Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Hell Of A Catch

Here is the problem.

I have begun work on the eleventh draft of the novel.

The last two drafts stalled out after the first act due to my lack of confidence in my work.

Here is the Catch-22 of my situation:

This work is so odd, and so personal, that I have come to be very, very sensitive about it. Critiques that fail to understand what I'm doing have become actually painful for me to deal with.

This is not how I think of myself reacting to criticisms. I have an iron hide, damnit!

But I don't. Not now. This book is an open wound, and I'm stitching it shut by writing it. I don't need anyone poking around in there!

But! But!

If I don't get regular feedback and praise, I lose confidence, my will to perform shrivels, and I work less and less, and then...


It looks kind of gross to me, but there it is. I need to figure out how to get regular doses of praise that will keep me interested in working on the novel, while not getting any critiques that trigger my overdeveloped defensiveness about the quality of my work.

Here is one thought.

At this point, I've written a volume's work of short fiction. Short fiction does not sell; publishers do not like it.

I'm very curious about self-publication.

Perhaps I should start going through my back catalog, revising weak works and compiling strong ones, and put together a collection. Do a story every week, every other week, while I work on the novel.

But what if I can't do both at the same time? What if interactions based on the short fiction don't bring energy to the novel?

I've got to do something. Any ideas?

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Stone 3

And there we go. This will do. I have to remember to be patient and put it through a few states before I call it quits, print different versions and compare, and so on. This is a printmaking process!

Although the visual qualities of this approach seem closer to painting in some ways. Starting off with a gray background really threw me at first -- it took me a while to realize that while in conventional drawing, I'd ground this kind of image with clearly defined areas of solid black, in this case it was the white highlights that nailed the image to the eye. Very, very different for me, and I've still got a lot to learn. But I think I managed to get a decent composition here.