It’s a strange and unsettling feeling, reaching the point where you have to condense over three hundred pages of gut wrenching, heart breaking, feels slaying story into a paragraph or two. Summarizing a story that was five years in the making is a requirement for the most part, something we so rarely think about in the beginning. Yet when the story is told and you try to take things further, the pressure to write the perfect paragraph for promotion is painful.
Too much on alliteration? I thought so too. Scaling back…
My point remains though. There’s an unimaginable amount of pressure to get the best pitch to ensure someone, somewhere, sees the gem that is your story. Staring at that write up for more than an hour can lend to some pretty intense stress, a major headache, and the conviction that everything you’ve written, ever, is awful.
I reached that point myself recently, and it brought me to a few conclusions. One, try to have people around you that either understand what you’re trying to do, or know how to shake you out of your funk. Never underestimate the power of a good kick up the ass.
Two, try approaching the task from different angles. Look at the authors you admire, look at the back of your favourite books. Did they list all of the characters or just a few? Did they have a hook that made you curious? Did they ever once mention eggplants?
And three, do not be afraid to take a break, scrap it all, and start fresh. Read for a while. Take your break in someone else’s world before going back to yours. Perspective comes in many forms, and you need to find what works for you.
These are the things that work for me, so far, to at least provide a little distance. Clearing my head after staring at the same seven lines for hours feels a little like taking out my brain and rinsing it off in clear spring water. Assuming the imagery doesn't gross you out, find your spring water. As much fun as it can be to live in our worlds, we have to remember to leave them alone at times and let the magic happen without forcing it.