Thursday, November 5, 2009

Shannon Fail

So, it's NaNoRevisMo day five, and I have some major catching up to do. Yesterday I was pretty much as unproductive as I could be. Progress on my draft?


I have the whole thing printed up and marked with what changes I want/need to make (including a number of scenes marked "Crap--remove and try again!" and a couple dozen post-it notes filled with plot /character suggestions I need to apply. I just can't seem to make myself do any of it.

To be fair, Wednesdays are my worst day of the week (I'm gone from 10 am to 10 pm and can only write from ten to midnight). But last night I just couldn't find the will to do it. I couldn't find the will to do anything. Honestly, I couldn't tell you what I did last night. I didn't write. I didn't read. It's a mystery.

But there's also a deeper problem I'm battling, one I'm not quite sure how to deal with. I researched this book for a year and a half before I started it, and then I've been writing it every day since January, which basically means I have ate/slept/breathed/dreamed/and lived this book for over two years. And I'm kinda sick of it.

Don't get me wrong, I still love the story, love the characters, and there are some scenes that I just absolutely adore. But...I'm ready to be done. I'm ready to move on to book two, explore the plot lines I have prepared for that, watch the characters grow up a bit. And I can't because book one isn't done. I know it will never get done unless I finish it (vicious circle) but I'm having a hard time finding the will to do it.

Can I just fast forward through the next two months of editing and revising and re-writng and skip to the part where it's done and perfect and ready to be queried? (or--even better--can I skip the whole querying process and go straight to the seven book deal?) Is that so much to ask?



Okay, enough whining.

It's NaNoRevisMo and I have critique partners on my side so I'm going to regroup today and (as soon as I get home from work) put in a full evening of revising. Cut, change, re-write, edit--I will do it all.

Look out book one.

You may have thwarted me yesterday--but tonight it's on!


  1. Ha - great post! I know it's probably not what you were going for, but you made me laugh out loud. I certainly sympathize with you on the struggles when you get tired of your project. Keep at it. Good luck!

    (Just came across the blog - you were following one of my followers - and really did it. I'm following you now, too.)


  2. Well you are definitely human. ;o)
    Ninjadillo will help.
    I think its okay to be tired of the place your characters are having to 'wait' in. I mean they of course want their story to continue, but I am sure they want to be their own perfection as well. (Don't laugh, I do hear my character's voices ;o) )
    The down day is merely showing itself due to the excitement of how close you are to having all these revisions in place. It makes you want to just scoot through and be at the end. But having followed your blog along now, I understand that quickly flying through may not be your process. You seem to really take everything in and work through it at a good pace. Good results come from that Shannon. So no to "Shannon Fail" yes to "Shannon Persevere!" Book two will have those days too, but you again will have your Ninjadillo and a horde of people who believe in you.
    I know...positivity can be really annoying, can't it?? ;o)

  3. I say take a break when you're done editing. I took a month and a half off from mine and it did wonders.

  4. Good luck with your NaNo ;) I'd like to fast forward with you, wouldn't that be great? But only if I can snag a seven book deal too. It's only fair.

  5. OMG is it really day 5? Ha! I haven't been productive at all. I feel like this week has taken over my life what with having to 9-5 for one day and twitter getting hacked. I've just gone over a few pages of chapter 11. Trust me, even if you're not doing your own work, you've still accomplished way more than me! And your emails are very amusing.

    I hope today goes better for you! One thing I will say though...and this can be scary to hear and it's not necessarily the case but I have experience with this - when your bored with your work...sometimes its a sign that it needs to change.

    I've been eating living breathing sleeping my book for 2 and a half years and I could go on. But in the past I have had points where I'm like ew I hate this book I never want to see it again and I'm bored to death with it. You should never be bored with your book, an agent once said that if you're not excited about your work then there's no way we can be.

    Whenever I got to that point I'd step back and reevaluate and then I'd usually make some kind of huge change that got me really excited again and passionate about the book. When your bored, there's a problem. Remember we evolve and our book evolves too. It's hard to write something you started two years ago when you were a different person two years ago. So I guess what I'm saying is maybe you were having a bad day, or maybe you just need to change something around to bring back the excitement. Sometimes you've written all you can with what you had and you realize there's something else that will make the book pop.

    You know that before June there was no magic school at all in my book? Yeah imagine that! Also a year ago Lilliana was 15. A year before that she was 13. Writing about a 13 yr old didn't move me and so I was willing to make her older and thus I became more excited and fell in love with my own work.

    So don't be afraid to change things or let your book evolve. I hope that makes sense! My critique partner Janine right now is transforming her picture book into a MG novel because that's what excites her.

    Ok hope that helps!!

  6. Greg- Wow, thanks for the compliment. I'm glad I made you laugh--I was afraid I was too whiney. :) And thank you so much for following--that totally cheers me up!

    Southern Princess- Thank you for your positivity-it's not annoying at all. I know I can always count on you to turn my negativity upside down and get me all motivated again. :)

    Patti- A break sounds wonderful. I think I will focus on that to keep me going.

    T. Anne- I'm in. Maybe with your superior wishing skills (you already got one wish and won Fancy Nancy) we can make it happen. :)

    Frankie- Wow, thank you! (And I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who leaves long comments). I think yesterday was just a bad day-combined with the fact that what's really burning me out is how busy my schedule is right now. I think honestly what I really need is a day off. I haven't watched a movie or gone shopping or done any fun things (aside from one concert) for about three months. Tonight my husband is taking me out to dinner to cheer me up.

    But I do know what you mean. I have hit rocks along the way and made big/drastic changes to the plot and found enthusiasm again, so you are definitely right. And maybe as you work through my draft you'll find some other things to change-which would be awesome! I just get itchy to move on because I have the whole series already plotted and some REALLY cool things are going to happen in the later books. That's not to say that tons of really cool things don't happen in book one, but the great thing about a series is that you plant seeds and build along the way so that when you get to the later books you have these HUGE payoffs. But you can't do that without the planting. I just have to be patient. :)

    Thank you all for the comments and support. You have definitely helped cheer me up!

  7. Don't beat yourself up for yesterday. Today's a new day! And luckily, it's not February (because, you know, it has 28 days and that would mean you have less time to revise, never mind).

    As for being a bit tired of your novel, maybe you could start on something new while revising? This is going to be my first time ever doing that. I'm a little afraid that maybe my brain can only do one at a time (write or revise). But maybe it can do both and I can have *both* a revised book and a first draft at the end of the month??

    Anyway, good luck! I am sending lots of good vibes your way! :)

    PS: Frankie, the length of your comment is no. #975 on the list of reasons why I've decided you're awesome. LOL.

  8. Sarah- Thanks so much. And yeah, I think you may be right. Sometimes I write some of the scenes for the later books (that way I'm staying with the characters but getting to do something new too) but I haven't let myself do that in a bit because I'm trying to get this project done. But I might just let myself because I think it would help. Thanks for the good vibes and for following. I love meeting fellow writers this way!

  9. I absolutely know what you mean. Granted, I've only been writing my current wip since July, so you've got ages on me, but I am ready to FINISH this stupid draft.

    I love my characters, I love their story. At moments, I still even get butterflies while I write and I have great stuff still to add. But for the love of goodness. I am ready to revise and query and get this shindig out the friggin' door already!

    So... pretty much I'm ready to be where you are now. And just think - by the time I get there - YOU'LL be done!!

  10. Sara- Thank you so much for following and for the comment. I'm glad I'm not alone--I think you really understand. It's a good story and I love it--but Good Lord I've read every word in my draft at least a 100 times. Even my FAVORITE books I've only read 6 or 7 times. It's like, please don't make me read this again--I'm done with it. But these stories won't tell themselves so it's up to us to suffer through.

    Oh, BTW, I think your last sentence was the best thing I've ever read. Thank you for that!

  11. Oh I feel your pain girlie. I revised my story over and over. All the while I was aching to write more of book two and three of the series. However, now that it's finished I'm very happy that I took the time to make book one shine. :)

    Good luck revising!

  12. Karen- Thanks. good to hear it's all going to pay off. That's such great news. Thanks for the support--I need as much as I can get. :)

  13. Participate in the two-part book challenge at Good Golly Miss Holly:

  14. First of all, I cannot believe you are gone for 12 hours and then you come home and write for 2 hours. Who are you, Wonder Woman? :)

    It is SO normal to get sick of our work after awhile. It doesn't mean the manuscript is bad. Sometimes, we just need to step away for a little while. Which is hard when you're trying to get done with revisions, I know. But don't feel bad if you have a day here or there where you don't work on it. Sometimes that break will help you the next time you sit down to tackle things.


  15. GGMH- Thanks for the tip--I will have to check that out. And thanks for stopping by.

    Lisa- Okay, I now officially love you for the Wonder Woman comment. I may have to work a picture of that into my blog. :) And thank you so much for the support--you have no idea how much it means, especially coming from you! It's nice to hear even the pros get sick of the work after while and I will definitely be allowing myself more breaks.

    {{Hugs Back}}

  16. I'm so sorry I didn't see this until today! I've felt that way before. Taking a break, even for a short time does absolute wonders. Did you know BLM [Brave Little Manuscript] has gone through eight MAJOR revisions, three of which have included reqriting the last half of the book completely? (THREE separate times! I thought I was going to die). But I can promise you, each revision, new, big or small, is making the story just a little bit better. I look back at the first draft and wonder how I could have possibly gotten here from there. It is worthy it. And I'm glad you have such a wonderful husband to take you out. Maybe he will buy you an baby armadillo of your very own. :)

  17. Heather-You are so cute, do not even worry about it. And wow, that's a lot of revisions. I've always worked on my draft in pieces, so it's hard to say how many complete revisions I've already done, but I know most scenes have been completely redone at least twice, and I've removed 60,000 words worth of crap. *sighs* And now I think I want a baby armadillo. "Oh honey!"

  18. Found my way over from the First Novels Club. I'm in the midst of NaNoRevisMo too. Every time I get discouraged, I remind myself that the story is getting better. Bit by bit. Keep at it.

    It's nice to meet you. :)

  19. Thanks Anissa- Welcome and it's so nice to meet you. I can't believe how many nice people there are in the blog world. :) Thanks for the encouragement and I hope your revisions go well (and are less frustrating than mine).


Yay-I love comments! Thank you so much! (But please remember to keep your comments spoiler-free. Also, I try to keep this a happy, positive place. Any arguing or intense debate--on any subject will be removed. Let's keep this a safe, fun space.