Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Writing Blahs

I'm sort of in a writing lull. I'm actually a little exasperated. And again it all comes back to the time spent in my heroine's head. I can't tell anymore how much time is too much time. I'm not sure if my critique partner and I will ever see eye to eye on this point, and I don't really know what to do about it. Other than this little difference, I think things between us are going really well, but I think that this is sort of a big problem, being that it's the way I write. I don't write action/adventure or suspense. My story is character driven and concerns a big issue in the heroine's life--so she has plenty to think about. I definitely don't want to get bogged down with internal thoughts, but hey, everyone's different. Some people (like myself) write and like to read with a peppering of introspection. So I'm kind of an impasse. I've taken a mini break from my manuscript. I think I needed some time away to reflect so that I can come back with a decision on how I'm going to proceed. I. Need. To. Finish. This. Book. If just to get people off my back.

I think it makes no sense to anyone that it's taken me this long to write a second book. But as I've said before, this time, I have some writerly knowledge up my sleeve, and I'm trying to use what works and ignore what doesn't. And then there's the fact that I didn't plot this book well enough before I started writing it--big surprise there--so I've had to go back...and go back...and go back. And then I got a critique partner, a new set of eyes, a fresh take, new opinions, and I went back and back again. And now I'm tweaking the plot, building up the external conflict, so... Anyone? Anyone? That's right: I have to go back again to early in the book.

But not for a few more days yet. I've been cleaning, and my house has NEVER looked this good. Usually I give myself a job for the day before I go in to write. Well for the past few days, I haven't gone in to write, so I just kept finding things that needed a little scrub. I like this break from writing, knowing I don't have to rush to get my time in everyday. But I also miss it. I'm hoping I'll come back raring to go, with confidence and efficiency.


Sarakastic said...

I'm not a writer, but what I read & what I follow (like Gilmore Girls) isn't really based on outward action. I don't know what that means really because again, I'm not a writer.

liz fenwick said...

The break will give you the distance to look at the work differently.....introspection is good but so is the other. They both can be effective the key is a compelling story - if you have that then you are fine :-)

Catherine Avril Morris said...

Oh dear. Don't let anyone's criticism stall out your writing! I know that's so much easier said than done (and this coming from someone who takes MANY writing breaks every year... MANY). But really. You've kind of hit it on the head -- everyone's tastes are different. I know you went the self-pubbed route in the past, and don't know what you plan to do with this ms. when it's complete, but if you do submit to editors or agents...they're the professionals. Let them tell you what they think about the level of introspection in your work. You know what I mean? Or get a wide base of honest readers who will tell you their real impressions, and if they all come back saying there's too much time spent in your heroine's head, then yeah, make some changes. But I hate to think of you stalling out because one person -- who, no offense to your CP, but isn't an industry professional -- tells you there's something about your writing they don't like.

Vicki said...

Always remember that this is your story. While I would die without my cp she and I both know that these critiques are suggestions not absolutes.

Don't let anyone stop you from writing. Taking a break is great and needed sometimes but write the book.

One of the hardest things is to not continue to go back and rewrite. Thing is that won't get your book finish. Give yourself permission to write POS and continue forward. You can always go back and change some internal thoughts to dialogue if you feel it needs to be done later on.

Hope this made sense. :)

Sally Lawton said...

Don't feel too down, a break away is always good.
Good luck with it and enjoy your sparkly house! :-)


Heather said...

It sounds like a difficult situation. I belong to an online critique group, so I tend to take it to heart when more than one person comments on the same thing -- but the rest I always weigh before deciding whether I agree or not.

I read an author interview somewhere with Lani Diane Rich, and she said that some people just aren't her readers. And that's cool, but she doesn't really listen to their complaints because she's not writing for them. She's writing for the people who get her, and her voice (obviously I'm paraphrasing here). Perhaps your CP is a great sounding board, but deep down she's not "your reader." You can still learn a lot from her, but maybe your style isn't her cup of tea.

And that's fine. There are a lot of tea drinkers out there. :-)