Last year I decided to pen the story I had been prattling about since I was . . . well old enough to prattle. All my friends from back-in-the-day gave a collective sigh of relief. Apparently everyone was waiting for me to push aside all the psychology mumbo jumbo and get back to creating and telling stories. Who knew?
After thirteen weeks, I had written 350 pages: The Diyari Chronicles. I was shocked. Sure, I had written short stories. And I had started “books” . . . boy have I started many books. In my disbelief, I sought an opinion. I had to know: Does this story even make sense? My friend Mandy loved the story. Great! But I knew the writing was subpar. I took a writing class. Bought books. Dusted off grammar books. I edited . . . and edited . . . and edited. The writing got better, the story clearer.
More friends and a couple of strangers read it, celebrated it.
As everyone celebrated, I muzzled my enthusiasm (Yes, you read correctly). All my betas (including a revered English teacher) assured me I was suffering from acute self-criticalitis. BUT, I sensed I suffered from a different ailment. I found a great person on LJ (bogwitch64 ) who confirmed my fears. I was suffering from newbie-writeritis, which meant my story was (is) full of No-No’s. After painful internal debate, I decided to take a break from the story. To say some of my friends were none-to-pleased with me is an understatement.
Fast forward one month. I’m working on a new story, hoping to cure my sickness. After several weeks of silence, the old story reared its head. Not easily daunted, I slogged through chapter one, deleting, rewording, and mulling. It is better. But all writing is better after edits. Is it the type of better that leads to an exhale of satisfaction?
Monday I showed the revised chapter to one of the original readers. She said, “It reads smoother. But be careful with those edits. I don’t see you, I don’t hear your voice, your style until Ollie speaks [on pg 7]. Don’t lose you in the edits.”
I woke up yesterday with this echoing thought, I have writing laryngitis.
People edit all the time and they don’t lose their voice. Have I been cured of one –itis only to fall victim to another? Can I even lose a voice I’m not sure I had to begin with? Can I treat this condition with a hot toddy?