Friday, September 18, 2009

Day 39

I don't even remember what I did in the last three days. It's been quite a blur. I guess I was still kind of in a funk.

I had to completely rework the scenes I wrote a few days ago because I wasn't happy with how they turned out. I guess I broke my own rule: no editing/rewrite during first draft. But I felt like I had to do it to get a better sense of what will come next.

Then yesterday, as I was struggling with one scene, I realized I didn't have to do that. I had a lot of material to use for the rewrite and I can figure everything out later. I don't want to lose my momentum, and I need to move on. It's not necessary for me to have everything figured out now. I can write the next section of the story without knowing exactly what happened in this, except for the outcome, which drives the plot along.

Today, however, I need to polish and edit the first 10 pages of my ms. It's part of a contest/game/exercise I'm doing. I took a swipe at it last night and was surprised to see how much work needs to be done on the earlier part of the book, which I wrote about four years ago. Time has changed, and my writing has changed -- hopefully for the better. Stuff I thought was pretty good four years ago now suddenly looks crappy. What a pain -- a writer's pain. Or am I too hard on myself?

The good news: I got a new Kindle (the K2). It's so much better than the K1. The best thing I can send my mss. to it and read them on the Kindle, and it's so much easier to find errors or problems reading on the Kindle than on the computer screen -- imagine that. Plus the Kindle includes text-to-voice. Again, a big plus for my writing. I've already noticed many things I needed to fix by just reading the first few chapters on the device. I think that alone is good enough reason to fork out the cash.

Besides, GE is paying for it. :)


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My mojo is seriously off these few days. Concentration, gone. Creativity, gone. Productivity, gone. Everything I have written seems shitty, and I end up just deleting what I wrote. I must have written like 1000 words and then deleted them all. I know, one of the challenges is to allow myself to write crap and crappy words should count, too. But I just can't. Leaving these crappy words and "wrong" scenes in the manuscript is like having a scab on my arm -- it just bothers me, and I HAVE to pick at it and remove it. Maybe I have OCD against crappy words. I just loathe them and cannot stand the thought of their existence.

Writing them out, however, did help me figure things out. For example, I wrote one scene between the brothers. Actually I wrote the same scenes two different ways, with very different interactions and dialogue. Afterwards, I decided the whole thing was wrong, and I should take a different direction. Again, it was like Eureka! I realize I was complicating things and that's why the words didn't flow -- the scenes were wrong for the characters, and wrong for the stories. It's like deep down my characters are screaming: "That's not how we would act. You're MAKING us do things." So instead, I need to really listen to my characters. They know what they're doing and what they want.




500 words, 17000 words total
326 days and 168500 words to go

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