Thursday, August 18, 2011

Inspiration strikes!

WOW, first drafts really do suck. I’ve been slogging through book 2 for a while now, distressingly uninterested in my own work. I was woefully uninspired, and it showed. I knew it, too.

I’d written a few chapters (see the neat little WIP-O-Meter at the upper right hand corner of this blog), but I wasn’t really feeling it. Especially chapter one. The writing seemed fine, I guess, but I wasn’t happy with it. It just seemed boring, somehow. She sits at the top of a cliff and listens to the wind and contemplates how she got there. Meh. BLECH.   Pa-TOOEEEY!! 

I hated myself for it, but I couldn’t come up with anything better.

I was effervescent when inspiration finally slapped me across the face. A fight scene! Deep in the jungle, with our heroes chopping off their enemies’ heads like cauliflower. Sprinkle in some backstory (why are they chopping off heads?) and character development (how does chopping off those heads make them feel?), and it’s SOOOOO much better now!


I suspect now that I was feeling just a bit discouraged and frustrated (I know, I know…a writer? Feeling discouraged? Since when??).  And why should I bother with Book 2 if Book 1 sucks? Plus I was beginning to fear I was one of those writers who just has the one book in them, maybe a short story or two, but that’s it.  It used to be so easy for me, but now...not so much. 

But when I learned my Angry Robot Reader bumped me up to the editor’s desk, it put a little spring back in my creative step. And that was the version from 5 months ago, which isn’t even as good as the current one.

I just get inside my own head too much.  The constant worry about all the writing "rules," the twisted stomach over whether or not I could come up with synopses for the next 2 books on demand (should the unthinkable happen and I get offered a book deal), the incessent querying/rejection/no response hate spiral...

But now that's over.  Well, for now.  Speaking of which, I should be finishing up the rewrite of chapter one and moving on to chapter two...

Ah, it’s nice to have the “itch” back. You know the one, when you bite your lip and drum your fingers because you can’t wait to get back to your story. 


  1. I love "Meh. BLECH. Pa-TOOEEEY!!"
    I'm glad the itch turned out OK.
    I'm delighted u r back on track and definitely would like to hear more about the cauliflower and the sprinkles and all of that :)

  2. Meh Blech pat toey made me LoL to,

    You can dew it!

  3. Hello there! I found your blog via Library Thing. My favorite musings on first drafts have to come from Anne Lamott: "Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere. Start by getting something—anything—down on paper. What I’ve learned to do when I sit down to work on a shitty first draft is to quiet the voices in my head."

    Also, do you type or write your first drafts by hand? I find if I'm typing I get distracted by the auto corrections and colored squigglies, etc.

  4. I scribble notes out by hand as I'm falling asleep, but I always use the computer nowadays. It's just so much easier to read than my chicken scratches, and so much easier to edit! :D


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