When to kill it

First of all, a big thanks to all our readers, followers and posters!!!! We hit 1082 followers this week, and of that, only 1081 think I’m an idiot. So, wow, awesome, and thanks!!! I love that people are reading about our journey, I love when people post their thoughts, (even when it’s not to say how awesome I am), and I love that we’ve kept up a barrage of material for over a year now (since Sept 2012)!

If anyone ever wants to guest blog, reblog, bloggie-mc-bloggie-blog, let us know, we’d be honored.

Joe’s Post #86

Thomas edisonHere are the three signs you’re working on a story that doesn’t quite work.

1) You haven’t put ass in chair to write it. I mean, if it’s a story you HAVE to tell, you’ll want to write it. Lemme give you an example. I HAVE to write my blogs. I hate that I don’t have a laptop to be able to write anytime, anywhere. But I find a way to get to a computer and write. I HAD to write my last novel. Took me a bit to get it right, but it had to get written.

2) You’ve written three outlines and still can’t make one work. That’s a sign that either the story or the character or the plot or something just isn’t working. It’s your subconscious telling you there’s a problem and no amount of cleverness is going to solve it.

3) When you pitch the idea to friends, other writers, your dog… they aren’t blown away by it. In fact, they usually hit you with questions about the very thing that’s bugging you. Like, “So, uhm, what if Indiana Jones had done nothing in Raiders of the Lost Ark, would the outcome have been any different?”

Make sense? Any of this ring true?

I remember one writer, soon to be famous and very rich, chucked out an entire novel that he’d written because it failed. Not that it was bad writing, not that it didn’t have a lot of what makes a novel good (great characters, unique settings, surprises, a bit of sex, a fast pace), but it just didn’t … work. (And that really goes to plot and structure.)

thT0P7JK8QSo after thrashing around for nearly a freaking month, I decided to let my story idea go.

And you know what happened? Yesterday, despite no laptop, despite being sick as a dog, I got the first chapters written and the beginning of an outline done. Now why I did those first chapters BEFORE an outline? Well, that just goes to the “I have to write it” thing. I had a scene that was burning to get out, a character that needed to be on stage, a plot that I couldn’t wait to dive into.

It felt… wonderful!

Fantastic.

So, for me, letting go allowed me to move forward (one of the lessons I will have to learn and relearn a lot in this life).

It’s a pretty solid idea, though not as ‘big concept’ as the other one. But more importantly, it’s a story I’ll be able to write.

Let the writing begin!

**********

Blogs Done This Week: 1

Movies Seen in Theaters: 0 (too sick)

Times I Muttered, “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired!”: Just under a billion

Queries out this week: 0

Rejections for the last week: 3.

Queries Still Out there: 3

Hope Meter: 30/100 (Something new. The higher the number, the more I have hope that I’ll get published. It’s based on 50% facts and 50% feelings 10% on intake of alcohol and 15% on a failure to understand %s. Should it ever each 0, I’ll need some serious love. Should it reach 100, I gotz me a sale!)

10 thoughts on “When to kill it

  1. Yep. You called it. But sometimes, what you need is not to give up entirely. Sometimes what it needs is to marinate in your subconscious for a while and wait. Work on this have to for a while and maybe then the other one will surface, with the blanks filled in.

  2. So…. between the lines here, what I’m reading is that writing the outline actually worked? When you tried to tell yourself your story in ‘outline form’ you realized that it didn’t fit together and grab you like you thought it might? I’ll be interested to hear more about his process when we next meet in person, because when we met in February, you were pretty fired up about the ‘now on the shelf’ idea. Can’t wait to hear about the one that has you race-writing though! So happy you’re back in the saddle! Oh, and if you dip below one quarter on the ‘Hope Meter’ you’ve got to promise to call Mrs. Third for a chat!

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