Friday, January 22, 2010

This scene is killing me

I thought I'd finished my current WIP. Truly believed it was done, was feeling pretty good, ready to send it out.
And then re-read the one scene I have now re-written at least five times. Five bloody times.
And it still sucks.
And now I'm looking down the ass end of another re-write of the same scene. And I know I've lost all perspective on the story, and very specifically, that scene.

But I can't send it out as it is. So I'm looking into ways of getting it right. I'm going to start writing it by hand, because obviously, writing it directly into the computer hasn't worked for me.
I might get up really early and see if some pre-dawn sleepiness will work on my head. (this is a serious sacrifice for a person with a baby, so you can see I'm desperate)

Other than that, I'm out of ideas. This is a pivotal scene and I can't get it wrong. Anyone have any suggestions for me.


Karen W said...

Sinead, have someone else read it. Whenever this happens to me, I have a friend or critique partner (has to be another writer) look at it. Usually they can tell me right away WHY it's not working.

Good luck!

Alli said...

The only suggestion I can make (which may be difficult with a small baby in tow) is to have a LONG shower. I find the running water and steam helps clear my foggy mind and for some reason I always manage to find the answer I'm looking for if I'm stuck on a scene.

And Karen's suggestion if perfect. A fresh pair of eyes is always a great help (and you usually get a quick answer!).

Eileen said...

Have you tried writing from a different character's POV? Sometimes that helps me when I'm writing in 3rd. Not so helpful when I'm writing in 1st. :-)

Stephanie Doyle said...

I say ... walk away from the scene.

Put it down for at least a few days. When you're in that zone you've lost perspective. So your choices are to give it to someone else (KW is right - another writer - I'm happy to volunteer if you need someone.) Or if you want to fix it yourself, take a few days off.

I know it sucks - and I'm guilty of it too - when I finish I want to get it out of my hands as fast as possible.

But it never fails that some time away always makes things clearer.

There is no rush in publishing. The same agents and editors will all still be there a week or two weeks from now looking for books.

Maureen McGowan said...

Sinead, send that puppy over. I'll take a look. ;-)

Kathy Holmes said...

All good suggestions. Walking is where I think and get inspiration.

Rob said...

You might want to jot down some ideas on what each chacter in the scene is thinking about. You would be suprised how the characters you've created can sometimes create their own narrative.

Molly O'Keefe said...

Hey you know what's killing me? You're moving, have a new baby - on top of two other kids and you still have the energy to care about a scene -- that's freaking nuts. I guess that means you're a writer - when your life is chaos and you're concerned about a scene.

as for a solution - have maureen write it. we won't tell.

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