Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Battle of the Bands Results and IWSG: The Big Three

Before I start writing my IWSG (you read that right... I haven't even begun that post yet... sigh) I need to post Battle of the Bands results. The song was White Winter Hymnal. Fleet Foxes recorded it originally, and Pentatonix covered it. Pentatonix won it be a fairly large margin.

Pentatonix had 14 votes, and Fleet Foxes had 5 votes.

Many of you said that the addition of the percussion swayed you toward the Pentatonix version. I fully understand that notion. I heard the Pentatonix version first while cruising YouTube and loved the video/song. I, too, loved the clapping, snapping, and thumping. It kinda/sorta reminded me of the song Cups (When I'm Gone) by Anna Kendrick. If you aren't familiar, it first appeared in the movie Pitch Perfect, which as a former choir/acapella singer, I loved. Plus, it was very funny (the movie, that is).




And that was what I said after hearing Pentatonix sing White Winter Hymnal: "Wow." So, even though it makes NO difference, chalk up my vote for Pentatonix. I really like Fleet Foxes (and will happily listen to it), but it doesn't make me say "Wow."

Also, I want to thank everyone who commented on part one or two of my Boundaries posts. Since this is such a big issue (for me and a lot of people), expect more of these posts. Turns out I have LOTS to say on this subject matter.

Now for the IWSG post. What is coming will surprise me as much as you, since I have no idea what I'm going to write today. How's that for "pantsing" it?



These monthly posts are all about airing our insecurities as writers. Turns out, I'm fairly churning with insecurity. Where to begin????

Despite having given it considerable contemplation, I have yet to hammer out in my head even a loose idea for the next book in my Gigi series. In fact, the more I worry that I've overstepped my reach in even trying to write a series (and maybe I only have one book in me, so I ought to reconsider the one I've written), the further away my ideas get. Coincidence? I think not.

Less than a week ago, I prattled on about how great it was that I finished my first ever rough draft in the year 2014 and it was "pretty good." Ah, well, that was before I began this next batch of editing/revisions. Now, my thoughts run more along the lines of, "Oh my God, this is garbage. Just awful. Truly terrible." When you revise, what stands out for you: the gems or the flaws?

Have you noticed that every time you revise it creates a new set of problems? Often that revision is rough. So, you're reading along (and all seems reasonably well) and then you land on the section that you revised last time through, and it seems like you're reading something a first grader would write, which is how I felt about the quality of my initial rough rough rough rough draft.

I guess those are my Big Three.1) Next story is non-existent. 2) This story is screaming flawed right now. 3) Every time I revise, which I'm currently doing... yikes, I only write a new bunch of crap requiring further revision.  Anyone else experience any or all of these issues?

Many thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for founding this group and the many folks who help him each month! This group posts the first Wednesday of every month. If you want to join, click HERE.

33 comments:

  1. I never have an idea for my next story until the previous one is published. (I don't recommend that by the way.)
    I'm to the point where I see the good now. I guess because I plan and outline my stories to death, I weed out a lot of the crap before it ever hits the page. Although my last one I found inconsistencies the first time I edited, and that bugged me, because that's not something I usually do. (Repeating the word felt a thousand times - that I can do!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have no idea how much I love the simile. Felt particularly with like... holy moly.

      Delete
  2. GIRL WONDER, that was a really cool clip. Yeah, definitely reminded me of The Pentatonix song you used last time, which I thought was really sumpin'.

    So what was the final score? I take it that Pentatonix won, but by how much?

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm going to edit this so that the vote tally gets its own paragraph, which clearly it needs.... 14 to 5, without my vote.

      Delete
  3. Revisions can be really tough but you have to keep at it. Maybe worrying about the first book is keeping the ideas from coming for the second book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've told myself that very thing several times... the next idea will flow when my brain isn't constantly whirring about how to fix THIS one.

      Delete
  4. Hi, Robin,

    You'll appreciate my post today. I revised FOUR years on my second novel and I finally feel it is "ALMOST" there. It may need another revision depending upon the outcome of the SCBWI conference.

    Hang in there. You can do it. Don't give up. It is ALL part of our journey in writing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm beginning to think writing the rough draft is the easy part, which I totally didn't believe when I was in the process of writing it. I can see it taking four years. ::sigh::

      Thanks for the encouragement!

      Delete
  5. I felt that about the very first book I wrote. First I thought it was great and then when I read it again, I was so freaked at the result. It was meant to be a stand alone book. Instead of going back to edits, I wrote a series. Yeah, I knew nothing about the good writing, hahaha. But only then I wrote like crazy, stories kept pouring out of me and I did finish a lot of books. Ever since I started with the editing habit, I never ended the first manuscript and I quit writing overall. I wonder why is that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you absolutely cannot begin to edit until you are done. You've put The End on it. Then set it aside for a while. Then go back and edit. If you're anything like me, you'll find that your writing improves as the story goes along. So, the end will be much better written than the beginning (good news: you're getting better at this!). But, the editing. Oh, the editing. However, so long as you have a finished manuscript, you have a finished manuscript. That is SOMETHING.

      Delete
  6. Hey, at least you are writing, and making an effort. I gave up on my dream some time ago (mainly because I lost my "voice" and life kept throwing circumstances at me that would have been great material/experience from which to draw, but I was too overwhelmed to pay much attention. Maybe someday my muse will return!

    Not surprised that Pentatonix came out on top of the battle......but both versions really were good :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Think about it like this: when you find your voice again, you will have TONS of material. That is a good thing. I'm not sure that real dreams actually die. Sometimes they slumber or go live underground, but if it's truly a dream, it will be back:)

      Delete
  7. Your non-existent story is hold up with mine somewhere. Let's go get 'em!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe it is. Wouldn't that be funny???

      Delete
  8. Wow - I really thought Fleet Foxes would win. I watched several things by them since you posted that video. Their videos and music are something to see. Thank you for introducing them... at least... toward my way. Loved this Battle.

    Oh a side note, even though I don't do the IWSG, I love what you post on here to share with us. You're smart, refreshing, and I know you always give your all. I "feel" it will be there when you're ready. (smile)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've learned to NOT try and predict the outcome in BOTB. At least half the time I'm wrong.

      I do always try to be honest here (sometimes to the point of brutality). But, if it isn't real than I don't see the point. So there you go.

      Delete
  9. I'm doing a dissertation (that is taking foooooooooorever) and the revisions are rough. I imagine writing a book would be similar. The flaws def. stick out for me...though I do notice what I'm still happy with while I'm editing.

    My daughter does an AWESOME rendition of "When I'm Gone." I like that song. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I imagine that writing a dissertation and a novel FEEL very much the same. Good luck with yours. (At least I'm not getting a grade... whew!)

      Maybe you can post that sometime? Or would she kill you????

      Delete
  10. Although, I still would vote for the Foxes, I'm not one bit surprised that Pentatonix won this BATTLE. they definitely have a more sleek sound.

    As far as your insecurities go about the novel, at some point you have to stop editing and let it go. I have found that the more I listened to other people critiques and made changes, the more I started to lose my voice and originality. My voice and original ideas may not be the best, but they speak for me and not someone else. It's a fine line when you're trying your darnest to make it 'perfect'. Bottom line is there ain't no such thing as 'perfect' on this earth; best you settle for your very best.

    When it comes to boundary issues, it's important to remember that everyone has boundaries. A friend of mine told me about an incident when she when to a therapist. She told the therapist her troubles and that basically everyone around her was always running over her and crossing 'her' boundaries - not letting her have her say, way, opinion recognized, etc. So the therapist rephrases the issues and says; 'now let me see, your upset and stressed out because everyone else crosses your boundaries?' My friends says; ' well, yes basically.' Therapist, 'so if everyone would just do it your way, and behave as you would have them behave then you would be happy.' That really put the whole issue in perspective for my friend and for me too when she told me about it.

    What I've taken away from that is this; it's my responsibility to stand up for myself and what I want/need in any relationship, but I also need to allow others to do the same. When I'm not doing those two things major frustrations ensue, and it's nobodys fault but my own. Some relationships are worth putting up with some carp for. Some need to be walked (probably more like run) away from.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree that a time will come, and it's probably not that far off, when I will need to let the novel go. I'm just not quite there yet. I'm not happy with the flow (close, but not quite) and I realize that I tend to focus on some things more than I should (lots of notations about the eyes). I'm really hoping that if this isn't my final round of edits, it's darn close.

      Ah boundaries... boundaries really are all about changing your OWN behaviors (and not those of others). It sometimes requires a confrontation when someone is doing/saying something hurtful or just toxic. It's not about having everyone do exactly what you want them to do (oh, what a wonderful world that would be!) but setting up those lines for the things you just can't tolerate and then sticking to them.

      So, yes, yes, yes, it's about standing up for yourself when someone crosses that line into the intolerable. Everyone should have healthy boundaries (and in an ideal world we'd all know exactly how and when to convey if a boundary was being crossed). Yes, when I allow someone to cross my boundaries it is all my fault. And my work to change it.

      Delete
  11. I hope you can figure out what to do with your Gigi series! I really enjoyed the first book I beta read for you. Editing is a pain, but once you have it finished you'll be even more proud then you were when you finished writing it. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's actually changed a great deal (in my opinion) since you read it. When I finally get to the place of feeling like it's done, I'll need beta readers. Interested?

      Delete
  12. I loved your Gigi story! And of course you can't think of another story when all you can think about is how bad you suck. I do the same thing. I've learned to close the file and move on to something else rather than obsess over what is done. It's like looking at your face in the magnifying mirror- never a good idea!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hate my face in the magnifying mirror!!! Excellent description. If you're up for beta reading this (again) when it's done, let me know!

      Delete
  13. I'm struggling with my next story. I've got 3500 words and don't know where to go from here. Yes, revision begets more revision. It's part of the process. You just have to keep hammering and hammering, and then make sure to walk away for a while, so you see the whole thing with new eyes. No one who knows anything says writing is easy, right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Liza, you've got that right. It's not easy!

      Delete
  14. Loved the Anna Kendrick song! She was great in Into The Woods! Sounds like you're being too hard on yourself about your novel. I'm sure most writers have doubts about their work at this stage. Good luck, Robin!

    Julie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know. Maybe. Maybe not hard enough....????!!!!?????

      Delete
  15. First of all, congrats on finishing that rough draft. That's a HUGE step!! When I edit, I see both the gems and the flaws. Unfortunately, the flaws stick out more to me BUT they are easier to axe that way.

    I tend to get ideas in series and after I finish one book (usually before I ever get half way through it) I start to doubt that I've got a series. I start to doubt my plot and worry that it's dragging on too long. Concentrate on getting your first draft as polished as you can and while you edit, jot down all those ideas for the sequel. Then, when you're an edit or so in, the second book should say, "OK, I'm ready now. Get to typing!"

    Happy New Year!
    Jen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I keep thinking ideas will come (and I think they will) when my brain is clear to allow them to manifest. Thanks for the advice!

      Delete
  16. Have faith! I think the majority of people see the negative first. Think about the average person you talk to...about anything. We bitch about the weather, the government, can't get enough done, reality shows, other people, yadda yadda. How many people actually say wonderful things? I think it is in our DNA to think the negative first and we have to train ourselves to look towards the positive. Now combine this with creativity and we have a hailstorm of negative because we are our own worst critic! If you are having a bad day, put it aside as it may only increase your negative thoughts and do something that doesn't entail too much thought (like TV or enjoying the outdoors). When you are in a better mindset then tackle it and know you can do it. I almost compare it to cleaning out a closet. One starts out with great ideas and intentions. One starts and pulls things out and then there is this huge mess and one feels overwhelmed. Finally one starts to edit stuff out, place things in other areas and add things to make more sense and then Voila! It looks all organized and it feels great. Stay with it, I know you can do it:) Glad the band I liked won

    ReplyDelete
  17. Even though I like revision better than writing first drafts, I have the same problem. Need to take out an itsy-bitsy story element? No problem. Until I realize the domino effect of making one small change. Need to write a new scene? No problem. Until I realize the new scene reads like a first draft next compared to the ones around it. (Because it is.) But the good (?) news for you is: All these things are normal!

    ReplyDelete
  18. An overwhelming Pentatonix victory which I guess doesn't surprise me.

    I suppose it's kind of natural to be highly self-critical. I can't speak for myself since I haven't got to that point yet. I'm critical of myself about that.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

    ReplyDelete

You can now add YouTube videos in your comments by copy/pasting the link. AND/OR you can insert an image by surrounding the code with this: [im]code[/im]. In the case of images, make sure that your code is short and simple ending with something like .jpg. If you want to use a pic from someplace like Google Images, click on the image, then click on View Image. That is the code you want!

Dazzle Me!