Wednesday, May 20, 2009


That whimpering sound you heard yesterday would have been me. After finally figuring out the way the scene was supposed to go, I still couldn't seem to write it. I seemed to come up with every procrastination method in the book. I finally decided to just go back and re-read what came before to build up to it. And then I realized that the real problem with the scene was that I hadn't actually set it up. It was just happening out of the blue for no good reason, with no sense of cause and effect. I knew why it was happening, but I hadn't put any of that in the book. I also noticed that I have continued a bad first draft habit of writing essentially the same scene over and over again. They may be talking about different things, but the same essential things are happening for the same reason. And I have far too many scenes that have very little to do with the story, that are just there (and one thing I don't even remember why I put in there in the first place).

I think for me that's the danger of trying to do a book-in-a-month challenge type thing. I get hung up on advancing the word count and just write instead of taking the time to think it through. So I think today will be a reboot day. I'll get out my notecards and go through the manuscript to really think about why each scene is there and what purpose it serves, and that should help me find places to put the new things I need. I'm going to quit worrying about word count and instead focus on getting the book done in as close to final form as possible. My goal is to be able to send this to my agent and have her only want to make a few tweaks before she sends it out into the world.

One thing that will help is that just about everything I watch on TV is now done for the season. Next season it looks like I'll have plenty of writing time, too. They did renew Chuck (yay!), but it's not returning until after the Winter Olympics. There are a few mid-season shows that look kind of interesting, but I'm not overly thrilled with most of the new things that were announced for fall. I did watch Glee last night, and it looks like that might scratch the particular itch that Friday Night Lights targets, where some of it is painfully real and some is over the top and it makes me feel good and hopeful while also making me cry. It also makes me kind of jealous because we didn't even have a choir in my school, let alone a show choir. I probably wouldn't have my phobia about singing in public today if I'd had opportunities like that at a younger age to allow me to get used to the idea before it built up into this huge thing. I didn't even know that you could take lessons in singing until I got to college and had a voice major as a roommate, but then I'd learned to play two musical instruments rather well using the "here's a fingering chart, now go practice" method of instruction. I'm not sure that it would have changed my life significantly because I don't think I have the drive or the desire to have been a professional, and I still would have wanted to write. It just may have meant that I didn't break out into a cold sweat at the idea of singing a solo, even though I desperately want to sing a solo. Anyway, it looks like that show is scheduled for Wednesday nights, so it will be something I can tape during choir practice, and then it will be too appropriate for watching when I get home from choir.

Now to go tackle a few business items, and then I'll get out the notecards.

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