Derailment

Hmmm… I realized something about my writing process today.




My muse is a rather fickle thing, so when I write, it sometimes happens that my writing just dries up.

And that generally doesn’t bother me. But now, I picked up an old half-finished WiP (Don’t Look Back) and finished it in less than 2000 words.

Except I’m not sure that it feels right. Well, the contents of the end feels okay. But the thing is that it feels like my flow has been interrupted.

So much time has passed (months to be exact) that even though I adore the story, it feels as if someone else wrote it. And it’s an incredible pain in the ass to finish something “someone else” wrote.

That’s probably why I chopped the story off at approximately 25000 words, regardless of loose ends and story issues. It’s better for me to rewrite it and fix everything then than spend months trying to pick up a derailed train of thought.

Sad thing is, I never had this problem with Doorways. But I guess that has a reason too. It’s on my mind all the time. It’s my priority. Even when I write something else, part of me is thinking about it. When I work on Doorways, it consumes everything else in my mind.

Which has me wondering.

Isn’t it better to keep pushing myself to write even when I don’t want to? Or does it even matter? Because after all, I will definitely be rewriting regardless of whether the book is perfect. Should I maybe just get the whole Doorways series out of my system before I try something else?

And most of all, I wonder if I should start rewriting Don’t Look Back today…

Do you have a story that consumes or threatens to consume most of your creativity? What do you do when you get another (very) good idea?

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15 thoughts on “Derailment

  1. Secondhand Shoes consumed me. Now I've got another story half drafted and another a third of the way drafted. The one I should really be working on is the one a third way drafted. But the other one is on my mind constantly. ***shrugs*** ***sighs***

    My suggestion is whenever you get an idea, write it. Keep writing.

    Hugs,
    Shelly

  2. Yeah… I can come back and fill in holes… the stuff that sort of fits with 'rewrite', and I've written OTHER books between books that go together, but I think if it's a true trilogy (needs to go in order) then it probably is easier to finish your first draft in the full series before going to something else. There definitely is a lot more to the rewrite if you have something else in between.

  3. Whether or not you should push yourself to write when you don't feel like it depends on the type of writer you are. If you are the kind of writer who only sits down a couple time a week to write, then yes, you should push when you don't feel like it.

    If you are the type of writer who writes almost every day, in every spare moment, then when you don't feel like it, you should take a break. You probably need it. (I'm the 2nd type of writer.)

  4. I write in glorious prolific spurts. Then I can have long dry spells where I don't write much of anything at all. During those times I sometimes go back to stories that need revising, editing.

    I say, if you have an idea, play with it. Sketch it out, begin a rough outline. It doesn't mean you have to become totally immersed in it and begin a whole new novel. Your muse may well become satisfied that you played with her new idea and she may well reward you with bundles of energy for continuing your other work.

  5. Misha, if you have the time, go through the entire ms of Don't Look Back, familiarize yourself with what you had written earlier and then start writing it. Once you read your ms from begining to end, your creative juices will start flowing and so will the story.

  6. Feel the situation. Sometimes it can be damaging to push through…sometimes not. You, and only you, can tell. Get outside, get some sun on your face, and just a small change in perspective can give you that energy you need to push through. Always take some time for yourself.

  7. My train's derailed so many times I've lost count. Once in a while I go back and dig up a story that stopped and I wonder where I'd planned on taking it. Like you, sometimes I wonder who wrote that stuff in the first place. On good days I find nuggets that I mine for stories I'm working on. There's no one track, Misha, and it's never laid in a straight line.

  8. I often feel that way. Right now I have one book done that just needs to be queried, one book that I'm editing and one book that's percolating. Right now I'm focusing on the one that needs editing.

  9. My problem now is getting proposals approved and having “a book of my heart” consume me. It's very hard to get into the money maker when my artistic side wants free reign. 🙂 Go figure. There's no wrong or write answer.

  10. Sometimes I work in chunks. I write steadily for so many days, off for one or two, then back in the mix again. I think if an idea's solid, you're going to be able to chip away at it no matter how long it takes. Good luck with yor wip.

  11. That's a very interesting question, Misha. I think if the story really matters to you, I mean really matters on a deep, personal level, you should keep at it until you finish the draft, whether you feel like it on a particular day or not. If you find your mind constantly slipping away and flirting with other story ideas, then it's a pretty good indicator that it isn't this story's time yet. 🙂

  12. I think you should follow the writing pull wherever it takes you on a daily basis (balanced with butt-in-chair discipline of course). We writers can over-think ourselves by trying to figure out exactly what we should or shouldn't be writing…when what we really should be focused on is just writing.

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