Joe’s Post #97
Hey, it’s the place we writers live. It’s where we create characters, it’s where worlds are born, it’s where dialogue flows from and where you have to somehow keep a thousand demon voices at bay (and some of those, good writing advice voices).
I have to say I largely failed this week. Oh sure there was a ton of other things happening including a mini-move and getting my house ready for sale (yes, it seems like nearly all of us 5/5/5 writers are moving) but the reality is that I could have given up “24” to write. Given up a bit of sleep here and there. Certainly given up being so OCD about making my house perfect for viewing.
So why was it so tough to make 50 pages this week?
It was more than just the voices that say it’s a waste of time or you can’t write. It’s the voices from all the books I’ve read, all the classes I’ve taken, all the critiques I given and received.
It’s merging character and theme and plot. It’s making the dialogue sing. It’s description that’s neither too vague nor too literary. It’s balancing out backstory with keeping the reader interested. It’s … well, you get the idea.
But a good part of it was also being rusty. Yup. Rusty. I’d spent the last month and a bit writing blogs. Super fun. Easy for me to write. But writing a novel is another skill altogether.
I had to relearn the process. But I had a case of the stuttering starts.
I’d write a sentence, or paragraph, then go back and fix it, then write a bit more, then go back to the start, again and fix it. This week, I wrote a good 50 pages. The only problem, the actual page count was 27!! Way too much time was spent on going back and forth, rewriting.
So, let me tell you how I got out of this cycle. Be warned that the following information is for advanced writers only or those who struggle with being a goober sometimes.
1) Have coffee. Or whiskey. Or a mocha-chai tea latte with extra tofu bubbles. Whatever. Take a deep breath. Close your eyes. Think of Bambi or that guy who’s going to play Jamie on Outlander in a kilt. The moment you realize you’re getting into that stuttering start-stop, take a break. Seriously. Walk away for a bit. You need to reboot your mind. But set a time limit. 30 min. Then back to the story. Do NOT read what you just wrote. Continue on from the last sentence.
2) Do not, I repeat, do not take yourself so seriously. Your dog doesn’t take you seriously, certainly your cat thinks you’re a bit of a joke, so don’t sit down thinking you’re Stephen King or that dude who wrote Kite Runner. At least not yet. (And even when you become Stephen King, I bet you a hundred scary balloons that his cat thinks he’s still a joke.)
3) Let go of that need to be perfect. We are imperfect creatures and we will make all kinds of mistakes. No novel is perfect. Not a one. Mine won’t be. God knows. Yours won’t be. Just write the story you want to tell.
4) This is supposed to be fun, right? Have some fun. The groove will come. Trust me. If you’re scene sucks, have your character say, damn, boi, dis scene like sux, yo. And then do #1 (no, not pee, read my #1 idea.)
Hey, I dunno if this will work for anyone but me. But it got me writing today. It’s really about getting out of the analytical side of your brain and into the creative side.
Any other people have ways to do that?
Oh and hey, in other news, the 5/5/5 will be meeting again next week. We all have the first pages of our novels done. We are back to writing, again. And I expect we’ll come out of that meeting with a few more ideas on what we’ll be doing in the future. Having read the submissions, I have to say that all of the writers have always been good writers, but damn, boi, yo, they’re like becoming sick story-tellers, too.
New Facebook page set up: 1. Justjoebc. Please like it. I am in desperate need of validation as a living being.
Pages Written on New Novel: 27 Not good production, but it’s better than 0 production. Plus, my house looks freaking awesome now.
Blogs Written This Week: All done now. Kinda miss it. More blogs coming. http://justjoebc.wordpress.com
Queries Out this Week: 0 (only so much time)
Queries Still Out There: 0
Hope Meter: 80/100. Dropped to 60. But, as of today, back to 80.