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14 April 2008 @ 03:14 pm
trying something new  

Yesterday, after spending three days slogging through genuinely not very good writing, I did something I’ve never done before while writing a book: I gave myself permission to skip the hard part.

Mostly I don’t do that, because mostly if I skip a bit when I come back to that part I’ve forgotten that I /did/ skip something, and I’m really pissed off and it’s not any easier to write it than it would’ve been in the first place, but with added bonus of being pissed about the whole thing.

*Usually* what I have to do is go back and revise up to the point where it’s broken (ie, the hard part) and then go on from there. And I really, really *really* don’t want to do that this time; I want to just get the damned draft done, and then go back and fix things. That also usually wouldn’t work, because I often don’t know exactly what has to come of the borked scene(s), so I can’t actually go on and write what comes next without finding out what happens in that scene.

In this case, I /do/ know exactly what comes after the borked scene (which is screwed up is because I don’t have all the support structure earlier in the book to make it work, and so I’m finding myself unable to write _that scene_ correctly. I know how to fix it, but right now going back and fixing the lead-up doesn’t feel very damned efficient.). So I told myself I could skip it the hard part. I gave myself the rest of the afternoon off. I went grocery shopping and watched more of season 3 BSG with Ted.

And today I got up and have written 3700 words so far on the next scene, and am feeling reasonably confident about getting up to around 5K today. (I’d been planning to be Really Ambitious, and push through 140,667 words, which would officially make this the Longest Book I’ve Written, but that’s an additional 3K, and I don’t think I got up early enough to make this an 8K day. It’s 4pm. I don’t see getting through another 5300 words today, not realistically. So maybe tomorrow this will become the Longest Book.) After grinding through much smaller wordcounts at huge effort the last few days, this rate of writing feels really nice.

Arright. Another 1300 words will make a good solid writing day. Back on my head.

(x-posted from the essential kit)
 
 
Current Mood: determineddetermined
 
 
 
Kristine Smithkristine_smith on April 14th, 2008 03:28 pm (UTC)
In this case, I /do/ know exactly what comes after the borked scene (which is screwed up is because I don’t have all the support structure earlier in the book to make it work, and so I’m finding myself unable to write _that scene_ correctly.

This sounds a lot like my process. I tried to skip over a rough scene in the last book--I thought I could go on to the next scenes, then come back and maybe sneak up on the problem child. I seem to recall that it didn't work as well as I had hoped, because I was leaving out support structure that I needed later, those little details that don't seem important at the time but later blossom into really important plot points. The curse of a story brain that works sequentially.
kit: writingishardmizkit on April 14th, 2008 04:08 pm (UTC)
*nodnodnod* Yeah, I go sequentially too, and generally just can't get past needing to fix things early in the book. In this particular case the borked scene is *so late* in the book that the end really is inevitable, and like...*half* of the support structure is in place, but not all of it, so there's just enough to hang myself with.

BTW, although I haven't actually read your posted story yet, I went and checked out your website, which is beautiful!
Kristine Smithkristine_smith on April 14th, 2008 04:35 pm (UTC)
Thanks! It took a little time for Webmistress and me to settle on the right shades of green, but we finally found them. Moody overall, but I don't get tired of the colors.