An Aspiring Writer's Blog Site

Biting off More Than You Can Chew

June 27, 2012

Back when I made video games, we had this thing called over scoping. Our teams always had such grand plans for our games and it was my job to bring them back down to earth. It wasn’t the team’s ability that was in question, it was the amount of time and resources available for the project. It was morale squashing, but in the end, the team benefited from it.

As I continue to write this story, scope has been an issue. However, its not time or resources that I worry about. Its ability.

For the last week and a half I have been working feverishly on when things go bad in the book. As stated, this takes place at Gettysburg. I’ve been doing my research and taking tons of notes. All the while, I’ve been itching to put it all in narrative form. Yesterday, I was ready to go. I wrote like a mad mother fucker. For six hours.

But there was something wrong. . .

It wasn’t very good.

Now, these types of things have happened to me in the past. I’ve written stuff that is garbage. That’s always aggravating, but this time something was different. I began to realize what I needed to put in the story was something that could be beyond my natural ability and experience: streamlined exposition, strong description, a ton of minor characters, and lots and lots of narrative. I started thinking: My God, I can’t do this.

I’m not giving up. But it certainly put a scare in me. I’m going back and working on easier chapters and see if I can build up some momentum and confidence then tackle Gettysburg later.

How about my writer friends—you ever feel like you have bitten off more than your stomach can handle? How do you go about solving the problem?


3 responses

  1. Cat

    All. The. Time.
    You know what makes me believe I can do it? Reading blogs like yours and understanding that other writers go through the same things.
    Writing is a craft, and in order to get ‘good’ at it you need to practice. What’s great is that you want to tackle something outside of your comfort zone – and I’m sure that with practice you will be able to do it. You’ve already managed the first stumbling block (the one which I struggle with) you’ve allowed yourself to writte the rubbish stuff and acknowledged it for what it is. Now you can move forward onto making it better – you’ve even identifed the specific points where you need to work on.
    As you say, at the moment you feel it’s ‘beyond my natural ability and experience’ – so you’ll get more experience and learn from it. I won’t say it’s easy – but it certainly isn’t impossible! 8o) Good luck, and keep recording your writing journey: I, for one, find it very reassuring and inspiring (in fact, check out my blog post tomorrow…) Take Care, Cat

    July 3, 2012 at 8:13 am

    • Thanks for stopping by, Cat, and thank you very much for the encouragement I certainly need it and it helps to know there are people out there like you who care. 🙂 I’ve got a pretty good momentum going right now (if only I could get more time to write–geesh). Going back to an easier chapter seemed to be the right medicine for my woes. I’ll definitely check out your post when it comes up!

      July 3, 2012 at 10:11 am

  2. Pingback: Inspiring? Moi? | The View Outside

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