>> Monday, January 29, 2007

I had planned on finishing Dead Man's Hand, and then revising. Had gotten valuable advice on the rough spots I was worried about. Had the plot line smoothed out. Thought I was ready to go.

But then, after reviewing chapters 1-3, I found myself sitting there, staring at my computer screen...numb. Bored.

The characters were utterly flat and, my biggest pet peeve, inconsistent. The plot was blasé. The transitions rougher than rough.

All fixable, no doubt about it. I am confident that I have the knowledge and skill to make those changes. My biggest problem was (and still is)...I had no desire to make them.

I sat there with a strange taste in my mouth and a flicker of anxiety in my chest.

When was the last time I didn't want to write? Sure, revisions are no fun, and that's how I've been spending my time for about the last year, but I've always wanted to write. I've always had the drive to make those changes.

I found myself wondering...when did the fun go out of writing? What was it about this story that spurred me to write 2/3 of it last year? Cause I sure as hell don't see it now.

So, today, I took a step back and considered...what do I really want to write about? What gives me that spark and compels me to put fingers to keyboard? What story lives inside me, fighting to get out?

Sadly, I couldn't answer. Because I don't feel it.

Fortunately, this funk isn't scaring me as it once would have. I'm not the least bit worried I'll lose my momentum and stop writing, which used to be one of my greatest fears.

Instead, I've decided to spend the time developing my own forms--character outlines, GMC graphs, plotting worksheets. I know--this frightens many of you pantsters, but they are what keep me--a die hard plotter--calm. And creating customized planning tools have been on my to-do list for a long time. Believe it or not, I'm actually looking forward to that.

Have you ever felt this malaise--either for a story or for writing in general? What happened? How did it play out? How did you handle it?


Elisabeth Naughton 10:48 AM  

Have I mentioned how much I love your blog? Every time you tweak it, it just gets better and better. You're a design goddess. ;)

Okay, on to your post...I think you need a break to let your creative juices recharge. You've been working nonstop this past year, and not writing anything new but revising old works. Take a week and chill - read a stack of new books, pick up some genres you wouldn't normally read (I have some vamp books, you know...teehehehe) and don't think about writing for a few days. Whenever I finish a book I take a couple days to do this and it always gets me thinking about new plots or characters I wouldn't have before the break.

Joan Swan 4:02 PM  

Yep,yep,yep. That's what I'm trying to do. I am. Really. :-)

I've started reading about a new plotting method -- yes, I know how much you like plotting methods, E. Don't worry, I'll share EVERY detail with you when I've got it down. :-D And I'm also reading Tami Hoag's Kill the Messenger, which I loved on CD.


I'm trying.

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