Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A painful way to die...

Sitting here at my computer, my husband furiously playing Starcraft in the background, I realize I've been staring at the same scene on my computer screen for over two hours now. I don't recall breathing or even blinking. What I know is that I still haven't figured out how to reconcile new revisions and better developed ideas with my current prose.
What am I to do? Try to mold my previous scene with recent revisions, or scrap the whole chapter and rewrite the blasted thing from scratch?
The worst part of this whole situation is that I have been stuck on this revision block for nearly three weeks. It's pretty well staunched any creativity or even motivation to continue going. Sitting down to work it through and press on, my eyes instantly glaze over and my mind repeatedly flashes a blinking, glaring light that says, "You'll never figure this out, chump."
I can't really move on because a major element in the plot hinges on how this scene resolves, yet I can't come to any solid resolution. One thing I know I shouldn't do: start at the beginning of the novel and re-read my most recent revisions. I can think of numerous ways to die slowly and not nearly as painful.
That leads me to wonder, am I trying too hard to make this scene perfect the first time without allowing myself the freedom that future revisions give me? Perhaps I'm not willing to kill my babies that the previous scene held, which binds my hands.
I don't know if this entry is to motivate me or to reassure myself that I'm still capable of putting words down on paper, but what I will have to do is simply write through the scene as if it has never been done before, which, in all reality, it hasn't. Wish me luck and I hope you never encounter a situation like this. If you do, I'll send you my list of 102 ways to slowly die that are less painful than revision issues such as this...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Get to know the Chics

I thought it would be fun for the four of us to answer some sort of question once a week so that our readers can have a chance to get to know us. So the question for this week is:

What made you decide to start writing?

There's more to writing than just...writing

Mixed feelings assault me whenever people ask me about my book. Usually they inquire, "When will you finish your book?" What baffles the casual conversationalist is my response of, "I finished it in December." They fail to understand, as did I when I first began this endeavour of publishing a book (mostly so I could stay home in my pajamas without a bra all day and call it work), is that there is more to writing than, well, writing. Putting the story into a word processor is only one stage of a seemingly endless process.
Speaking from the stage of revision number seven, I can't honestly say when my book will be done. I realize my strength comes with revisions. My first draft is more of a detailed outline thrown together haphazardly, knowing that I will revise it and I can work out the problems later. Essentially, my point in writing this post is to say that I have discovered my style as a writer. My first draft is to get my story out of my brain and into the computer. If I pause to pick the perfect phrase or rework a sequence for too long, I forget the small details I wanted to add to the plot as a whole. Over and over, I have to remind myself to "just get it out there" and then I can fix it all later. This is the best solution to my writer's block. I get too involved in the language rather than getting the story out before I lose my train of thought.
This system of write first, edit and revise later, has also saved me from becoming disheartened about my writing. During my editing process, I've written new scenes to tighten up existing ideas and fill plot holes. These new scenes are first drafts. If I try to write them well like the rest of the revised section, I grow discouraged and think I'm kidding myself with aspirations of becoming an author. Again, I remind myself to get it out there and then work with it. There needs to be something written in order to revise. So stick with it, get your story out there, and then you can worry about the details that comprise a polished manuscript. Hopefully it won't take you seven revisions like it has taken me...so far...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What We're About

There are four of us that are all writing novels and often times we have the same issues or experiences with the writing process that we come across. I'm sure there are lots of other people out there with the same things and we thought it'd be cool to have somewhere to blog where we can ask questions and have people post, or people can post with questions and we can respond with our own experiences. We are all writing a variety of different genre's and we all have very different writing styles so there will be a wide range of comments and opinions to hopefully help everyone.