Thursday, October 11, 2012

Letting go

I had big plans for this week.  It was going to be fun and relaxing.  The kind of week where I rewrite my novel in five days and do Halloween crafts with my kids and eat Cheetos and just be happy.  Instead, I've  been running around crazy and have hardly written at all.  It's been a week of trying to keep my kids from having breakdowns while everything starts to fall apart, but then miraculously doesn't.  But it never fixed itself until after I'd worried about it a bunch.  The other night I was trying to get some writing done and I was so tired it took me four paragraphs to realize I'd switched from first person to third.  Granted, third is my preferred choice but still, this character has been so determinedly first it's not possible to write her in third.

Writing is kind of like that.  Not the tired part, the not turning out as you thought part.  Though I'm guessing most of you can relate on the tired.  Sometimes the  scenes you think will be the easiest to write, or the best scenes in the book just don't work.  They're slow or boring or just don't progress the plot. Sometimes we need to change our expectations, or let go of our preconceived ideas so we can enjoy what's there.  Even though it wasn't what we planned.

If we can do that, we just might find some fun things.

32 comments:

  1. I am right there with you on this! I have a book that I've revised and rewritten so many times. I just got more feedback on it and I know I will have to dive into my preconceived ideas about it and really decide what needs to change to make it the book it can be.

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    1. Good luck on the changes! It's difficult to let go like that but if it makes a stronger book then it's worth it.

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  2. "The kind of week where I rewrite my novel in five days and do Halloween crafts with my kids and eat Cheetos and just be happy."

    I'm gonna plan one of those weeks and see what happens. But I can identify with both you and Jenny. I have preconceived ideas about my story, but I'm beginning to think I need to let them go because they obviously aren't working. Also, I think it was Toni Morrison who said that if you find yourself struggling to write a scene, then maybe you shouldn't. :)

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    1. Hope it goes better for you than it did for me.:) I think all writers have preconceived ideas about their stories. It's just another reason why crit partners and beta readers are so important.

      Love the quote from Toni Morrison.

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  3. Yep, preconceived ideas about what's going to happen are a cause of much of my troubles. ; ) Then I remember--writing a book is a journey and it's made of many little bitty steps.

    Write on, Sara...when you're able to that is. ; )

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  4. My life is pretty much about letting go of my expectations. I am a planner by nature. I hate when plans change but it is something I have had to learn to adjust to as I have become a wife and mom and writer. More often than not my WIP takes me in an unintended direction.

    Good luck! I hope next week allows you a Cheetos eating, halloween crafting, book rewriting funfest.

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    1. I'm a planner too and sometimes I tend to hold too tightly to that plan instead of embracing what's there.

      Thanks, I'm just hoping next week doesn't' include a broken down car, a lost debit card, or any of the other stuff.

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  5. Totally know how that goes! Hope all is well with the kids.

    My last book was 1st-person present, and I usually write in 3rd-person past. That was fun. ;)

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    1. Kids are fine for once! This is the first week in over a month when we haven't had anyone sick!

      I can honestly say I will never write in present tense.

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  6. Cheers, Sara. Some days (weeks) are like that, aren't they?

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  7. This is so well said, Sara! I can't write on the tired...when I'm tired, I get more distracted and end up getting absolutely nothing written. :(

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    1. That's they way I am too, but I get so little time to write I usually try anyway because I feel guilty squandering it.

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  8. Oh, I am so relating to what you mean. My protagonist is on a plane to the UK and suddenly I'm stumped. And not just because I've never been to the UK. I can generally fake it, but I don't whether to make a deal of him being on the plane, (he's got ear problems) or jumping ahead. I've been looking at a blank page for two days. Eek.

    Thanks, Sara, for reminding me I can do this.

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    1. I always get stumped on those decisions too. Good luck. I hope you get him there. Are you a linear writer, or can you jump ahead and write a different scene then come back to this one later?

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  9. Sorry you had a bummer week, Sarah. Why is it when we want to write the most life seems to get in the way? Here's hoping next week life is kinder to you. :)

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  10. Living always comes before writing. And it should! And we should not feel guilty about it.

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    1. living does come first but sometimes life is too hard and writing is easier.

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  11. I can relate. I think a lot of us can. Sometimes we get the most writing at the most inopportune times. Which reminds me, I've got a batman and cat costume to come up with....(: Hope your weekend is better!

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    1. Good luck on the costumes. I can't get my kids to make up their minds. If they don't do it soon I'm going to do it for them.

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  12. Oh, I can relate to this. I'm on one of those scenes now. I think I might have some cutting to do. :P

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  13. Sometimes I realise that when I'm struggling with a scene, it's because I'm not giving characters their own choices. Yesterday, for instance. Fred and Lyne are off to a costume party and I kept trying to come up with what *I* would like them to wear. When I finally shut up and listened, I found out that Fred wanted to go as Elvis. I shuddered, but hey, if that's what *he* wants...

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    1. Lol, Elvis! It's funny how they can just take over like that.

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  14. Mmmm... some great thoughts.
    Don't resist the change in direction, rather embrace it? And work it into the story.
    Nice to meet you S.P. You have a nice place here.

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    1. Nice to meet you too! Change can bring some nice surprises when we stop fighting it.

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  15. I'm with you 110% Plans? Meh. I'm thinking of adopting a no-plan regiment for a while and see if that makes a difference, but then that makes it a plan too, right?

    Here's to finding your flow and getting back on track! :)

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    1. lol, Sometimes the no-plan plan is the only thing that works.

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