Friday, September 03, 2010

Stop Start

I had a really strong start into the current WIP and then major interruptions and ever since my flow got interrupted, my pace has been awful.

It has been nothing but stop, then start, then stop, some because of life, some because I've had to revise the way the story progresses.

There is a rhythm to writing, at least for me. When I'm consistently writing, day after day, I get a lot done and there are fewer interruptions in the work. When I stop for a few days, it takes me a day just to get back into the flow of the story, and the longer I stop, the longer it takes me to get back into it, so I waste precious time trying to sort out what I've written and where I need to go.

It's why so many writers say, write every day.

It's gotten so bad that I'm moving ahead in the book and writing the scenes I know for sure are going to be in it. It's movement, it's word count, and in the end it's going to be an ugly, ugly edit, but it's either that or nothing, at least right now.

Maybe after a few ugly scenes, I'll be back in the flow, and the latter half of the book won't be a disaster. But right now I'll take disaster over an empty page.

Is this common to everyone else? Or are people going to make me intensely jealous and tell me they can pick up a manuscript after a week off and write ten pages?


Karen W said...

Sinead, I'm the same way. Heck, I even have trouble picking up where I left off when I pick up the story on the next day!!!

Lisa said...

Yeah, I'm kind of like that. I haven't written anything for my current WIP in a few weeks and I think I'll have to go back and re-read what I had so far to get back into the tone and voice.

Maureen McGowan said...

I'm definitely like that. And it doesn't take much to push me off the rails. Then so, so hard to get myself back on. When I'm not immersed in the story, I can loose faith in it. This past week has been way slower than it should have been and now I'm doubting everything again.

One thing that I've done on occasion, is when it's going well, but I know I'm going to be interrupted for a bit, is to leave a few notes/sentences/lines of dialogue for the next few scenes coming up. Then it's easier to pick up again. Unfortunately, most of my stops on this ms have been unexpected... I just grind to a halt for no apparent reason. :(

Stephanie Doyle said...

Absolutely writing is all about a rhythm. I think anyway.

That's why I'm taking a week off. I was on a roll, got derailed by the whole submission process. Now I need to get back on track. My hope is to carry the momentum of the week into the next month.

And I also use that trick of adding a few lines of dialogue - to remind myself where I planned to start the next scene. That has helped. Also sometimes I have to force myself not to go back and read everything agian. That tends to bog me down with changes instead of moving forward w/ page count.

There was a line from Throw Momma from the Train... Billy Crystal says... "A writer writes. Always."

That stays with me. I think doing it on a consistent basis is crucial.

Eileen said...

I'm with you, Sinead. You know, I just read an article in the RWR by Lani Diane Rich (whom I adore) about taking creative breaks and I thought "Nope. Won't work for me."

When I first started writing in two different genres, I would take a little break when I finished one stage on a project before getting to the next stage on another. It was like throwing on the brakes completely. A week off would stall me out completely for two or sometimes three weeks. Heck, sometimes just the weekend makes Monday a total nightmare writing-wise.

Sinead M said...

It's the writing every day thing, even a couple of pages. I need to do that, and it takes discipline and the ability to block everything else out.

I'm working on it.

Eileen said...

It's so not easy! Today I had everything planned out. Work til 1:30, then gym, then home to write until it was time to go out to the movies at 7.

Well, my mom got sick so in the middle of that was two and a half hours to take her to the doctor, which meant I didn't leave work until 3:30 which mean I had to choose between gym and writing. I chose writing. Next week, I might choose gym.

Wendy Marcus said...

This sounds so much like me it's scary. I often write individual scenes that come to me when nothing else will, even if they're not planned until later in the story. I figure it gets them out of my head so I can better focus on the scenes I'm having trouble with. When I write daily I'm so into it and so productive. When something breaks my flow it can takes days (dare I say weeks) to get back into it. But I always do!
Good luck!

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