Monday, November 26, 2007


You never know from whence inspiration will spring, do ya? In my case, it comes from the fabulous news that writing friend Brooke made the finals of RWA's New England Chapter's First Kiss contest. Her glee reminds me of the scattered moments I myself have enjoyed during this arduous writing process--the ones that made me feel like, hey, maybe I CAN write!

Somehow (and this is really kinda cool), her excitement was contagious 'cuz it sent me re-visiting the WIP I haven't worked on in...oh...let's just say a WHILE. I mean, how can I continue to write (and sell!) story after to story to TR (by the way, sold a 2-parter this month--part 1 appears in February, part 2 in March), but have so much trouble cranking out the novel-length crap?

I'll tell ya why. (Even though you didn't really ask--it's okay; I can HEAR you wondering.)

The answer is (drum roll, please)'s the story, stupid (thanks, Bill and Hillary). Trust me on this. Thirty pages versus four-hundred is...sigh...need I explain?

Particularly for a pantser/quasi-plotter. (Oh, who'm I kidding? Almost TOTAL pantser.) So tonight, I did what I should have done...maybe eons ago...certainly months. I took the time (ah, so boring) to enter onto a spreadsheet, chapter-by-chapter summaries of the action thus far. 'Cuz here's the deal: I've written 258 pages of a 360 page book. It was time to see how the plot hangs together, whether the turning points (if any!) are in the right place...what we're building up to and where the big bang(s) should be.

And when I was finished...well, it'd be really cool if I were to write: DING DING DING! Epiphanies galore!

Didn't happen.

When I was finished...I faced the same dilemma that probably made me pause in the first place. I don't know whether to proceed in a linear fashion...or (I'm shivering as I type this) to play around with re-ordering some of the scenes. Okay, I know big-time authors do it constantly. I KNOW editors (who tend to see more clearly) suggest this kinda thing all the time. Definitely a skill to learn no matter what.

Doesn't mean the thought doesn't scare me sh*tless.

It's hard enough to write a book from A to Z. Now I'm considering rearranging Q R S T so that it's more like STQR...which, understandably, will screw up U, V, and possibly N or maybe L. Frightening.

And obviously, why I decided it was time to blog tonight, huh? Trust me, if I hadn't already checked in on every website I monitor, I'd be doing that, too.

Hm. Did I ever solve that last game of Free Cell?

Postscript: Just did the math. I've written 12 short stories this year, averaging 30 pages a piece. Yep. 360 total pages. Enough for a whole BOOK.

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