Happy Wednesday, Wranglers!
We had decided to blog monthly instead of weekly in hopes it would provide us the respite to fill our blog space with more knowledge, wisdom, wit, emotional impact, etc… I can’t speak for the other gals, but mine seem to be just as much “oh, crud, what the heck am I going to talk about?” as ever.
On the plus side, I’ve been writing more.
Notice that I said “writing” and did not choose the verb “publishing.” Yep, I’m still “writing,” “editing,” “tweaking,” and “overhauling” my third book. Still not close to the “publishing” of it.
Which is a huge source of frustration for me. I know I’m not supposed to beat myself up over the pace my artistic muse takes me (although I do question whether there’s much “musial” influence--is that even a word?--this time around… it’s been a struggle from the get-go). And I keep reminding myself that Book One took four years to write and publish, and Book Two took two. I’m only slightly beyond the two year mark on Book Three, so I should consider myself right on track, right?
I don’t. I keep attributing the ease (Hahaha! I mean “relative ease,” right? Cuz there ain’t nuthin easy about the process) of the first two books to my beginner’s naiveté. Basically, I didn’t know what I didn’t know, and the words flowed and the editing process was filled with wonder and a thirst for knowledge to be gleaned.
But now, I know what I don’t know... which is a lot. And even what I do know I know (so very little), those skills haven’t pushed my writing up any quality levels. It just throws up road blocks. In fact, I think my head is so filled with what I do know, that I’m getting in my own way. As I write, all those rules I do know are like a rude crown in the stands, shouting at the refs and stalling the game. What’s her goal, motivation, and conflict? He has too much back story! Watch your dangling participles! That’s a telling phrase, SHOW instead! No, it’s too soon for them to have sex, you have to build the tension first! Drop a red herring or the reader will get bored! This scene is slogging down the pace, you’ll have to fix it or delete it! Needs more dialogue! Don’t be repetitive! And Nooooo, why are you “checking Facebook for a just minute”?!?
How can an author possibly move the ball down the field with all this rattling in her brain? It’s bad enough when the characters are clamoring for attention, but the rules? Ugh!
So I’m still muddling through. Fixing all the rules that I do know, because even when they’re shouting at me, I still miss abiding by them. Like all the sentient body parts that are doing things. Eyes that are landing, hands that are clasping, legs that are flinching… If this were a zombie story, that might work. But not in Book Three. At least each pass of edits pushes the story that much closer to “Published,” but it’s been a muddy, ground-losing, hard-won-inches kind of ballgame with this book.
(Makes ya wanna pick up a ball and give it a go, doesn’t it ;-)