Saturday, August 30, 2008

Writing Feverishly and deciding that writing a book IS WAY TOO HARD

I have one more week of my "official" summer break left. It's been long. Three whole months of no work. Soon, my structure-less days will end. I've been writing like crazy. Rewriting my first novel, making sure the plot lines are threaded throughout the story, and the biggie, ensuring my character's motivation is consistent. That, I have to say, is really freakin' HARD!!! Arggh!

Just when I think I have it right, I'll re-read a chapter and groan. With rewrites, the biggest hazard, as least for me, is eliminating an important piece of information (not intentionally) the reader needs to know. You know, a logistical question that pops up in critique groups, a problem that needs to be mentioned but not elaborated on, then poof. You rewrite and take it out, thinking it's not important because you're going in a new direction. I'm probably not making sense. But that's where I am. Ironing out the consistency's. And it's really difficult.

This is what occurred to me. Writing a novel is painstaking. It really is. Do I sound negative? Good. It's reality smacking me in the face.

But, and there is always a but, I love my story. I believe it has potential. I know I'll rewrite until I'm happy with it.


"Don't sit on it too long," people have said.

I seriously don't understand this contradiction. I think the best thing you can do is sit on it (or rewrite it) until it feels right. Maybe it means, don't expect it to be perfect. Believe me, I don't. I just want it to be enjoyable.

To lighten my mood, I visited my favorite bookstore, Chaucer's, and picked up a few tantalizing novels.
Savvy by Ingrid Law, the paperback version of An Abundance of Katherines by John Greene, and The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey by Trenton Lee Stewart.

I plan to write a few more hours today, maybe switch gears and focus on my second novel. My critique group has a fun writing exercise that we're doing next week...looking at plot lines and chapter details to ensure our story is flowing the way it should. Perfect timing, I think.


  1. Do not be deterred! Writing may be hard - but it's worth it!

  2. Way perfect timing for the critique group exercise! I need to prepare.
    And writing is hard. Sometimes I think about all the revisions I need to make and it seems overwhelming, but as I start to chip away, it looks way more manageable very soon!

  3. Thanks guys...I need to switch gears and think about book two for the writing exercise. Should be fun!

  4. I SO feel your pain, gal. But here's a little advice from Edward Necarsulmer, an agent with McIntosh and Otis that spoke at the Pacific Coast Children's Writers Workshop. Most of his client have said that when things get muddy in the re-write it usually happens that they go with their first idea. The first inspiration for the story. It always goes back to that. Revise to that, if you can.

    I loved An Abundance of Katherines. I could read John Green everyday. His voice is so comfortable. Cozy.

    Enjoy your last week. I'll be thinking of you:)
    Hang in there *hugs*

  5. Laura,
    That's good advice. Really. Revising at this rate can suck the life out of a manuscript, so I need to remember this!
    Dying to see you...I think we're way overdue for coffee.

  6. Dying to see you too:) I'm right with ya. Revising is super hard. But, heck, we wrote a damn book didn't we? That's frickin' amazing ain't it??? Wooohooo. We CAN get through this:)

  7. Patty,

    Check this out. It's cute!

    The video comparing editing a mms to baking a cake is priceless:)


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