Monday, January 09, 2006

Sticking with it

In a post yesterday, Caitlin Kiernan offered up an image of a page of her writing going through her editing process. This kind of thing doesn't teach me much -- I know how to edit, I know copyeditor marks and I have no idea what she's trying to achieve -- but I just love looking at the author's markings. I love seeing the raw text and the little notes for improvement. It gives some kind of insight into another person's writing, a process that is usually so solitary.

But as for my own process, I continue to struggle. What is happening to me now is exactly why I need to blog about it. I get to a point in any story where I just don't want to continue. I lose faith in it, I stumble as to where it's going and I feel like every word is tough pushing. And this is for the first draft! What's revision going to be like?
I need to get past these points. I need to keep pursuing the story, make it work, or at least finish it whether it works or not. Then I can look back and figure out what I need to do next time so a story does work.
Over the weekend, I wrote on Saturday but skipped it on Sunday. Today I wrote a couple of paragraphs. If I were keeping tracks of words, I'm sure I'd have done less words in the past four days than I did in the first two days of writing this.
On the other hand, I work on the story in my head all the time. Any spare second, I'm turning over the plot and the characters in my head, trying to figure out how to make it work, trying to figure out where it all goes and how it all fits together.
I've never written much out of order. I probably should. Transitioning from this opening of the story into the action is slowing me up, but I find it hard to just jump ahead. In fact, I feel like the reason I get tied up in a story and frustrated with it is linked to some kind of avoidance of the action. Like, I'm afraid of the main part of the story. I keep vamping where I am. The characters worry things over in their heads and look at scenery a lot.
Maybe I should just jump ahead, put my characters into the Super Sargasso Sea and see where that leads and then fill in the blank spots between.

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