Sunday, February 20, 2005

This Last Writing Week

I've now rewritten 6 and a half chapters.  The last 3 were almost a complete rewrite.  I keep telling myself that when the novel is actually completed I'll have less rewriting to do.  But that's the part I enjoy so it doesn't comfort me.

It's been a struggle not to go on the Inernet to ostensibly look up things.  We all know where that leads.  One thing to another.  Each day I promise myself that I won't do that.  I might have to check something out through Gurunet but I don't have to go any farther once I get my answer.  Still, I continue to do it.

I don't launch my email program but if I launch my browser, Mozilla, I can see my email from my home page.  Ok, so I don't answer it.  That's the only thing I resist.

I have to stop all that.  I have to get down to work.  I can't get distracted.  If I want to do these things I'll do them after I finish writing.  This is my vow for the coming week.

Even with all my diversions I think I know more than I did.  I might even know by now (page 80) who did it.  And why.  I have a lot of rewriting and changing of things ahead of me.  There are 5 more chapters to go before I get to write a new chapter.  Actually, there may not be that many because I took things from 10 and put them in 7.  And I may have to lose two characters all together.  But then I'll be adding a character who will get at least half a chapter.  She was dead in my first version.  How heady it is to bring someone back to life!

I know the prose I'm writing now is fairly lifeless.  I also know I can change that later so I'm not letting it worry me too much.  All in all it's been a battle.  I don't recall going through this before. Oh, I've been in despair at times, but I never had this kind of trouble. 

I just realized that I killed the wrong person again having done that once before in a YA book, Playing Murder, but I caught that one at around 100 pages.  This time I didn't know I'd done it until I started rewriting.

It's caused me a lot of trouble.  And other things have too...all those corners I got myself into.  As it stands now there aren't any. 

I keep wondering if ,without those corners am I writing a dull book?  And then I remember they were corners I couldn't do anything about.  I might get into some new ones as I go along and can only hope that they'll be ones I can write my way out of.

Those of you who've read my blog before know that I take any holiday I can.  I mean, how could I possibly write on Presidents' Day?

Is this book dull?  Is this book dull?  Is this book dull?



Lee Goldberg said...

The more I read about your troubles, the more I believe in outlines. I usually have the struggles you're going through in the outline phase of either a script or a book... which makes the writing a lot less stressful (though I almost always rework the story along the way).

Anonymous said...

I agree with Lee. I outline the heck out of everything I write (be it fic or nonfic, speech or essay or novel). And I always end up straying but at least it gives me a general path to work from and keeps me moving.

Jen said...

What a great post, and a great blog. Like Sal whose link I followed here, I deeply relate to this:

"I have to stop all that. I have to get down to work. I can't get distracted. If I want to do these things I'll do them after I finish writing. This is my vow for the coming week."

I'll join that vow.

Bill Peschel said...

You forgot checking your blogposts for comments.

I could have written your post every day for the last ten years, but the irony is that, this time around, blogging is helping me.

I recast my blogroll to put writers near the top, particularly you, Lee, Laurell Hamilton, Scalzi and "Paperback Writer." Working writers. Successful writers. Writers who don't mind talking a bit about what they're doing.

They're a constant reminder of what I should be doing, that it's all right to put something down on the page that's not good yet, that it's all right to just keep writing, when the little voice inside me is asking why I'm wasting my time (while the other part is imaging the characters, the town, the mystery, the next chapter; yeah, it gets crowded up there sometimes).

The only exception is in the daytime, when I don't go online until the day's 1,000 words is written. That's the one iron-bound rule I have to follow if I want to reach my goals.