Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Seesaw

I’m not writing.  I’m thinking.  I keep vacillating between trying to find a way to finish this book I’ve been working on and starting a new one.  I seem to have an idea for a new one, but who knows?

I’m also reading.

 

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Having a Terrible Time, Wish You Were Here

Anyone, that is, who could save me.  I’ve hit the wall.  Really. I decided I was going to toss the book.  First Reader said not before I read it.
 
So FR read it.  She didn't give me the reaction I wanted which was, "You can't toss this.  It has the makings of a good book.  You have to do X,Y,Z and then this is how you'll get them down that slope to the conclusion."
 
Nope.
 
She liked a lot of it and said I had hard work to do.  Way too many characters, which I knew.  And she had no idea how to get to and write the 2nd act.  She had some ideas on what I should do with what I have.  But I had to coax the words "Don't toss it" out of her.  And they weren't quite those words.  I've blocked what they actually were but they meant the same thing. Grudgingly.
 
I've often had false starts and given up, but I've never had over 200 pages and quit.  I've always said this was the kind of crime novel I couldn't write and it seems that it's true.  But I don't want it to be true. I'm so depressed about it.  I know I could take the things FR told me and rework everything but then I'll eventually get to the same place.  I think.  FR doesn't think so.  She thinks if do some of the stuff she suggested it'll give me ideas on how to go on and resolve the sucker.  Maybe so.
 
Why not?  I don't have an idea for another book and can't imagine starting something else even if I did.  I don't have that secret novel I've always wanted to write. 
 
I guess there's an option to stop all together.  But that's a false option.  I might be able to do that for a week or two, but then I'd want to write something and I still might not have an idea and blah, blah, blah.
 
All the options are lousy.  Tomorrow looms.  What will I do?  I have to take some action.  I guess I'll get out those 4x5 cards that Martha O'Connor suggested awhile back and start putting the names and alliances on them, then tack them to my bulletin board.  I haven't had to do this for 30 years.  And that was with Some Unknown Person.  Come to think of it that had a cast of thousands.  But I always knew where that was going and didn't have trouble getting there.
 
I think I have to give it one more try. 
 
And please don’t tell me I should’ve outlined.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Why Can't I Be More Like a Gorman?

Or a Randisi?  Or a McBain?  A Westlake?  Ohmigod I can’t think of a woman.  Oh, well, the point is they’ve written hundreds of books.  Each one of them.  Especially Randisi and Gorman.  And while they’re writing novels they’re compiling anthologies.  And editing magazines and all kinds of stuff.  And they’re not writing in one genre either.  Gorman and Randisi write westerns as well as crime novels.  And horror novels.

I’m struggling to write my 20th novel but nothing stops them.  McBain is dead so I can only look back.  But the others are very much alive.  And very much writing.  And publishing.

Okay, after my day off last Wednesday I did write on Thursday.  Not much.  But I wrote.  Then I went to the movies on Friday.  I bet Randisi and Gorman don’t go to the movies on a possible work day.  I’m sure they don’t.

And will they take off tomorrow because it’s a holiday.  Of course not.  Will I?  Of course. There’s one last movie I have to catch before the Golden Globes tomorrow night.  You have to have priorities in this writing life, afterall.

Yes, I know.  Mine suck.  On Tuesday I’ll try again to be disciplined.  I do want to finish this 20th even if no one publishes it.  And I’ll probably want to do a 21st.  But I can’t get ahead of myself this way.

How do Randisi and Gorman and Westlake and the ones I’m forgetting do it?  Even if I worked seven days a week I could never write as many books as they.  And please don’t start thinking they’re hacks because they most definitely aren’t.  That’s not to say that every book they publish is wonderful.  But a lot are very good.  So it’s a mystery to me how they do it.

But I wish I could.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

I Didn't Want To

That’s right.  I came into my office, turned on the computer, clicked on Word.  I finished a chapter yesterday so I had to set up a new chapter.  I did that.  And put the page number in.  And then I stared at it for a few seconds, minimized it.  I remembered I’d d/l a program yesterday that I hadn’t set up.  So I did that.  And that was the end of writing for the day.

Not because I distracted myself with a toy.  But because I didn’t want to write so I distracted myself.  I know from experience that if I go to email or launch my browser or do anything but bring up Word I will be done for.  So it wasn’t that I was an innocent in any way.

I didn’t want to write today.

Yesterday and the day before went well.  I liked what I wrote.  Didn’t read it again, but I felt it was good.

I didn’t want to write today.

Yes, I feel guilty.  But only a little.  Still, it isn’t what I said I was going to do when I started writing again after my hiatus.  I thought I’d get in at least a four day week.  I still could if I don’t go to the movies on Friday.

Oh, hell.  I didn’t want to write today and I didn’t.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Pulling Teeth

That’s what it was like.  Even so I got a chapter done.  But these people are not cooperating with me.  They change what they’re doing from one paragraph to the next.  And they’re still talking and talking.

A plan has been made by one person, but I’ll believe he follows through when I see it on the page.

I have no idea why I’ve started talking about my characters like this.  Am I trying to get distance?  Do I want to relinquish responsibility?  What the hell is going on?  Has anyone else ever had this attitude toward characters.  I never have before.  Maybe it’s because I’m NOT in control.  I mean by that that the characters are getting away from me.  I hope that’s not the case. 

It’s true that if I’d outlined this probably wouldn’t be happening.  But then I wouldn’t care.  So I’d rather be in this quandry.  I have to admit some of it has to do with my memory. A lot does.  It’s a little scary.  I’m not sure how to solve this problem.  If anyone has a suggestion, a tip, or a trick other than outlining I’d like to hear it.

Tomorrow I’m going to a movie…exactly as I said I would.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Tomorrow and Tomorrow

Tomorrow is almost here.  Why do I care?  I have to go back to writing my novel. I both dread and look forward to it.  I know what’s waiting for me, of course.  I have to get these people moving.  They have to make plans. Get schemes in place. Strategize.

They’ve put things off for too long.  All the duos or trios are made up of the right people.  Now I need to see some action.  Talk, talk, talk. They have to take matters into their own hands and get that money.  At least go after it.

This will start the second year (with lots of breaks) on this book.  And it’s only halfway done and is a first draft.  If I’m ever going to get it finished I can’t take so many vacations.  From now until about June I have to keep going.  Stick to my schedule.  I’ll still take Fridays off if there’s a good movie around.  But that’s it.  By June I’d like to have it done.  Final version.

Okay.  Tomorrow.  Barring acts of God I’m going to hit those keys. For sure.  

Tomorrow.