Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Progress Report

So, given that today is the midway point in my month of no editing, I thought I would use today's post to report on my progress. And I'll be honest...it's not going well.

It started out great. For the first week I wrote only new scenes, and closed several of the major gaps in my manuscript (I'm writing out of order, so my current draft has more holes than swiss cheese). But like a runner who took off too fast from the starting line, I soon found myself fading. I tried to rally. I worked on some scenes for later in the series (oh yes, my book is book one of a series--did I not mention?), which, while not adding to my current draft, does help me to see how the seeds I'm planting now are going to pay off later.

But then...disaster.

After being blocked for a couple of days I returned to my draft and started editing...figuring that was better than doing nothing. And for the last three days straight, I've done nothing but edit. (Feel free to yell at me. I promised you could.)

The problem is, certain scenes are really hard to write. Some scenes are so clear in my head that it's almost like they wrote themselves and all I did was transcribe them. And certain characters are so much fun to write that I could spend hours coming up with new scenes just so I could hang out with them longer. But then there's the other scenes. The scenes with the villains, who I hate spending time with. Or the sad scenes, where bad things happen to my characters. Or the scenes where something important has to be explained, but I can't think of a way to do it besides having the characters talk about it (boring!). Those are the scenes that make me want to beat my head against a wall or throw my laptop out the window. And those are really the only scenes I have left to write.

But I know what I have to do. I have to power through it. It's what I had to do with my portraits (back when I actually had time to draw). I would always avoid the hair--there's so many shadows and details...it takes forever. But sooner or later I had to draw it--otherwise I had a lovely portrait of a bald person.

It's the same thing with my book. Those scenes may be frustrating, and take a lot more time and effort to produce. But I can't finish my book without them. And this story is worth finishing. More than that--I owe it to my characters to finish. They were kind enough to share their story with me, the least I can do is finish telling it.

So I'm regrouping. I still have fifteen days left in this month and I'm determined to use them properly. No more editing. No more avoiding the hard stuff. I'm digging in my heals and drawing that hair (er--writing those scenes...I think I'm mixing up my metaphors). Starting right now.



  1. Haha, you go girl! Rock on. In the throws (sp?) of a new manuscript myself, I have a very similar feeling. But you are doing awesome. Just think baby steps. I usually aim to complete one scene a day, and that almost always ends up being longer than if I had set a word count or time limit for myself. And the writing flows better too. :) (Oh, and email me if you want some help with your blog. I can't seem to find your email on here). Good luck!

  2. Thanks for the tip Heather. (Oh, and yes, I want help. Already emailed you!)

  3. Huh. I didn't get it, I just checked. heatherzundel AT gmail [dot] com. :) And you are most welcome.

  4. Hmmm. Not sure what went wrong. Trying again...

  5. I like this post! Keep up the good work.


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