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09 August 2012 @ 03:49 pm
rookie mistake  

For the past six weeks I’ve been working on starting a new book. Now, it often only *takes* me six weeks to write a book, and although there have been some distractions, taking six weeks to get started is really a bad sign. Usually when I don’t want to work on a new project, it means I’ve done something wrong. I *know* that, so I kept looking at it, trying to figure out what I’d done wrong. I reached 75 pages on the manuscript twice, and the first time, I threw out half of them.

This, the second time, I have realized that the book’s structure is fundamentally broken. I’ve been trying desperately to insert conflict into the story, and it just has not been working. I finally realized it’s because I’ve made things too easy for my main character, right from page one.

From where I’m sitting, that’s a rookie mistake. I haven’t done that since about my fourth published novel, and this is something like the 28th one I’ve written. So yeah, rookie mistake. A really, really aggravating one, too, because it means absolutely everything I’ve written is useless, including my synopsis. I have to throw it *all* out, and start all over again.

And this, my friends, is part of what it is to be a professional writer: looking a complete failure in the eye, tossing it, and starting anew. *mutter*

(x-posted from the essential kit)

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kitmizkit on August 9th, 2012 07:30 pm (UTC)
It's probably two things. One is that this is the series for my nephew, and so I have a huge emotional attachment to Getting It Right, which I'm pretty sure makes it harder to get it right. :) The other is just flat out that I had the wrong idea in my head as to how I had to make the story happen, because there is an obvious and logical lead-in from the first book...but basically I was taking it too literally. After talking with Ted I now know what I actually /need/ to do, and it's already a vastly better story, even without having written a word yet.
Flitterbyflit on August 9th, 2012 09:33 pm (UTC)
Oh, yeah, I can really see how that adds a lot of pressure! I know that in myself, Stuff For Other People is totally different from Stuff For Me.

That's wonderful that you've been able to work it out. Also awesome that you can talk this over with Ted. I always get a squee when I can talk to Brad about his work or about his module setups/worldbuilding and be helpful, myself.