I got this idea from Nigahiga’s video Expectation vs. Reality: Romance (warning: some language in the vid). Besides making me laugh my he...

Thoughtful Thursdays: Expectation Vs. Reality: Writer’s Edition

I got this idea from Nigahiga’s video Expectation vs. Reality: Romance (warning: some language in the vid). Besides making me laugh my head off, it got me thinking about how most things in life don’t turn out the way you expect them to writing included.


Expectation:

Read Percy Jackson series if you don't understand this reference.

Reality:
Some of your characters might be this easy. However, I’ve finished eight different manuscripts and I think I’ve had a total of four characters who were that nice to me. None of them were mains or POV people, just fun little background charries who came around to give me a break.

But everybody else? Oh no, I had to work to get to know them, and even they sprung surprises on me.

Basically my face every time. Also, this is from giphy.com

Expectation:


Reality:
(See headdesk photo at the beginning of post.)

Seriously though, in your entire manuscript, you may get three scenes that easy. And then you’ll come back in editing and realize they’re horrible.

Plus, if your writing sounds exactly like your favorite author’s, you probably have a problem with author voice, which is another issue entirely.

Expectation:

From giphy.com
My settings will be as lush and lovable as the Shire the first time I write them out.

Reality:

They'll probably look more like this the first time around.
From wallpaperhi.com

The shire thing may be true for some people, but it’s probably not. Especially a writer like me, since I see things so clearly in my head, I sometimes, ahem, forget that readers cannot read my mind and see the scene exactly the way I do. In these cases, I have been known to completely forego any kind of description or setting regularly throughout the first draft.

Expectation:


Reality:
Except for that plothole the size of the Marianas Trench.

Expectation:


Reality:
Like the best of lies, this one has a grain of truth. After all, the whole point of pantsing is to not plot. But there always comes a time (or a million) when you run out of gas and have to pull in at the station to refuel. You gotta check out some new ideas, brainstorm, and plot the next section of your story before you rush on to your ending destination.

Expectation:


Reality:
Hon, there’s no such thing as “other writers.” We’re all in the same boat here, and if you don’t get to editing, your numerous plotholes are gonna sink it.

Expectation:


Reality:
Sweetie, please. Don’t even get me started on the amount of times I’ve wanted to throw my laptop against the wall, strangle my MC (or myself for coming up with him), and print out the entire story just so I can have the pleasure of watching it go through a shredder.

Expectation:


Reality:
Editing cannot suck forever for the sole reason that nothing lasts forever.

Okay, so that’s not the sole reason. The truth is, just like your writing won’t always be perfect, your characters won’t always follow your lead, your settings won’t come out perfect the first time, your prose will be bumpy, and all those other crappy realities, editing won’t always suck. Those good days you dreamed of as you pictured the perfection of your plot? Yeah, they’re coming. Though you might be slogging through those evil edits and considering killing off your entire cast of characters simply so you no longer have to deal with them I promise you, there will be fun days in between. Days when you read over something you revised, or maybe even a scene from the rough draft, and you can’t help grinning to yourself because, dang, this is good.

And, as cliche as this might sound, it wouldn’t mean half as much if you hadn’t gone through all those sucky realities to get to the good part.

You know those hashtags “The Struggle is Real”? Well, believe it or not, you kinda need the struggle to get to the awesome part. You know, the bit where you read through the whole book and think, Dang, this is good.

And besides, when you finish edits, if you did them right, your beautiful baby will be ready to sparkle and shine and show its brilliance to the world.

Reality:
It’ll at least be passable to send to an agent or a publisher.

Speaking of which, next week will be Expectations vs. Reality Deuce: Publishing Edition. So stay tuned!

What were some of your writing expectations that were crushed by reality? Most of mine, at least the ones not listed here, had to deal with the publishing industry, so you’ll hear about those next week. Until then, tell me about some of yours!

Special thanks to the GTW Facebook Group for helping me come up with some of these!



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10 comments:

  1. Yes yes yes. I love this (and I'm so glad you had success finding gifs)! I always had the expectation that editing would be neat and orderly, with clean separate drafts that got progressively better.

    Needless to say, that is not the case.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, thanks for the recommendation!
      Haha, yeah, that's a good one! I thought the same thing, till I lost count of my drafts around 5. Editing is less actual drafts, more like a confusing jumble of constant rewriting.

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  2. Yes, yes, yes. This is my life, this is my story. You sing my song. Writing is not as pretty a career as they make it sound, and yet even when you discover the realities it's somehow still worth it. Go figure. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. lol, glad you could relate! And IKR!!! Even though I know about all these crappy realities, I'm still like, "I will be a writer for the rest of my life." I guess it's just who we're meant to be. :)

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  3. Oh, the accuracy! I wish the expectations held true. But you're right! We need the struggle, and in the end it will all be worth it.

    Great post, and the Colin/Bradley gif was the icing on the cake.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't we all? And thanks! Glad you enjoyed the post!
      Lol, yeah, that gif is great!

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  4. I LOVE THIS. IT IS SO TRUE. I used to totally think first drafts had to be "perfect"...gah, it took me years to learn that editing is okay and needed and WONDERFUL. (Although I dread the process.) >_< I laughed at the Mariana's Trench bit. Zomg, yes. I have plot holes so large the book falls through and is really just like someone headdesked a laptop and said, "I wrote a book." -_- I go through love/hate times with my books....but yet I keep writing. I LOVE IT TOO MUCH. XD
    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad you liked it!
      I believed a similar lie about editing, except I didn't think there was anything wrong with the editing process, I just didn't realize I needed it, lol. I wasn't so pompous as to think that "only other writers edited," but I just didn't really realize that /anyone/ did.
      And yup, that's basically why we keep going: we just love writing too much. Torture ourselves as much as we do our characters, lol.
      And no problem! Thanks for commenting here :)

      Delete

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