Writing Limbo…

If you read my post Tuesday, you’ll know that I finally finished my current WIP, and I’m now waiting for one of my “trusted readers” (ie. the poor sucker I conned into reading an early draft) to finish going through and giving me helpful feedback.

pic courtesy of Cheezburger.com

This puts me in a strange sort of limbo because for the past couple of months, I’ve worked very consistently on that one story, and now I’m not able to work on it anymore.

I’ve been debating about working on editing one of my older first drafts, but I’m not sure I want to invest that amount of energy in a new novel when I know I’ll be going back to my other WIP as soon as I get some criticism on it (should be back within a month).  I’ve also thought about attempting to write some short stories again; the last one I wrote was two years ago, so it would be a good exercise, if I can just think of a fun idea.  Or…well, those are the only things I’ve thought of.

My question to any of you writers out there who read this is, what do you do when you finish a draft? Do you immediately start something new? Go back through said draft? Take a long, much-needed break?

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Published in: on January 13, 2011 at 6:50 am  Comments (8)  
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Sudden Bursts of Inspiration

Yesterday I was taking a shower, and suddenly I had a whole scene just pop into my head.  A scene from a book I wasn’t writing.  It included dialogue, character descriptions, narration, everything! Aside from the bizzaro factor, it was awesome!! I hurried out, pulled out my trusty ole laptop, and typed it down as fast as I could.

Anyways, I was wondering if this kind of thing happens often to anyone else? It’s a very rare occasion for me, although I know other authors have said they’ve had whole books practically fall into their heads.  J.K. Rowling, for example, claims that the idea of Harry Potter just came to her, fully formed.  Lucky…Also, I wrote about Robert Louis Stevenson and his whole little people thing in this post here, so apparently it does happen.  Just usually not to me.

Now I’m left in a quandary.  Previously I mentioned how I was having trouble writing.  I started about three different stories and then just stopped, then started something new.  It’s been an ongoing issue ever since I finished the first draft to my sequel and decided I needed to write about different characters now.  Anyhow, I finally managed to get into a story, and I’m now about 17,000 words in, so it’s coming along, but now thanks to this flash of inspiration I have this new story I’ve started, which is exciting and interesting and unlike anything I’ve ever written before (kind of sci-fi punk/dystopian future).  So.  Which should I work on?

I know how I am.  As soon as I actively stop working on a story for more than a couple of days, that story is dead.  I might look at it later and think, hmm, that’s a pretty interesting story.  I wonder where I was going with that? But I won’t go back in and finish it.  I’m not sure why, but there are probably a good fifty unfinished bits of stories on my computer, some of them really long, and there they’ll sit.  Unfinished forever.  It’s like the great story graveyard, or something.  So now, do I resign my 17,000 words to this little bit of literary limbo, or do I put aside the 5,000 words I typed in my rush to this new story?

Conundrum.

Write or Die!!

Alright, I admit it–I fell off the wagon.  The last time I posted here was…well, I don’t even remember, and that’s sad, but really that’s not the worst part.  The worst part is the fact that I stopped writing entirely.  True, there are some very good reasons (some would call them excuses), but the fact of the matter is, I’ve found the longer I stay away from my computer, the harder it is to go back to it.  If I take off more than two days in a row, for example, I have serious trouble trying to get back into a story and I practically have to re-read everything I’ve written in that story just to start writing again.  Trust me, this is not the most efficient way to go about writing.

So last week I finally forced myself to open my laptop, sit down, and just write something.  It was hard.  I wrote about 150 words and then played a few rounds of spider solitaire, but at least I started.  I’m now over 10,000 words on that story, and most of those words are junk–I can clearly see the parts where I was forcing myself to grind out the words, but at last I finally found myself getting into the flow, and I’m now looking forward to sitting down and getting some serious work done on it this afternoon. And honestly, what first draft isn’t full of junk words? Or at least, that’s what I’ve been telling myself.  ; )

What I’ve found is that there will always be a reason not to sit down and write.  The world is full of excuses; all you have to do is look around you and you’ll see something else you could/should be doing instead, so the key is to just ignore all that and force yourself to get to that computer and open it.  Once you start, the excuses will eventually fall away.  And even if you’ve taken off a few weeks/months/years, it’s never too late to get back to it.  Really.  So, to my fellow slackers out there, I say sit your butts down and get to it! I will be doing the same.

Published in: on June 21, 2010 at 3:47 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A Writing-cation

It’s going to be a short post today.  Sorry, people! I’m actually headed out to Sacramento, and I still need to pack.  I’ve decided to see if it’s possible to go on a writing vacation, or writing-cation for short.  Clever, I know.  😉 Anyways, I’ve heard that sometimes if you go away somewhere and just focus on your writing, you can get a lot done, so I’m meeting my sister and I’m going to spend the next three days just trying to add as much as I can to my word count while she works on her thesis.  My goal is to add 20,000 words by the end of the weekend, but honestly I’ll be happy with 15,000.

I’ve kind of reached a stand-still a little bit with my current WIP.  It’s a sequel to the novel I’m currently trying to get published, and I feel like it isn’t going at all how I originally pictured.  I know in my last post I talked about intuitive writing, but I’ve been having trouble getting into the flow with this work lately, and I’m hoping a change of scenery will help.  Plus my sister has the most recent episodes of Dr. Who saved…but that has nothing to do with my decision to go out there.  Honestly.

I’d be interested to know what other people do when they feel like they’re stuck on a piece.  Do you still force yourself to grind out the words, even if it’s like typing through wet cement? Do you work on something else? Any suggestions would be great! It’s always interesting to hear how different people handle their own writing dry spells.  Thanks, and happy writing!

Published in: on May 11, 2010 at 9:41 pm  Comments (2)  
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