Saturday, November 4
Getting Stopped Cold
A couple of Mondays ago, Liz wrote that she was happily writing along, the words flowing nicely, until she was stopped cold when she realized her characters were doing things that were totally out of character.
I know the feeling. At least, I know the feeling of being stopped cold in my writing because of a loss of belief in the story. As Liz can attest, it’s heart-wrenching, and worse, it’s difficult to get interested in the story again and continue writing. Fortunately, after a few days away from her WIP, Liz says she had a good day and began writing again, so hopefully she made it over the hurdle her characters threw up in front of her.
I’m facing a similar hurdle. I had this completed manuscript laying around that I hadn’t done anything with in over two years. Originally, I wrote it as part of a series my publisher put together, but then I decided I’d rather write my own series. That way I can control the setting and the characters, and every other aspect of the story. I’m a bit of a control freak that way. I hadn’t looked at the manuscript in a while, but I remembered I liked it and thought it was a good story. I decided it was ridiculous not to do something with this manuscript. It was time to submit it somewhere. All it needed was a quick going over.
And then I reread it. And realized it needed more then a bit of lipstick and mascara.
Maybe my writing has changed since I wrote this, or maybe my perspective changed because I’ve recently been through some extensive edits on another series. Or maybe it was because I’ve been reading some really good books by authors I admire and I’m comparing myself to them. Whatever the reason, I’m disappointed and a bit disheartened. And I’m stopped cold.
I still think the story idea is a good one, but I’m not sure the writing does the idea justice. I have to figure out a way to revive this manuscript. I’m afraid it might need life support.
I believe I need a two-pronged approach. One prong to tackle the writing/editing problems I see in the book, and one prong that addresses getting myself interested in -- no, I need more than that. I need to be PUMPED UP about the book again. I need to believe in it.
So, my writer friends. What do you do when you get stopped cold? How do you get yourself going again?