“Get it down, then get it right.”
It’s probably the single best piece of advice I’ve ever gotten about writing. What a shame I can’t remember where I got it from. It’s also a shame that I seem pathologically unable to follow it.
I’ve gotten a whopping 20 pages “completed” in Book 2. I’m not even going to go through the traumatic effort of naming it yet, because I suck at naming things. Frankly, I don’t need that kind of aggravation right now. Not while those 20 pages are stinking up my universe.
They stink because this is a sequel, and I’ve never written a sequel before, and all the backstory is pissing me off. It’s clogging my literary arteries like a lifetime of chili-cheese fries, but it’s necessary. I know that. I know people will be confused if I come out of the gate with “Anaiiya flew off into the sunset.” What? Who? She flies? Why does she fly? NO!! (Slap) That’s a BAD writer!
Ugh. So I try to push through, dribbling some backstory in here, a little exposition there, a physical description somewhere off to the left, I think I’m on a roll…and then I make the mistake of re-reading it. Grief, despair, and self-hatred abound. And yet I have to re-read it, because I don’t remember what I’ve already said. And then I hate it, and spend an hour trying to rephrase everything and moving paragraphs around until I've forgotten what I'm doing.
I’m halfway to pulling a Paolini and just making the synopsis of Book 1 into a prologue.
You know what…no. Not gonna be a Negative Nancy three days into a perfectly innocent month. I have 20 pages done that I only hate sometimes, I got a "good" parking spot today at work, half the yucky things from last month have been resolved (sort of), the weather is still mild enough to keep the air conditioning off, and bin Laden is still dead.
I knew this was gonna be a better month than April.