Just kidding on the bad excerpts thing. I didn't bring my old manuscript to work with me, so I think I will save that for tomorrow or the weekend. Not entirely sure...
I'm pretty good at dialogue between characters. In fact, I had that noted at least once in a creative writing class I took for my minor. In writing, it is the thing that comes most natural for me. That's the part that ends up the most believable, and that is helpful because dialogue reveals a lot about characters whose heads you can't get into.
My four characters have helped loads in making my story more believable. When a character is lifelike, it's easier to see their world as real.
I started thinking of this the other day when my brother was watching the Lord of the Rings movies. I seriously have seen the first one no less than twelve times.
Personally, I blame the work that went into the making of the movies.
Those three films weren't slapped together hastily in front of a green screen. The filmmakers took their time to make Middle-Earth as real as it could possibly be. Tolkien did them a favor when he made up an insane history for Middle-Earth.
I had never thought about that before my brother said it.
And I realized it applies very heavily to writing.
I wonder if I lost that for a little bit. Did I believe my story? Am I trying to copy anything? I mean, the book has in no way lost its roots. I worry a little that I tried to put too much grittiness in it and lost...something. I've sometimes described the story as "this, plus this, with a little of that."
I tried to make it too small. Problem is, we live in a very big universe.
I believe my stories now. I believe the world in which they're set.
That doesn't mean the story's perfect yet. But it's really close to being good enough for me.
I think now I've recaptured what I lost, the honesty of wonder.