Sputtering Fits and Starts


I sat down last night and started banging keys. This is the second time over the last week I’ve tried to get some words down. And I actually had some success. I got about five hundred pounded out, feeling no love, no joy for it, and slogging through it anyway.

After all, that’s what professional writers do. They don’t wait for inspiration or mood to strike. They work.

So I determined I’d work. But at the end of the night, I had a block of text with no hook. Not an auspicious opening to a new book at all. But then, my creative voice, the child inside who loves stories and loves to write, only gave me a single scene to work with on the movie screen in my head, and I guess my critical brain took that to mean I should hammer as much detail out of it as possible.

That usually means I’ve started too far from the action. Or it could mean I’ve focused too hard on the minutiae, trying to do a lot of worldbuilding in a short time. I lost focus on pulling the reader into the story as fast and hard as possible, and keeping them there. So the hook was missing.

But now is the time when stretching the storyteller inside can happen. I can cycle back over the words tonight, cull them and refine, and see what’s left. And if nothing survives, then I guess it was all just practice.

So if I wrote five hundred words that never see the light of day, it still counts toward my first million, which is practice anyway.

Still, I’d like to push forward on getting at least one book written every three months if I’m able. I don’t want to let myself off the hook, but I’ll never replace my income with one aging novel, two short story collections, and a smattering of short stories. Never.

But I’m not giving up. Things sort of conspired against me last night, but I’m confident things will work out better in the next few days.

So there you have it. I did try. I’ll keep you posted on how I do tonight.

-jdt-

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One thought on “Sputtering Fits and Starts

  1. You’re right, and I’ve heard that nearly all my life – that writers write, even when the “inspiration” isn’t there.

    I know. I’m very nervous I’m proving out that I’m NOT really a writer, just someone dabbling. Maybe the reason it hasn’t happened despite all my prayers is because I don’t meet muster, and He knows it, while I still need to find that out for myself. Hope not, but…

    For you, from what I’ve seen, if you look at the screen long enough, or words you’ve written that don’t “measure up,” your creative mind kicks in and can’t help but fix whatever it believes is wrong. It’s like your creative mind sees a crooked word picture and simply has to correct it or straighten it out. Sometimes the correction is in moving that image to another “wall” or taking it down all together. Your creative mind has a definite OCD streak to it, from what I’ve seen. 🙂 It’s pretty neat how it works.

    LTY!

    Aw, thanks love. I love you too. 🙂 LTY!

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