Letting the Story Rest

Picture this if you will:  I’ve been working to build a compelling synopsis for my first book.  I’ve written it and rewritten it several times.  But I still don’t like it.  Several different people have suggested that I let it sit for a week.  Come back to it with fresh eyes and a fresh perspective.  Great advice, except, the darn thing never leaves my thoughts.

Am I the only one with this problem?  The only writer in the entire world who can’t seem to let it go?  I know I have a tendancy to focus (with a laser-like, frightening intensity) on the project at hand.  It becomes virtually impossible to think about anything else.

Sometimes that’s a good thing.  Take Nanowrimo for example.  I had this massive challenge that taunted me, pointing and giggling every time I looked up from my keyboard.  I wrote more in twenty days than I had ever written in my life.  I crushed the challenge.  One might think that my focus was a benefit.  I certainly did then.

Now, it’s in the way.  I’m desperate to start plotting my next story.  I’ve all these ideas clamoring for attention in my head.  But somehow, they aren’t finding their way to paper.  Not yet anyways.  I’ve had offers to read my synopsis when it’s done; to critique it so I can find ways to make it even more compelling.  I most gratefully accept those offers, but somehow, I can’t send out something that doesn’t feel perfect.

Am I stalling?  If I am brutally honest with myself, I would have to answer “YES”.  I think part of my perfectionist nature is a fear that people won’t like what I’ve done.  Constructive criticism I can handle.  Outright dislike might be something else entirely.

At the same time that I think I’m stalling, I also realize that the drive to get the synopsis done (and perfect) is an effort to get my book back out looking for a publisher.  Getting books published has always been a goal of mine.

So which is it?  Is it stalling or driving forward that doesn’t let me put the story aside?  At the end of the day, the reason is unimportant.  Letting the story rest, truly rest, is.

So here is what I propose:  I will put the synopsis out to pasture until next week and I will begin the exercise of plotting my next story.  I will also work on fleshing out a couple other story ideas.  Then, we’ll see what happens.  To those of you who offered to critique my synopsis, it’s coming.  But not yet.  It (and I) need a breather for a few days before we’re ready to move forward.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.