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25 March 2008 @ 12:43 pm
*props eyes open with toothpicks*  

Sitting down to write this morning presented me with another stage of the mid-book blues: I discovered that I was so uncertain as to the quality and story-telling appropriateness of everything leading up to where I was that I couldn’t convince myself that if I just kept going forward, it would be okay.

This also happens pretty much every time. So I printed the bloody thing out, and am now reading it. Reading my own work at this stage is one of the most mind-numbing things in existence. I just start falling asleep. I often end up taking naps, because I just can’t keep my eyes open. To try to counter this, I do things like dishes and blog posts and moving around, but omg. So. Mind-numbing.

Oft-repeated behavior tells me that I will inch my way through reading this, and decide it’s really not all that bad. One of two things will then happen:

1. I will be able to continue on.

2. I will be wrong, but unable to admit it/see where the problem is, and will take another few days of staring numbly at the computer screen before I come to terms with/recognize whatever it is that needs fixing, and then I will have to go back and cut and revise and become filled with hatred as my wordcount goes down instead of up before everything is actually okay and I can really continue on.

Guess which one of those is more likely.

I’ve…gotten better about the necessity of mid-book revision stage. It usually only takes me about 48 hours, now, to realize that’s the problem and to find a way to deal with it. I used to get stuck at this point for weeks or even months (or years, prior to publication (ie, when I had the luxury of years)), unable to figure out why I was spinning my wheels and being so frustrated.

I would like very much to get past the delay in recognizing the problem/finding an answer to fix the problem thing, but I don’t know if that’s really possible. *sigh* Anyway, back to trying not to fall asleep over my manuscript, I guess…

(x-posted from the essential kit)
Jeri Smith-Ready: Wicked Gamejer_bear711 on March 26th, 2008 12:11 am (UTC)
I want you to know that I find it very comforting that you do this, too. It seems like most writers are all about the barreling through and not looking back or around or analyzing anything until the first draft is finished.

But the same thing usually happens to me, and I feel guilty that for a week or two I'm not making my word count because the thing needs revising *already* and I haven't even finished it once. But hey, whatever works, right? I'm just glad I'm not the only one. :-) Thanks!
kitmizkit on March 26th, 2008 10:16 am (UTC)
I always *think* I'm all about barreling through, but really, my usual writing pattern is:

Write like hell til I've gotten about the first third done. Hit a brick wall. Go back and fix whatever's broken. Write like hell to somewhere in the middle/second third. Hit a brick wall. Sulk like *hell*. Go back and re-read, and if it's necessary, fix. Write like hell until I hit about 90%, at which point the brick wall is more like AAAAGH AM I NOT DONE YET!?!?!?!? combined with fixing things if necessary, and then the inevitable slog toward the end.

The advantage to writing this way, for me, is that usually by the time I've gotten to the end, I've got a pretty solid draft.

So, yeah. Not just you. :)