I’ve been working on the last minute updates to Falling Star in preparation for submitting it to a contest at the end of this month (July). I’d narrowed it down to two places – a follow-up entry to BlueCat or a taste of something different with Big Break.
My wife and I walked 2000 steps discussing the pros and cons of each. I chose BlueCat. It comes down to feedback. With BlueCat you get some, in writing, and they announce their results in tiers so you know how far you made it. If I’m going to plunk down my cash on an entry, I don’t want a lottery ticket. I want feedback.
With everything decided, last minute notes coming in, and only a quick pass or two left before I ship it out, an odd thing happened. I lost faith. This script that I spewed out in a couple of weeks and then have labored over ever since – tweaking, editing, completely rewriting – the script that I admitted to a select few close friends was probably the best thing I’d written, suddenly wasn’t very good.
In fact, it was awful. Not even close to the quality of what I’ve been reading lately. Who am I to enter it into BlueCat when it clearly isn’t as good as Prisoners?
Where was that voice when I first started, warning me that I was about to waste a lot of time and should really do something else more worthwhile – like watch YouTube videos? I asked it. No answer. (Strange looks from the folks sitting next to me on the train through.)
My script may not be good enough to win. But maybe it is. I’ve gotten better and last year I made the top 10%. The story was different, probably better, but the writing is much better now. I know this because when I look at my entry from last year I cringe a little. Not a lot, but enough to know that I’m still improving.
I think, maybe, that the fear holding me back now isn’t whether or not the script is good enough. It’s the fear of letting it go. Now I have to start over. Meet new characters. Make their lives awful so that you will be entertained. I have to pick an idea that I like so much I’m good working with it until after Christmas.
Christmas. That’s after NaNoWriMo. Should I do that again this year? Oh my. Focus, Jon.