I’ve learnt something recently.
That being uncertain is often worse than being unwaveringly sure of what you want.
The thing is I like to be a nice person – we all do – so when we want something, even if something doesn’t go our way, we smile and say ‘Oh it is totally fine, don’t worry about it.’
I half realized this when I saw planning my wedding… I was trying to be the easy breezy chilled out bride, but actually, most of the time it was trying to be that easy breezy chilled out bride that 100% got up people’s noses.
This was because people would ask me a question, and I’d try and be really, really relaxed so I didn’t come across as demanding.
Problem is this annoyed people because they just wanted to know yes, or no, and for me to make up my mind!!!!
This is all the more true for writing.
Being uncertain is worse than being sure and ultimately wrong.
When you’re uncertain, you wobble, and weave and in the end what you’re left with is a big, big mess.
When we are writing stories, there will always be ‘grey zones’. By this I mean the zones where we aren’t entirely sure what we want to do with yet. So often, when this happened, instead of making up our mind and committing to an idea, we muddle on, vague, and not pinning down the key points to construct a sold argument.
I’m a MASSIVE bandit at this, because sometimes I am not 100% sure how I want things to work out in the long term, so I waffle a bit, fudging things until I am sure.
The problem is that if YOU don’t have a direction, then your READERS won’t have direction. Worse yet, the writing becomes dull and ineffective at engaging the audience.
It is better to write with conviction in a direction (even if you’re not sure about it) and then go back and edit it, if you change your mind.
I did this with a book I wrote called Dare. I wasn’t entirely sure how I wanted things to be resolved between the main character and the bad guy.
The story was about a sidekick turned super hero, in a city where a super villain had recently manifested. The super villain had an interest in an abandoned mine called Kissinger Quarry. Issue was that in the over all plot, the Kissinger Quarry business was a bit of a red herring to keep people unaware of what was ACTUALLY unfolding, so the interest the villain had with it was insubstantial (my fault…)
I wasn’t sure WHAT the bad guy wanted with the Quarry.
So I muddled. I wriggled and wrote vague things until I finished the story and when I came back at it through the editing process, it was like a slap in the face with a wet teabag.
As a result, I sat down and asked myself ‘what is really going on here?’
I’d had an inclination of what I’d probably want to do at the start, and I ended up using that idea.
Problem was that correcting this was a MISSION and took a million years to turn it around to how I ended up scripting the story.
In reality, what would have been better is if I had gone with my gut initially, because then whatever corrections I had to make would be strong, and easy to reedit, rather than soft and laced through the script.
In the second book of this series, the sidekick turned super hero was getting his formal qualifications at super-hero-school. I wrote with conviction, despite being uncertain of how I wanted things to work out with the main character and the discovery of just who was leaking super hero identities out of the super hero school.
When I finished the book I wasn’t 100% happy with how I’d implemented this part of the story, and had a better idea of how it should eventuate.
This time because I’d been so plain, the ideas that needed to be adjusted to make room for the new plot were easy, because rather than hiding and being vague because I didn’t know what I wanted to do and didn’t want to draw reader’s attentions to it, I had chunks that I could say ‘yes, this needs to change’
I hope this is making sense, but it is way better to write with conviction, than to be vague and uncertain. It is FAR easier to change your mind – if you need to that is!
Anyway, happy New Year, readers, I’ll post again soon!