Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Isn't It Ironic?

Today is check-in day for ROW80.  I'm right on target for both my ROW80 and NaNoWriMo goals.  So I don't really have a lot to say. 

 Why is there always so much more to say when things are bumpy?  When the road is all uphill, there's plenty to talk about.  Right now, though, things are pretty smooth, I have a plan for the next bit I'm going to write, and things are looking good, and while I like reporting those things, I'm finding that it makes for a really short check-in.

I wrote 4,235 words yesterday.  This may be helping with my shortage of words today.  I also have a really bad headache--probably sinuses due to the cold, wet weather.  That may be another part of why I don't have much to say. 

Now that I think about it a little more, though, I think a big part of why I don't have much to say right now is that I'm not entirely sure what my next steps are despite what I said above.  Sure, I know the very next step is to finish the scene I was in the middle of yesterday.  After that, things are a little muddy.  I don't have a clear picture of the scenes after this one, and that always makes me uncomfortable. I am always afraid that I won't be able to fill in those blanks.  In all honesty, so far I haven't managed to fill in those middle parts of a novel.  I have never reached the end of a novel length draft, and while things are going better than in the past, I still don't have that secure feeling of "I can do this, I know how this works." 

I know the answer to this dilemma is to just keep moving forward.  Keep taking regular breaks to figure out what the next scene is and the key things that will happen in it, and then write it.  That has been working so far.  And I do have that sketchy outline taking me all the way to the end of the book, so it's not like I'm completely clueless.  I just have to get comfortable with only being able to really see a little bit of what's coming up at a time.

“Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”
― E.L. Doctorow


Julie Jordan Scott said...

I get scared driving in the dark on unfamiliar roads, but I have always found my way... even before I had a trusty GPS to help me.

I appreciate what you said about why we can say more when things are bumpy... maybe we (as a society) value struggling our way to victory... somehow we have to EARN the right to everything coming through in the end. Crazy. And I'm thinking.... true.

Thanks for your thoughtful comment on my blog today. I appreciate it so much!

L.S. Engler said...

What a perfect quote to accompany your thoughts today! I'm working on two pieces that I'm just kind of making up as I go along, and you're right, it's a little scary sometimes not knowing where my next step will lead me, but, at the same token, I love the surprise and wonderful feeling I get when it leads me something great.

Wherever it leads, though, it's sure to be interesting. It sounds like you've been doing great! Keep it up, and everything will take care of itself. As a frequent pantser, in my experience, it usually does...even if not right away.

Have a fantastic rest of your week!

amy kennedy said...

I think you do have it. And I love the quote too, perfect your (and many of our) situation(s). Look at what you accomplished -- over 4k words, WOW. Hope you feel better.

Elizabeth Anne Mitchell said...

I have to agree about the quotation; we have to just keep going into the fog at times, no matter how uncomfortable it feels. I think you have a better idea than you think, and you will find the road is there when you get to it.

I'm a big believer in following your instincts, and while it is scary, it often pays off.

Have a great rest of the week!

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