Losing the plot

Daily Prompt: Progress

Is the writing better? After 365 3-hour days, I should be about a tenth of the way toward mastery, right?
Sometimes I look back and hear angel choirs. Who wrote this?! It’s amazing! Whoa, I wrote that? Maybe I am getting somewhere.
Other times I read it and it’s garbage. I should become a rubbish collector to repay the world for all the trash I’ve put out there.
But most of the time, I can’t decide.
Here’s a snippet from the sidelines of my rough draft notes that hasn’t been reworked, or added into or edited out of my novel yet. Its focus is a bit “internal” for my liking. What do you think?

What do you want? The question haunted her. She couldn’t drown it out of her mind any more than she could get the answer to surface. She lived her life for everyone else, without ever having considered if it made her happy. And now that she’d been asked to consider it, waves of emptiness and sadness and anger and despair crashed into her, throwing her again and again against the rocky bottom of the ocean of her unhappiness.
She was so tired of letting everyone be themselves while she floated around as a nobody, but too tired to start being who she should be or even think about figuring out who she was. Too tired of treading water to learn how to swim. Too stuck in the eddies of everyone else’s existence to make a break for the shore.

I’m not a good judge of my own work, but it feels purple.

11 thoughts on “Losing the plot”

  1. I think it works but depending upon what comes before or after – standing alone I agree it is very internal, but that has its place in a full length novel. Looking forward to reading your completed work – maybe we can exchange copies of books with each other by the end of this year – happy writing!


  2. Analyze the writings of others. Even when reading Song of Ice and Fire, I find there are parts I think to myself, “Really, George? This is what you consider quality?” Overall, the book is masterful, but I think every writer at some point in their book has a few “What were you thinking?” moments per hundred pages. Don’t be discouraged.

    Next, what is purple? I would say show more and tell less. The crashing waves of emotion tell us a lot of what she’s feeling in order to make us feel it. Is she clenching her fist? Is the vein in her neck a visible blue strand pulsing rapidly? Maybe she has a twitch or is thinking some very unflattering things about someone. And maybe ditch the last sentence, or pick one of those two metaphors and stick with it. Aside from those two things, I like it.

    Personally, that’s the hardest part for me. I always over explain emotions when I should be using actions or dialogue to get my point across. Hope this helped!


    1. Ha! George. I know what you mean. A lot of my editing will consist of adding dialogue and extracting “telling.” I read recently about an author who writes her entire first draft only in dialogue, and adds emotion, setting, action in the second draft. Could be a better way to write!


      1. My book would be so short if I just did dialogue. But hey, you never know until you try it. And yes, first round of revision really does feel like it’s all about removing the tell. “Now that I know what I want to convey, how do I convey it better?”


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