Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Little By Little

The topic of the week is Setting Writing Goals--something that, for me, is pretty easy. It's the actual, um, accomplishing of the goals that's the hard part. Sure, it's easy to say, "I'll definitely finish this book by the end of next month!" But the day-to-day commitment is where the challenge truly begins.

Having just finished my next book, I've found that there's truly no "easy" period for me when writing. I'm full of energy and excitement for the first third of the book, but also daunted when I realize that, after all those hours, I'm still only about 15% finished. My brain starts whispering, It would be so easy to quit right now.

But, eventually, I push through to the dreaded middle. This is where many manuscripts are at risk of death. You've set your story up, and now you need to amp up the conflict, throw in subplots and work toward the climax. I'm always tempted at this point to start throwing in filler scenes, just to pad my word count. In the back of my head, I'm always asking, "What's the point of this scene?" and the writer inside me who just wants to write The End will snap back, "It shows, um, character development. And Stuff."

Finally, after much blood, sweat, tears and carpal tunnel, I'm at the last third of the book. It is now that I begin to hate my book. Because I'm so freaking SICK of it and I just want to reach the final scene. I can already see the problems in the manuscript and know it's going to take a lot more effort to bring it up to shape before I can ship it off to my agent. Finally, I type the last sentence.

So I close my computer, vowing to start revisions the next day, and cast a side-glance at the writing goals calendar that I drew up a few months prior. And I laugh heartily. Better late than never, right?

1 comment:

The Mom said...

So you FINISHED your sequel to the first novel! So happy for you. Your persistence and hard work have paid off. I am taking your advice but moving much more slowly; however, you continue to inspire me. Blessings!