Link to Hompage
The Author Button - Main Navigation The Books Button - Main Navigation Video Button - Main Navigation Contact Button - Main Nagivation

Thursday, September 11, 2008

First things first: if you entered the contest to win a copy of Roxanne St. Claire's Now You Die, please check the comments section of the post below for the winners' names! Congratulations, guys. I know you'll enjoy this book! For those of you who didn't win, just run out to Borders and spring for a copy. It'll be worth every penny, I promise.

So I've been back from the beach for about two weeks now, and have yet to settle into any kind of groove, writing-wise. Not that I'm getting zilch accomplished, but there were some editing issues to take care of and, you know, bills to pay and trips to plan (yes, more traveling, someone please chain me to my desk!) and dinner to cook and what with one thing and another, I've only moved forward about ten pages in the last two weeks. Not a great total. When I'm really rocking, I can do ten pages a day, and even at my most moderate steady rate, I can rock out five or six. So what's my problem?

Fear. I've talked about this with several fellow authors lately, so I know it's a fairly universal authorial freakout. We get scared that whatever it was that drove us to start the story will suddenly up and quit on us, leaving us stranded in the middle of our plot with no way forward. And of course, it can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. You're totally stranded for good and all if you let fear paralyze you into not writing. My current fear is tied to that, but is specifically related to the super important turning point scene I'm currently mired down in. I want everything about it to be perfect, to work, to catapult the characters into the second half of the book where everything has changed.

What I keep forgetting is that the only way forward is to write it. And it doesn't have to be perfect on this pass through, it just has to be SOMEthing. You can always tinker with it later, as long as there are words strung together to make a scene. But you can't revise an empty page.

With that in mind, I'm opening up the old doc and plunging in. If anyone has any other advice for me, tried and true methods for combating fear, please share!


First things first for me, too! Congratulations to the winners - I hope you LURVE the book and become all caught up in the Bullet Catchers.

Now about that pivotal scene, Louisa. I, too, am a 7-10 page a day producer, usually a scene a day. When I write ten pages in two weeks, assuming something else in my life isn't falling apart and keeping me from concentrating, it's generally not fear or doubt or anything so esoteric. It's that the scene is wrong. Maybe it's in the wrong place in the book. Maybe it's in the wrong pov. Maybe you've had it in your heart and writer's soul that the book will hinge on this critical scene and you've had a fantasy about how that scene will unfold and you are *forcefitting* it where it doesn't belong. It might not be a "writing" thing but a "storytelling" thing.

My advice would be to try skipping the scene, or writing it in a completely different way than you expected.

This past weekend, I wrote a love scene. Took 17 hours to wring out 14 pages. I admit I was in a bit of a panic because I was cruising into 70,000 words and my h/h hadn't yet done the deed. There's plenty of sexual tension, a few near misses, but no *penetration* if you know what I mean. (And how could you not when I say it like that?)

Anyway, I wrote the scene and for almost all of the 17 hours I was writing, deleting, writing, deleting, changing pov, changing the room they were in, changing the dialogue, the action, digging for an "angle" to make it work.

On Monday I deleted the whole thing, wrote a very sexy teasing scene of "almost" sex, gave it a great hook, and moved on, much happier. A few scenes later, the right moment (albeit quite a bit further into the story than I usually have this) for the first complete love scene almost magically appeared. I wrote it in an afternoon, my little heart pounding, my fingers flying, a love scene unlike perfectly right for these two characters.

A honkin' long comment, I'm sorry. But in short, maybe it's not you, it's the scene.


I just started reading "First You Run". I absolutely love it (go Fletch) and can't wait to read the rest of the Bullet Catchers!

As for the writing advice, I don't think I can get any better than Rocki, so what she said:)

Wow, great comment! I hadn't really thought of that in this instance, although you're right, that's definitely happened to me before. Sometimes it just doesn't want to work. In this case, though, I'm pretty sure it's more because I'm dealing with a very ticklish, difficult subject, and while I don't want to offend anyone, I also have to write it the way it serves my story best. So. Hard. But I'm working at it!

What Rocki said.

(How's that for pithy?)

I'm with you on the fear part. It's that trying to be perfect syndrome. It hits me at the end. I want it all to work out as emotionally statisfying and tender and angsty and EVERYTHING and I'm so damn afraid that it won't be. I've had so many excuses about why I haven't finished my book, but that's the real one.

Post a Comment

Newer Post Older Post Home


Home | The Author | The Books | News | Blog | Video | Contact

Copyright 2009 - All rights reserved.