Friday, February 5, 2010

The Tortoise or The Hare

How do you write? Are you a little each day or do you have days when all you can do it write, but you know a long, lonesome stretch of desert awaits you around the next corner?

I, myself, am still very new to the writing for publication game. The Challenge was my second story to ever be finished and selling it was a complete, and over the moon happy, shock to me. My writing process for TC was a little bit every day. I was very much the tortoise then. Slow and steady did win that race. :)

Now, however, I am working on the second story, The Submission and I find myself more like the hare. Some days are filled with clear insight and the words pour out of me until I'm drained only to be followed by weeks of frustrated nothingness. Lost in my own story and ready to drop it into that shredder in my mind. To build a bon fire with the pages as my kindling.

As you can probably tell, I'm again in the midst of the nothingness. I would love nothing more than to type in "and a miracle occurs," close up shop on this story and kick it in next week, but I know I do myself a disservice with that. More than anything this story needs to be finished. I'm sliding into the last third of the story and then I can set it aside for a bit before editing.

How though do I finish it.

I've decided to try something I've never been able to do before. I'm going to skip a few scenes. ~aaaaahhahahahaha~ Yeah, I'm so not a skipper. LOL My brain just generally does not work that way, but I figure, what can it hurt right. hehe

So tell me, are you the tortoise or the hare and if you have any tricks of the trade, I'm all ears. ;)


Crystal Kauffman said...

I'm known as a pantster and I often leap without looking, so to speak, but I find a book is much easier to write and flows much more smoothly when I know the beginning, middle and end. That may seem like a "well duh" but honestly, many of the books I start I have no idea how they end. Maybe try a plotting or storyline board? If I know where I want to go and can envision those scenes in my head, I can't type fast enough.

Anonymous said...

I have off days and on days. The off days I'm lucky if I do a few paragraphs. The on days I can go for pages and pages and it all just pours out. Those days are usually followed by an off day where nothing will come. Every other day seems good for me.

I was unemployed for several months and noticed something interesting: even with all those long hours of nothing, I didn't write any more or less than I normally would. When I'm hot on a project the words just flow. When I'm not, I could flog myself with a live cat and not produce a thing. I don't really know if this is helping.

Pat C.

Savanna Kougar said...

Hmmm... I've played both the tortoise and the hare... what I notice most is that things change. That is, I write *somewhat* differently now that I am published.
Scenes will pour out at times, but not like when I wasn't published. Being mostly a pantser, it does take cogitation time to think about what occurs next, especially when I've dug that invariable hole.

Serena, I'd say skip ahead, write those scenes because even if you end up not using them in this story, they may below to another story.
And, truthfully, writing scenes ahead has often directed me like a guidepost.

Paris said...

Serena, I'm all for skipping around. When the inspiration for a scene hits, I've found that if I don't write it then, it turns out not quite as wonderful as I once envisioned it. That's because I've had too much time to think about it and change it. Tweaking belongs after you get everything down on paper. At least for me it does.

I usually set up a separate file and call it whatever story name and "scenes". Then when inspiration hits, I'll write the out of sequence scene and place it there until I need it.

I like planning and I admit to doing quite a bit of pre-writing--figuring out characters, motivation, conflict, etc. When those are clear I take off. I plan my scenes with a clear goal to accomplish. It's less frustrating for me that way.

So, basically I guess I'm a very weird combination of both. A "Tortaire" if you will;)

Serena Shay said...

Thanks Ladies for the wonderful advice. I'll definitely be using it. :)

Crystal - hehe, I know what you mean by knowing the beginning, middle and end. I do a modified storyboard already, but my characters always end up changing the game on me... ;)

Pat - Every other day sounds like heaven to me. ;) Yeah, I agree, not work does not equal lots of great writing. For me it takes a really good scheduale, which I'm still trying to work out. LOL

Savanna - Ah yes, the hole, mine seems to be getting deeper. LOL I'm going to skip around and see if I can climb my way out. I'll let you know what happens. :)

Paris - great ideas! Thanks. Yep, over tweaking before it's all down on paper is part of my problem as well. It's the perfectionist in me that will not be quiet. hehe "Tortiare" I love it!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Savanna Kougar said...

Tortiare... sounds like a great new character to me!