I’m roughly a third of the way into my current work in progress, nicknamed WIP2.
I really enjoyed writing the beginning. I felt like an utter genius, writing down all the scenes that zipped inside my head. Truly, I couldn’t write fast enough, and those who paid attention to my Twitter timeline knows I barely slept throughout the month of July.
I was ok with not sleeping. I had a goal. I knew that my paythebills job would be time consuming throughout August, so I wanted to write down as much of the story as possible.
Well, here I am now, after all the Stuff from my paythebills job has gone away (for the moment), and trying to get back into my writerly groove as before.
Hate to admit it, but I’m not there anymore. Nothing seems to be grooving together. My writing is awkward and cringe-tastic. Scenes aren’t making sense. As I’m writing them, I can feel how horrible they are and know that they won’t find themselves in the story AT ALL.
And…my body is ACTUALLY making me sleep. No joke. Like last night. I sat down to write on my laptop for a bit after dinner, and I literally fell asleep right there. (And, no, it wasn’t my writing that put me to sleep. I didn’t even get a chance to open my document!) Anyway, it was all rather surprising for this write-through-the-night writer.
Oh, but I long to get back into that writerly groove again! The feeling of my fingers flying over my keyboard, of my heart pounding because, yes, this scene makes so much sense, of laughing at how ridiculous my MC can be…I want to feel that again.
So, I’m reminding myself of some of the helpful things that I’ve done previously to get me this far.
First, I promised myself that no idea is stupid. Any fleeting thought or terminology that I think could be useful, I incorporated it into my story. I free wrote a little bit to see where the idea will take me, and paused for a moment here and there to check a few facts. Then, I re-read what I wrote, and smoothed out any rough spots.
Second, I told myself that no idea is sacred. Even if that idea, item, thing had a fixed meaning in this world, in my universe, I could do whatever I wanted with that idea. That way, I didn’t feel so trapped, and enjoyed the full range of possibilities that an idea sparked in my brain. (My brain elves had absolute free reign!)
Third, I loosely plotted out what the next logical steps would be through my MC’s perspective. I thought about any potential obstacles that may come up, and what MC would do to get around the obstacle and to the goal.
And then, of course, I wrote it all out.
Writing what worked makes the process look SO easy. But the major obstacle for me at the moment is my own fear of failure, and my desire to get the story just right, right away. I hate writing scenes that I know will never see the light of day. And, what’s especially annoying is that I know that writing them is all a part of the process.
Or, as Melissa, my wise crit partner told me today:
“Sometimes you just have to keep going and any of the rubbish that turns out lining your recycle bin will have brought you one step closer to understanding your characters, their wants, needs, etc…All you’re doing is finding the paths that don’t work. This is just as important as finding the ones that do.”
(Sigh, I LOVE my crit partner! Especially since she’d be the first to tell me what’s not working ^_^).
Melissa also referred me to Laini Taylor’s blog…I’m pretty sure she meant THIS article when she referred me to it!
Ok, enough philosophizing about writing. My personal deadline for WIP2 is September 30. I will need to write four pages a day to reach my goal. Time to make it happen.