Friday, August 03, 2007


So, my grand total of yesterday's attempt to just sit down and write and slam out as many pages as possible was ... um ... sixteen pages. In three hours.

However, my writing time yesterday also included a little more work on figuring out my characters, then revising the 20 pages I already had written in order to nudge things into the direction I wanted them to go so I could keep going. I also came up with several new scenes last night as I was falling asleep, so I already know what I'm going to write today. When I find myself daydreaming the book as I fall asleep, I know I'm getting in the zone. However, that also means I'm not getting much or very restful sleep. When I get like this, there's a lot of tossing and turning, and even when I'm not thinking about the book I'm working on, I have a hard time getting my brain to be still. It goes wild thinking about all sorts of random other stuff (last night's bizarro topic: Weasley family dynamics) and then when I do fall asleep I have strange dreams (last night: my car got stolen out of the church parking lot, I couldn't manage to dial 911 on my cell phone without hitting a bunch of other numbers, so I had to keep trying, and then I couldn't remember my license plate number. Sadly, the last is true even in waking life. I had to get new license plates a couple of years ago, and I can't for the life of me remember the new number. I can remember the old one and the number on my old car from ten years ago, but I have no idea what my current license plate is. Today's mission is learning my current license number.). It's possible that this book could be one that demands nighttime writing, and I'd sleep better if I just wrote late at night instead of trying to go to bed at a reasonable hour, but I'll wait to see if that's the case because I don't want to get my sleep schedule too messed up with a convention coming next weekend.

I'm finding that my biggest challenge is overcoming perfectionism. I'll find myself meandering as I write because I need to work something out and have to write the stages between points A and B even though I know it will need to be cut later, and I'll start fretting about the fact that I'm meandering and nothing much is really happening in the scene. Then I have to remind myself that nothing does have to happen right now, that I can cut it later, that it's all about discovery at this point, so deal with it and get over it. It's still hard to keep going when I know that what I'm writing isn't good. The mantra is that I have permission to write garbage at this point because it can be fixed later. I may need to write that on a Post-it and stick it to my computer. Or maybe to the back of my hand.

Still, I think I'm discovering some fun stuff in this meandering, learning more about the characters, and that will be useful even if the scenes themselves get cut.

Before this afternoon's writing session, I must make a grocery store run as I'm almost out of tea and milk (horrors!). I'll have to face my nemesis, the self-check machine. I also need to take a bunch of stuff to the recycling center. Isn't my life exciting and glamorous?

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