Self revelation is rarely a pleasant experience. I mean, who really wants to have all their flaws and foibles pointed out in techni-color?
Still, "that which makes us stronger" ...is a real pain in the ass. I've always hated that phrase.
So I've got a few pieces finished and sitting impatiently in my "to be edited" queue. One of my dear friends, who happens to be an avid reader in my genre, offered her services for feedback on my most recent novella. It's recent, so like a new baby, is still a little too close to my heart for me to be terribly objective about it. Give me a few months.
Anyway, she has a kind heart which means I usually have to encourage her to be upfront with my goofs, weak spots and glaring mistakes, but we get to them eventually. I like it that way--what can I say?
But this time I noticed a sort of funny pattern to the critique. Funny on my part--she did just fine. It went something like this...
Her: I noticed this particular issue...
Me: Yeah, I thought the same thing.
Her: This point right here needs x...
Me: you know, that had occurred to me when I wrote it.
Her: What this scene could use is...
Me: a bla bla bla
Finally, I had to scratch my head and wonder. If I knew what the hell was wrong with the stupid thing, why did I write it that way? Well, I'm going to tell you....
I'm a lazy ass.
I am. I can remember thinking, as I wrote the piece, "I really should work out the details of this particular thing or that..." and "I should probably figure out some of this back story" or "weave a subplot in here." I remember thinking it. I also remembering thinking...eh? Why not squeak by without the extra effort? Nobody will notice, right?
Wrong. My bad. Sooooooooo lazy.
I think I knew I had to do the foot work eventually, but I didn't feel like doing it then. I felt like getting to the end of the bloody manuscript. Don't judge me.
Will it be harder, do you think, to fix the stuff now? Damned if I know, but it's not impossible. I can work it out, weave it in, do a little (Cringe) rewriting and sort it all out nicely. In fact, now, with all the pages piled in front of me, solid, weighty, it seems a lot easier to go back and do the work. I'm even excited about it...mainly because I know it will make the story better. And I still love the story--even with the extra work and it's flaws exposed.
Maybe next time I think, "can I get by without...." I'll buck up and grit my teeth and do what the story needs. I probably won't. I may have good story/plot instincts, but they are lazy, sluggish little buggers that need a good kick in the teeth (and a great deal of chocolate) to get them into a cooperative state.
Thank heavens for second drafts...and good friends who happen to be avid readers.