. Rule for Writing.  

Also? Don't enter the game by setting or agreeing to false expectations. Even if you're trad-pub or hybrid, don't promise stuff you can't consistently deliver. Rumplestiltskin isn't going to help you out of that jam.

I never truly bury a WiP. It may be in a box under my bed while I work on other things. However, I have faith in my imagination. It may falter (it often does), but it doesn't quit. I don't quit on a story, on my aspirations, or on my career.

Image Credit: Disney's BRAVE

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