Lately I can’t seem to keep my mind on one thing. I have part of a rough draft I need to edit. At around page 200 of whatever I’m writing I stop at the end of the latest chapter then go back and re-read what I have to make sure everything flows, and to add those elements that came up later as I was writing and need to be introduce at an earlier place. It’s the process I go through. Some may think that doesn’t make sense. Why do I not have an outline? Why don’t I have everything planned out before I write. The answer is simple. I am character driven, and where I may have a general idea of what is going to happen, if I draw out an outline I get the worse case of writers block you can imagine. My mind tries too hard to get from point A to B then to C without deviating that I can’t move forward. So I have a point A and a point Z. Point Z is not set in stone. Hell, point A can change too because somewhere around point L I decide it’s not going to work and re-write it.
So back to the editing. I print out the 200 pages and my goal is to read it through putting in edits as I go. I will not put anything into the computer until those 200 pages are edited on paper. So I started the process, then suddenly, as I am still in chapter 2, I’m re-writing something in chapter 10 because a new idea has hit me and I have to get it down. Then I realize what I have for the last 20 pages is not going to work so my brain starts working on that and the original edit goes out the window until I finish rewriting those pages…. (do you understand my pain now?)
I blame life for this. I am working full time, keeping the house and yard up and planning for a couple of parties. And to top it off I caught the plague that was going around. You see, I work in a school as a Para-educator. I am currently in our local Junior High and honestly it’s like working in a petri dish. Whatever is going around you WILL catch it. Well I caught it and it knocked my on my ass, twice, and gave me a sinuses infection. Yet, you know what? I would not trade my job for the world. I love working with the kids. At this age they always surprise me at some point. Some things are good surprises, some not so good, but I digress. (See! I told you I couldn’t stay on topic!)
Back to my original topic. My mind kept at me saying, “You need to edit!”; “You need to write a blog on ONE of your websites so people know you’re still alive!”; “You need to post on Twitter and Facebook!”; “You need to promote your books!”; “You need to rake the leaves and mow the grass!” (Which hopefully I’ll get to today.) “You just received those books you preordered six months ago on your kindle. Don’t you want to read those?” It all seemed overwhelming so nothing got done.
To top it off, I was not exactly happy with what I had written in book two of Destiny. It just seemed flat to me. Where there were elements of excitement, it was not exciting enough. There was too much drama and not enough action. But for the life of me I could not figure out how to fix it. Then in the English class at school the kids started a new projected. They were to write a story about a “Hero’s Journey.” Now this could be about a super hero or it could be about the guy next door that suddenly had to save the neighborhood from the evil trash collector. This was something I could sink my teeth into. Something I knew how to do. Ask me about algebra and I will blink blanking at you and run for the “How to do algebra” website for help. Writing? This I knew how to do!
It’s been a study in biting my lip so I do not interrupt the teacher. I love the English teacher I work with. She is fun, engaging, will not take any crap from her students yet let them voice their opinions freely (no matter how silly it may be) and not make them feel stupid. And she’s really good at her job. My son had her in 8th and 9th grade and she is one of his favorite teachers from school. My education in writing consists of what I learned in high school, from books I have read on the subject and what I have read for my own pleasure. I have been writing since the 8th grade and as I grew older learned more and more. Going through this class with the now 8th graders, listening to the teacher as she explained what is needed for a good story (things I already knew but for some reason needed to hear again) the damn broke in my writer’s block. I knew now what I needed to change and what I needed to add. All things in the books I had written before but for some reason while writing this book I had left out.
So, instead of editing like I planned, different parts of the book and what I need to add or change to those parts are being done. And not necessarily in order of the books timeline. But that’s okay. As long as the finished product makes sense and entertains then all is good.
I also want to thank that English teacher. You have been an immense help in this process of writing book two of the Destiny trilogy/series. (Not sure yet which it will be. Ooh! Need a new title too. Hmmm……)
Off to rake leaves and think. Have a wonderful day!
2 thoughts on “Concentration…or Lack-There-Of”
I’m right there with you. I don’t know how anyone writes with an outline. For me that would take all the fun away. I know very little about the story or characters as I go along, simply listening for what they want to share with me about themselves. But I know it can sometimes get unorganized without a clear destination. Good luck with you revision work and the rest of the novel!
Thank you. 🙂