I read through "House of Many Hearts" too, and it was okay, but...I am grumpy. I get these flashes where I try to figure out if my writing is convoluted and elliptic and whether or not the stuff I think I'm saying is in fact all in my own head; is there important stuff I'm leaving out, etc. I know I should have beta readers. But I have so many Issues. It's this whole other thick, complex layer to writing that I'm all avoidy about.
I've decided I have three modes of writing:
1. Sketchy. Example: Subtleties, lots of LJ stuff. Writing not intended to be a proper story. Scribbling, really. I'm just roughing out ideas, scenes, concepts. Few transitions between narrative parts, or abrupt ones. Dialogue just tossed in, often in script style. Narrative flow expanding and contracting at whim--sometimes I detail a sweater at great length and the next thing you know, "A few months passed." Self-indulgent: Lorne/Spike? Sure, baby! Riley/Giles? Watch me--I will *make* that foot fit the shoe even if I have to chop off the heel.Some days it all seems like crap.
2. Breezy. Example: A Week of Wrong, Throwing Shapes. Conventional narrative flow and dialogue tags bring this up a notch, but it's still very fast and loose, chock full of cliches because I don't stop to second-guess myself. No scoring on originality. Wordplay and odd turns of phrase and run-on sentences crop up; riffs off the top of my head.
3. Crafty. Example: Noir, later Sidelines. I write with outlines; keep extensive story notes. I usually sketch out scenes before I begin to write and know going in what I want to accomplish in terms of themes, character arcs, and plot arcs. I still write sequentially for the most part, but sometimes can write out of order if I know well enough where I want to go with individual scenes. I try to adhere to canon even when it means writing parts of a story I'm not passionately interested in.
I'd like to find a way to combine 2 & 3. More than that I'd like to figure out why I don't necessarily write the things I really like to read, or that turn my crank. I'd say more but there's work to do and I need to eat lunch.
Yesterday I left work and was heading for the bus and felt depressed because I'd been running on half-power all day. When I'm not giving my job my all I feel guilty and crappy, like a rotten person. And I look at all the drab people walking by, and every middle-aged frump waddling to the bus stop, giving off a air of profesional mediocrity, makes me despair of myself and my future, my decline. I am so lucky to have the job I do and yet on nine days out of ten I'm an uncommitted hack--and I *always* want to be elsewhere. It's all about the writing, and even with that I'm just this dilettante, not even making the effort to do pro work, tossing everything off without a beta.
Must refill antidepressant prescription. Must go eat. Must not drink tonight.