Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Moving On

I wish I knew how established writers do it. Every time I finish part of the novel--say the first draft, or completing a revision--I have to begin again. I never know where to start. Each time I try to establish a new work plan, but I flounder until eventually I happen upon something that works for me. Do others struggle with this?

I think, in truth, the next step should be easy. Right now I have to focus on writing the new scenes I need and cutting old ones I flagged. (Plus, I'm doing some research hole-filling reading.) But I'm worrying ahead of myself, thinking of the step after that. The one where people read my full novel. I'm trying to decide who and when, and it's all a little terrifying. At times like this, I think I might be insane. Why did I decide to write a novel, again?

10 comments:

Aspiring Writer said...

I ask myself the same question. It is the question all writer's ask themselves, even those who are published or well established. Somehow we get through. I quite enjoy all the trimming, sometimes chopping out large chunks in the following drafts. Other times I think I am bleeding a corpse. Then on good days I seem to have found a transfusion of words that bring it alive. Thanks for your wishes on my blog, Angie. Much appreciated.

KatW said...

I think many of us get that panicky overwhelmed feeling. But you have to take a deep breath and believe you CAN do it. Then just try and take one step at a time.

I know its much easier to advise then actually do as I'm painfully aware of exactly how you feel. But you can do it and I'm sure that these crazy days will be followed by days of feeling that everything is all falling perfectly into place. That's usually what I find happens.

Keep going - you're doing great!
Kat :-)

Iapetus999 said...

I think you should get beta readers as soon as possible. Things that seems obvious to you will confound them. Styles that make sense to you make fall flat to them. You'll get a good sense of where your writing ability is at this point, and what you may need to work on. Also by reading other people's WIP's with a critical eye, you can develop your own ability to objectively assess your own work.

Angie said...

Too true, Aspiring. It's odd, but I seem to struggle more with the transition to a new part of the project than I do with the writing/editing itself.

Kat, *takes deep breath*, thank you. It's always helpful to know there are others out there battling similar writing demons.

Iapetus, good point about the beta readers. That is my next step. I have a couple lined up, and I'm seeking more. It's a scary step, but I know it'll make my MS stronger.

Yvonne said...

I struggle with that too. It just seems so huge, starting from the bottom of the mountain again. Overwhelming even. But it helps me to take a step back and just have a big old think about it, and the solution comes to me. Not for the entire thing - but at least where the first step should be taken. Good luck Angie you'll do brilliantly!

Alisia Leavitt said...

Angie,
Did you ever mail out the pay it forward gifts? My address has changed!

Alisia

JJ Beattie said...

I can't imagine how massive a task that is. Just doing one day/scene/page at a time, I guess.

Good luck.

Angie said...

Yvonne, ugh, it does feel like climbing a mountain endlessly, doesn't it? I didn't really allow myself that space to think, but since I kept procrastinating, I created it artificially, and you're right, it did give me a chance to find a solution for the next step. Onwards and upwards!

Alisia, I'm sorry I've been so delinquent! My procrastination knows no bounds. I was going to email you this week to tell you it's *finally* ready to ship. I'll get that new address from you.

JJ, that's the key, I think. When I start a new portion of the project, I try to create a plan for the *whole* thing, and then I panic. I sat back last week and broke it into individual tasks and now it doesn't seem so intimidating. Fingers crossed. :)

dirtywhitecandy said...

I've gone through exactly the horros you describe - got to the end, then have to go through again for something else. So I devised a tool to help me see all the problems in one pass. Honestly, it's made redrafting a complete pleasure! It's called the beat sheet and you can find it on http://www.dirtywhitecandy.com/?page_id=186

Angie said...

DWC - Thanks for sharing your beat sheet, it looks like there's lots of helpful info there.
Cheers.