Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Expectations vs. Reality

I always wish there was some sort of device that I could hook up to my head, that would translate all the images up there into words. Because seriously, one of the most frustrating parts of writing for me is trying to get what's in my head onto paper. It either doesn't come out right or takes too long to get down or just doesn't live up to my expectations.

When I first started "seriously" writing, I was living under the dreadful misconception that all I needed to do was sit down and write and I'd be done. I knew, of course, that there would be revisions. But I thought of those more as just checking for typos and grammar mistakes. I had NO idea the work involved in crafting a real, publishable book. I had no idea that the REAL work on a book happens after you get that first draft down.

So I was a bit surprised when I sent my manuscript off to my first crit group and realized that it looked more like picture B up there than picture A :D

Now, when revisions get tough, I just try to remind myself that my manuscripts can and will be like the perfect vision I expect...but they will most likely start out like the reality snowman up there and will take a lot of work to make them awesome :) The important thing is that I keep crafting and sculpting until I get there. Because if I give up halfway through, my poor manuscript will always look like Frosty on a bad day :D

Do your expectations ever live up to reality? What do you do when they don't?


E. Arroyo said...

LOL. Love the pic. So true. I expect great things and usually imagine it is. =)

Tere Kirkland said...

Heh, that second one is what my rough drafts look like, but I aspire to finish them with a silk top hat and a carrot nose and two eyes made out of coal.

Sometimes the top hat doesn't always make the final cut though. :P

Stephanie McGee said...

At the risk of sounding cynical, yes expectations live up to reality but I tend to expect things not to turn out how I would hope or dream.

But first drafts of books never hit the expectation on the head but each one gets closer to that.

Patti said...

I love that picture, because it is so true. I totally understand what you're saying. It takes me a while to get the picture that's in my head onto paper.

Elaine AM Smith said...

The snowmen imagery works sooo well. I laughed.

Em-Musing said...

I think fast so it's hard to write slow enough to get all the details on paper like pic #1. Too bad people couldn't tune into my head to "see" what I want to write.

Matthew MacNish said...

Listening to Neil Gaiman talk at WFC, he said the most interesting thing.

"The Graveyard Book was the only one I've ever written, where it ended up being cooler than what was in my head. The only one."

I'm afraid my books will never be.

Vicki Rocho said...

If you find a device that translates images in your head into reality I want one! I don't notice it so much with words -- I eventually find the right ones, but every other artistic attempt could really use the help!

M Pax said...

I can relate. I put blinders on when tackling revisions and go at it one chapter at a time. Sometimes I'll break it down into smaller chunks. Polish and polish and polish, then move on. If I think of the whole thing at once, it's too dang overwhelming.