Monday, May 1, 2017

The only way out is through...

Last Friday I mentioned I was having issues making progress on my book. Churning out books is still new to me even though this is the six one of the series. Books three and five were already written, so they just needed some adjustments. Major adjustments to be sure, but I wasn't coming up with everything from scratch.

Now's the time when things are going to get hairy...having to write books from the ground up, if you will. Having to plot and pull the story together start to finish in a designated amount of time.

On Friday, I put out a call to my chapter mates for some brainstorming help, and one dear soul offered to help me talk through some of my issues. Was I ready to write once we'd signed off? I said 'yes' but was thinking 'no.' I had a few 'a ha' moments while we were chatting, so that was definitely good, but I still didn't feel ready to dive back in.

Did I have a choice? Not really. I didn't get to write at all Friday because the day ended up getting chewed up by a lot of other things I needed to get to done.

So Saturday morning I got out of bed and plopped myself in front of the laptop. I started reading from chapter one, armed with the new info I had and the decisions I'd made about one of the characters. By the end of the day, I'd added just over a thousand words to chapters one, two, and part of three. My daily goal is nine hundred words, so I achieved that, and my first two chapters are stronger and better than they were before.

Sunday morning I skimmed chapter two to get back into the character head space and moved on to make headway / finish chapter three. Did I succeed? Not as well as I'd hoped, but progress was made.

Sometimes having to stop for the day is bad for the momentum. You're in a character's head. You know where he or she is coming from. You're on a roll, feeling good. But we authors can't always write all day every day. Also I refuse. I've mentioned being a slave to the process and I don't want to be that.

Right now, it takes me much longer than I like to get those 1K words everyday. I'm trying to polish my plotting skills because when I know what's going on with the characters and the plot, I can actually write pretty fast.

Anyway...the point of this post is that sometimes you just have to ram your way through. I've often had to just sit myself down and say: You have to do this. You don't have choice. You can do this.

And you know what? I do. It might not be great, but it's something. There's a saying in the writing world: You can't fix a blank page. So some days I just have to get words on the page and not worry about how crappy I think they are or the fact that it's all dialogue and I may not even know who's saying what.

But then, once they're on the page, I can add to them or change them. I have a starting point. I can enhance. I can add in the emotion. I can sort out who says what. I can make them say what I really want them to say.

So--that was my weekend. How was yours??

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