How do you write without cringing at your own work? After writing a few sentences I usually give up because I'm cringing so hard ...
I have a few tricks!
One is to copy an author’s style for the first paragraph or so, one that fits the tone of the story. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Di could handle that particular duality; it was the vampires that she was having trouble with.” That way you can’t really cringe, it’s a popular beginning!
Two is to give my first few paragraphs a very funny narrator. “The vampires” (because when are there not vampires) “were giving Di” (a simple name for someone who’d like to see themselves as quite complicated) “a lot of trouble” (Which, as we’ll see, is something Di receives from vampires and otherwise quite a lot).
This keeps you interested in reading your own work while also finding the depth/various angles you have. I find a lot of cringe comes from shallow story telling, so you just got to keep in mind that this is your story and is actually quite complex!
Three is to lean into the cringe. “Di stood looking over the embattled warehouse, long coat swirling around her ankles. Below, a writhing mass of five vampires snapped their teeth at one another, totally oblivious to her looming presence. War is hell, she thinks and jumps.”
Look, it’s fun to write ridiculous, over the top characters. It’s really fun to write all the little stories (starring you!) that unfolded during a particularly boring lecture. And you know what? A lot of people like reading ridiculous stories!
Four is to do with poor sentence construction. Some days it’s really hard to write a coherent story and you end up looking at what you do put down with an over critical eye. DON’T ERASE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!! On those days, I take my choppy, no good, very cringe-y paragraphs and put them in my “Graveyard” folder. My Graveyard folder is every opening, scene, and character description that makes me cringe. Once it’s in there, I rewrite it for the actual story and then wait a few days. When I feel capable of looking at it again, I compare the rewrite to the original in the Graveyard and use the one I want.
Surprise, surprise, generally it’s the Graveyard opening I like!
So Don’t Fear the Cringe, dear anon! That means it’s working!