Friday, April 13, 2012

The Hump isn't Always All it's Cracked Up to Be

Just as 'the hump of the week' means feck all to someone who works three weekends out of four, the hump of a piece of writing isn't always the glorious, sunset crest we believe it will be while we're struggling up the cliff face of an overwhelming idea.

As any of you who follow my blog will know, Red Wine and Words is intended as the first of a trilogy of short story collections. The sequel is, as I type, in the making, albeit temporarily on hold. I haven't been submitting short stories for submission calls lately, but spending my time writing up all those little ideas for short stories that have been hanging around since the year dot.

In early January I came across a half a4 page idea that has since blown out of all proportion. The first milestone was passing my current longest word count, which at the time was roughly 12,000 words. This I done with the Murder She Wrote theme tune playing in my head, fingers flying, words flowing.

It was after this milestone that things slowed. The next milestone was the halfway mark, which is a long way from 12,000 words. Achievement of this goal seemed far into the future, and it was rimmed with gold and diamonds.

Imagine my surprise, not a week ago, hitting 37,000 words - my believed halfway - and feeling like the cat that got the cream, only to sit down the next day and be hit with a crushing sense of doubt. Is the story really that good? Is it so very unique after all? Do my characters have as much depth as a cardboard cutout? Can I even write at all? And cue the violins, snot and tears.

A passing phase? Let's hope so. Rest assured I will plug away until it's finished; I'd rather end up with something that's fully useless than half useless. But at this point methinks a few beta readers wouldn't go astray. Come forth my beloved family members, and perform the duty of pandering to my self-confidence as you were destined.