Monday, March 21, 2016

Oh My Muse, Wherefore Art Thou?

I've always found revisions much easier than writing the first draft. The story itself is already down, revising is making sure everything makes sense, flows well, that there aren't any plot holes, or suddenly disappearing characters, spelling and grammar make sense and so on.

I can't say revisions have been easier than writing the original draft this time around. There are scenes in the current version that need major rewriting. I knew that when I wrote them. At the time, I was having trouble getting the scenes on paper so I wrote bare bones paragraphs and highlighted them in yellow so I would know these needed to be fleshed out. I also have a couple of places where I inserted the line, "Need better transition here."

I reached point where I needed to rework those scenes and transitions. I'd been struggling to get them to convey what I need them to. It felt like my muse had gotten tired of the cold and sleety snow and headed off to Hawaii without me.

I'd never really had a case of writer's block like this before. What to do? I tried taking a few days off in the past and found it makes it harder for me to get back to writing at all. There's always something that needs to be done that is ready to take over the time designated as writing time.

So I decided to borrow the mantra from Nike -- Just Do It. It was hard. I won't lie. Some days I think I spent more time staring at the blinking cursor than I did crafting sentences. But slowly, and I mean slowly - a snail could have outpaced me, the words started to come. After a couple of weeks, it got a bit easier and with each succeeding day, it's gotten a even easier. I'm still finishing up the last of the revisions but I'm feeling like my muse is home and we're back in sync.

Next up, tackling the dreaded synopsis for this book. (In case you don't know what a synopsis is - It's a summary of the novel's storyline which contains all the pertinent facts/information. Generally, it's not longer than two to four pages.) For me, it's hard to boil down everything I think is important in a 350 to 400 page book into 2 or 4 pages. But I'm not alone. Most writers hate writing them, even bestselling authors who on occasion still have to submit one.

Wish me luck.

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