Aug 18, 2014

The Circular Process of Growth

There are moments in acquiring any skill where progress can be achieved and feel like it is stagnant or falling back. It's part of the knowledge spectrum: people who don't know what they don't know are often quite bold. As knowledge is acquired, it becomes clear that what is known about a subject is less than previously thought.

And so it is with writing. When writers first start out, they often consider characters and setting, and the problem that needs to be solved. That's what they know. But then they attend classes, read books, study the way other writers write, we notice things. We start to know what we don't know.

But sometimes, that knowledge sneaks up on you, shouts a truth and runs away laughing as you come to recognize a key component you missed.

If you are like me, you probably don't like being scared. I usually react with anger. And so it was when I had such a moment a few days ago. This essential component of writing was something I should have noticed, but didn't. It was probably a contributor to the reason I got rejected in many queries and contests. And now that I can see it, I can't believe I didn't see it.

So, anger dissipated, reason took control again, and the answer, though hard to swallow, is clear.

The book I had almost 40k written in needs to be completely restructured, rethought, rewritten.

And so does the book I was querying.


Lucky for me, I grew up in a family that taught me the value of work. Lucky for me, I'm not afraid of a challenge. Lucky for me, I figured this out before there were two full books to rewrite.

This is the way it goes, knowledge. The only variable is what we plan to do with the growing pains.

For me, I plan to write.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

While it sucks to have to start over, better to learn what you didn't know than to keep pursuing with something that doesn't work.

Andrew Leon said...

Unfortunately, that is how it sometimes goes.

JeffO said...

It's a tough one to deal with, but you sure have the right attitude. Good luck with the rewrites.

Nicole said...

*Shudder* That is never fun, but it's awesome that you've found the strength and attitude to tackle it. Good luck!