Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Floundering in a pile of...

I knew this would happen.

You might remember that I typically write scene by scene--I expel a first draft of crap, spend a copious amount of time revising and polishing it until the scene is in pretty good shape, then move on to the next one and start all over again. Scenes range in length from five to ten pages, and the longer ones are tougher because they take weeks sometimes to get just right.

You might also remember that I abandoned this scene by scene approach to push through to the end and finish the story. Which was thrilling while I was doing it, and very satisfying, but meant that I ended up with a gigantic pile of...okay I won't be crass this time...less-than stellar writing to revise.

When I typed my handwritten pile of you-know-what into the computer, it was 25 pages. Now, after editing it for the last couple of months [*gasp* Has it been that long?], it has grown to 37 pages--27 of which I've already edited and 10 more pages of dreck that still need to be revised and fine tuned. While I enjoy certain aspects of editing, I'm getting tired of only editing. One of the things I liked about the scene by scene approach is that I was able to flip-flop back and forth between editing and drafting. Lately I've missed the creative surprises that pop up regularly during the drafting phase.

Oh well. I'd better get used to editing. Once I finish these last scenes, I'll read through the whole manuscript to correct any inconsistencies and slash out everything unnecessary. (Did I mention it is over 500 pages?) Then I'll give it to a few wonderful, selfless people who've volunteered to be my beta readers, and I'll revise it again based on their comments. Once it's as perfect as I can make it, I'll start submitting it to literary agents, which if I'm lucky, will lead to many more edits and revisions as it makes its way through the publishing process.

So there's a lot of editing in my future. Which is kind of cool when you think about it! After all, I've been working to really hard to get to this exact point.

You know what? I'm going to stop complaining now, and get back to editing. It's really not that bad! ;o)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Please bear with the following stream-of-consciousness blogging... (It's all I'm up to at the moment.)

I've been struggling with balance lately. It's a chronic struggle--how to give enough attention to everything and not neglect anything.

For example, my daughter wants to be a Girl Scout. I was a Girl Scout growing up and loved it and I know my daughter would love it too. So, what's the problem? The waiting list for troops is so long, the only way she can be a Girl Scout is if I volunteer to be a leader and start up a new troop. But aren't I trying to finish a novel? If I take on something new, it'll be that much harder to squeeze in writing time. Still it would be fun to do Girl Scouts with my daughter. Before long she'll be grown and interested in other things and I don't want to miss out on what could be a wonderful experience with her. So I've sent in my leader application and will soon have one more thing to balance along with everything else.

Finding a balance has been especially tough recently for many reasons: We've done lots of traveling lately; School just started up again; There have been more than the usual number of distractions.

As a result, I've lost my writing focus. I find I'm an all or nothing sort of person. Moderation is not my strength. So, as my thoughts and energies have turned towards other areas of my life, my drive to write has weakened. And it's so easy to be distracted from the novel right now because I'm in the midst of a tough section. The end needs to be powerful and it takes a lot of effort to get it the way I want it. Not to mention my insecurity is poking up its ugly head yet again. Being almost done means the moment of truth is almost at hand. Others will be reading my novel in the near future.

Unless I let myself get so distracted I never finish.

No! I want to finish. Sure it's scary and difficult, but I've spent too much time and energy on this story. I won't cheat myself by wimping out at the end.

So, I'm going to put more energy into finding that balance. I want to finish my novel. I want to be available to my kids and family. It's got to be possible to do both, don't you think?

(If you managed to wade your way through this brain dump... thank you! I'll try to compose something more coherent soon.)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


I've updated my links list at last: friends, other writers, good's all there. Oh and if you know anyone who is looking for an adoptive family, check out my sister and brother-in-law's web site. They are wonderful people!

On the writing front, I'm still editing those last scenes. My progress has stalled somewhat thanks to a kidney stone, which I had over the weekend, and a migraine, which I had Monday and Tuesday. But today I'm pain free and am hoping to make some good progress. Surprisingly, it's a lot easier to edit when one isn't in agony. Go figure!