The Bright Side

The bad news: I’m falling further and further behind.

I needed to bust out with 3K words this morning to catch up and instead, I wrote a measly 800-something.  I can’t even say it was due to a lack of time, because I actually woke up early specifically to write.  Then I checked my email, which led to perusing ads for Black Friday, which resulted in my realization I’m really good at procrastinating.  Before I knew it, I had less than a half hour to write before I was supposed to wake up my wife and daughter.

I had shortchanged myself sleep for nothing.

The good news: Not pushing ahead too fast has helped me to sort out some details.

I reached a point a few days ago (or last week–at this point, I’m not even sure time is linear) where I realized my chronology was all wrong.  Things were happening out of order, in a manner that didn’t make a whole lot of sense.  Once I accepted this, I started making notes on how I could move things around without affecting my overall story.

It wasn’t looking good.

At the same time, I ran into this issue of wanting to switch my POV characters (see previous post: Viewpoints).  I was starting to lose my faith on how this story was going to turn out.  Even though I was moving forward, it felt like the characters were working in a cyclical pattern, with scenes starting to repeat themselves, even though I’m a mere 28,000 words in.

Then, this morning, after I finished my daily ritual of telling myself in the mirror that I’m stupid and no one will ever love me until I write a great book, I was struck by a spark of creativity.  It helped me sort out my chronology issues and added some meat to a character that was starting to feel a little bony.  Not only that, but it helped set into motion events that would have an effect on the end game.

This is one of the things I like most about writing: the spontaneous burst of creation that brings it all together.  Sometimes you might feel like you’re trying to pound a square peg into a round hole, but when it works, when it really works, you’re left wondering how you didn’t see it all before.  More often than not, the answer was there sitting in front of you the entire time.

Now that I’ve seen a glimpse of the bigger picture, I just need to stop screwing around and start filling in the details.

S.L. Madden


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