Wednesday, January 23, 2013

How Soon We Forget

With Nano ending only a couple of months ago, I've been hard at work editing.  In December I finished Pandora, and this month I've been working on Stolen Magick, and it's been going quite well.  I've gotten through the chapters at record speed for me.  The manuscript is reading more like a second draft than a first, and it's been making me feel pretty good about myself.  Especially since I've been finding myself with some actual free time because everything is getting done, and it's getting done early.

So what can possibly happen that would knock me back a few steps?

A short story.  Simple as that.  I had to write a short story for critique group, and I had it scheduled for Monday.  So I sat down to work on it at 11:30 in the morning.  I didn't expect for it to take too long.  I guessed about an hour.  Two tops.

Then I stared at the blank screen in front of me, not quite sure where to start.  I had an idea, but I just didn't know how to start it.

And then, when I finally got the words put down on the page, they weren't right.  Nothing was right.  I stopped after about three sentences, and immediately erased everything.

Next I started to do some research.

I just want to stop and point out here that I don't like research.  Actually I hate it.  With a passion.  I don't even like to do it for my novels.  And yet I found about six tabs open, all of them with different bits of information that I needed to write the short story.

When I had finally managed to get everything that I needed to know, I pulled up that blank page again.

It still didn't go well.  I needed names.  And then there was a million other things I needed to look up in the process of writing.

By the time the story was done it had been five hours.  FIVE!

It hasn't taken me that long to finish anything since...well...since Nano!

That's when I remembered.  Drafting doesn't always go as smoothly as I want it to.  In fact, it never does.  If I'm not struggling to force the words out, then new things that I didn't plan are appearing, and I find myself getting annoyed, and more often than not, frustrated.

I'm not saying that I hate drafting.  Far from it, it's one of my favourite part of the writing process.  I'm just glad that I remembered that before I started working on the first draft of Malice next month.  I can't wait to do it, and I'm glad that I didn't remember just how long it can take when I was getting started on a novel I have to work on for a month.

Now I just need to finish Stolen Magick so that I can move onto Malice without getting distracted.

Do you ever forget about parts of the writing process?  How do you get yourself into the story so you can write it??

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