Thursday, August 27, 2009

Topsy Turvy

This is nuts. I can't say if it's the plotting, the stresses of month five of small-business ownership or those of life in general, but writing this novel is completely wonky.

Normally, I sweat and strain and shear gears loose in my head trying to handle sequels and quiet moments in general. It's a real effort to do my 1000+ a day, until I get to the fist fights, car chases, gun battles, etc. when the work simply flies along.

Not this time.

I've flown through these early stages. As this one's a mystery, I'm introducing suspects and red herrings, planting false leads, all that good stuff. I'm even, thanks to having a handle on my plot first, able to think about stuff like vision systems and imagery as I work.

Until I hit the Sequence 1 Climax. It's a small thing, a fist fight. It serves to:
a) establish the hero as at least somewhat tough (to qualify the later stompings he'll receive)
b) frustrate his Plan
c) show a few of his flaws and issues, and
d) wake up those readers who haven't had enough action in the last 5000 words.

Normally, I'd fly through a scene like that. Instead, it was a horrible, painful grind. Best I could manage was 200-300 words a day. For five days!

Once I got past it, I was back on 1000+. Freaking ridiculous.

At any rate, on Day, let's see.... Day 12, the New and Improved, Steam-Powered Daily Wordcount-o-Meter stands on 11,200 words. Not happy.


cs harris said...

Glad to hear the writing's going great.

When I hit a snarl like that, it's usually because a) I'm trying to force the story to go in a direction it shouldn't, or 2) I'm tired/distracted/worried about some life issue, or 3) it's some mysterious impasse that clears up magically in a few days. Glad to hear yours cleared up!

Barbara Martin said...

I have days where the writing snarls up, too. If it gets too difficult to come up with appropriate words, I tend to work on another portion of the manuscript that I may perceive as being easier to write. As I outline now, this makes life easier to work on sections at a time.

Charles Gramlich said...

Well, you changed your plotting habits so it makes sense the writing would be a bit different as well. I'd say go with the flow and see what happens.

Lana Gramlich said...

Hey...stop beating yourself up about it! We all have our slow, draggy moments sometimes. Were it not for that, we probably wouldn't appreciate the flying times as much. ;)

Unknown said...

Ditto what CS said.....Good luck rolling on.

Steve Malley said...

Candy, I'm gonna go with (2). This weekend makes the second time, and right now I'm just working on a little conversation to explain why our amateur sleuth isn't calling the cops. Dead simple stuff, but again, 2-300 words a day.

That this happens in the busiest part of my work week probably has something to do with it.

Barbara, that sounds like a good idea, but I'm a 'start at the beginning and go straight to the end' type of guy. :)

Charles, you are wise beyond your years...

Steve Malley said...

Lana, you too are most wisdomous! (totally cromulent word-- spellcheck be damned!) I am rather prone to kicking my own butt over these things. Not sure why...

Liz, thanks! I am indeed rolling on, though some days are more the sound of tank treads than racing tyres... :)

Shauna Roberts said...

I have plodding days and lightning fast days, and I have no clue what causes either one.

If your word count is increasing each day, I'd consider that progress. The plodding will eventually end and then you'll be fulll throttle, smoke rising from your tracks again.

AvDB said...

Those snags come with the territory. It's all about how you handle them, which you have done remarkably well.

Oh, and that blog image messed with my head.