Nano Eighteen – Nosy Bastards

Proofreading-is-different-from-editingAt this point in the game, you should have a good chunk of your story written. If you’re keeping up with your word counts on the nanowrimo site, you are over the halfway point and beginning to roll downhill towards the final stretch of happiness.

Your endorphins are running high, the story is moving along, and the plot lines and story arcs are flowing like a bad simile.

Keep writing.

If someone asks to see what you’ve written so far, and I say this with a HUGE IF, IF YOU LET THEM, which I suggest you don’t since this is a first draft and not finished…

Don’t take what they say personally.

Even if it’s good criticism.

Which it rarely ever is.

Characters are all over the place, story is wonky, the ending isn’t written, the third act hasn’t started to progress yet….it’s just overall a bad idea.

You can tell them “Yes, but when I’m done.” That’s an acceptable answer. Or even the more brutal “If you keep your stupid comments to yourself,” works wonders to shut up the haters too.

The idea is any criticism at this point in time can, and often will, stop a project cold. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told someone just the main idea about a story I’m working on and received a less-than-enthusiastic response which prevented me from progressing any further on the story. Eventually, I went back to finish the story, or at least change some pieces to add more conflict, but the point is: keep quiet and say “no.”

You’re writing, the ideas aren’t done, the story isn’t finished. Just say no.

In other words: “No, you can’t live in the house I’m still building.”

Keep writing. Keep going. You can finish. Even if you stopped because some opinionated jerk wad said some offhanded comment about something that seemed innocent then, but took your heart out and sucked the life juices out of it…get back in the ring.

You still have a fight to finish. Someone wants to read it – and they just told you.

-Chris

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