Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Change of View

You know the feeling when a story isn't working? You rework and rewrite, ditch scenes and give your character a whole new personality--or shed his old traits. After hours--no, days--you don't know why the story still reads flat and lumpy (think potatoes without enough salt or mashing to wrap your head around that juxtaposition), and every early morning greets you like a funeral.

You start to think this one's due for the incincerator, so you toss it in a drawer or a folder or even use the hard-copy to line the birdcage.

You wonder why you ever decided you wanted to write. Why you thought it was enjoyable.

It is not.

You think about washing your kitchen floor with a tooth brush. Now THAT is fun.

But Butt In Chair, so...

You work on something new. This is not your choice. And as you plod along wrapping your head around a new situation, new characters, new words, it comes to you--switch the point-of-view.

You start the rewrite. Again. It reads smoother, the words gel together. You change the tense, and then magic begins.

You bolt from bed every morning, wanting to write. Writing is good. Life is good.

Anyone else ever feel my pain? What's sticking your creativity now?



  1. LAZINESS. It must be laziness. Either that or my butt-in-chair glue isn't working.
    At least you're sticking to it – that's the BEST thing you can possibly do.

    I'm trying to figure out why I'm not writing right now. Lack of motivation. Laziness, yes. A fear that what I'm writing is stupid and amateurish. Also, I'm approaching the point where I need to start wrapping things up and I'm not sure how to go about it. I need to sit down and do some planning rather than my usual pantsing. But mostly I need to glue my arse to my chair and get it done.

    Good for you for "wanting to write." WOOT!

  2. Also? Sometimes I think I don't even LIKE writing.

  3. I finished the third draft of my book. Now I need to go over it and smooth over remaining hiccups, rough edges and continuity errors before sending it off to beta readers.

    But a good stopping place is SOOO tempting to stop at.

  4. @Tony--I adore good stopping places. Yes. You are at my favorite point in the process--fine polishing. See my envy? Peace...

  5. Cathy, laziness? I doubt it--you are one of the least lazy peeps I know. Maybe distracted?

    Fear looms large when I block. Then I just remember Annie Dilliard's SHITTY FIRST DRAFT essay and I go to town. First drafts (from beginning to end) are the best excuse to write crap.

    You might be doing the right thing, though--just sitting with your draft until the ending comes to you. And it will. Peace...

  6. My current work in progress has been an unmitigated flow of creativity. I've removed most of my usual blockades, allowing to get as emotional, ludicrous or tangential as it requires. I've never allowed my long fiction to be quite so weird. If it fails, I'll scale back to the more traditional novel, but I have to chance it. Thus, I'm not experiencing the crushing weight right now. All I get are hitches where something needs more justification, for which I make notes and will attend later in editing.

    But I've certainly felt your pain in the past. Just in terms of flash fiction, there have been hundreds of great ideas I have utterly screwed up, ruined, gave up on or deleted.

  7. Thanks John, and glad writing is flowing for you these days!

    Please, share your secrets on removing your 'usual blockades'. Peace...