Monday, August 18, 2014

A Sharing Experiment

I have a fear of finishing. There, I said it.

I've spent almost twenty years now trying to write a complete thing to my satisfaction. At least ten of those years have been spent trying to write a complete novel to my satisfaction. And here's the thing about writing a novel: It takes a long, long time. It takes longer when you keep getting distracted. When it's more comfortable to plot something new and dream of someday. But eventually you run out of steam.

I spent quite some time taking to heart the advice that talking before the story is done is like opening the oven before the cake is baking. But when I do that, I don't have anyone's enthusiasm but my own fueling the story--and I'm fickle.

So this week I'm trying something. I'm going to share the first chapter of my rewrite of Inked with seven people. My mom is one; the aunt who wants to be my editor is another. I have friends on board to be persons three through five, and I expect I'll employ two teachers at my old school for six and seven.

But there's a caveat, so that this experiment doesn't just feed into my need to make things better. Each person will have the same instructions. First, I want to know only what they liked. I want to know that there is something worthy about this story so I don't start staring at it like it's a worthless pile of garbage. Second, they are to pester me for more. Incessantly, if possible. This will force me to keep writing and let it into other people's eyes before I'm 100% on it--because I'm never going to be 100% on it. I'm a perfectionist and I'm all too aware of my failings.

I will of course keep this blog updated with the results of this experiment--and I do expect people to keep me going on that promise too.

Has anyone else tried something like this? How do you do with sharing your story when it's still being edited vs hiding it until it shines?

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