Monday, July 30, 2012

Uncertain Steps in Giant Boots

“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.”  --Joseph Chilton Pearce

Not sure if anyone noticed, but I missed last week's blog entry.  I have a good excuse, though: last Saturday, the 21st of July, I started writing a book again.  Since then, I've written an average of 3000 words per day, and spent nearly every moment I'm not writing wondering if this is the book I really want to write.

Things like this are why writers go insane.  @_@

It's been a weird sort of dichotomy.  When I'm working on the book, everything is beautiful.  Characters are mostly acting according to plot and expectations, the words are flowing pretty damn quickly, and at the end, I'm exhausted and yet still wanting to continue.  It's what happens afterward that sucks.  I swear, as soon as I step away from the keyboard, I start thinking back on everything I just wrote and it doesn't seem good at all.

For example, last night's writing was largely prelude to the planning of the first major plot twist event.  Said prelude was five pages of hangover recovery, back-and-forth discussion, and character introduction.  This doesn't seem that interesting to me in retrospect.  But it involved a six-armed hug and the phrase "elf booty waits for no man", so I don't think it can be all bad.

Part of me says I should scrap this and not waste time finishing it.  But I'm ignoring that part, for several reasons.  First, I've seen too many pieces of advice from well-known authors that basically boil down to saying "Finish what you start."  They don't add "even if you think it sucks", but I'm sure at least one of them was thinking it.  Second, the real reason I wanted to write this particular story shows up halfway through the book, and damn, do I ever want to write like that again.  (I tried to make it happen earlier.  I tried very, very hard.  Trust me, it doesn't work.)

The third reason is the most important to me: good things can come from what once seemed a failure.  I wrote a book in 2009 and 2010, Shattering the Firmament.  I was so done with it by the time I finished, I didn't even bother to edit.  I just shoved it aside and moved on.  But the rewrite of that book became Skyborne.  Something seriously good came from a book that will never see the light of day.  So there's always hope.

Like any journey, I try to keep the "one step at a time" thing in mind.  One step at a time, and I'll reach my destination.  And only once I'm there will I decide what to do with the journey's results.

Granted, for the ridiculous nightly progress I'm making on this book, I seem to be wearing the literary equivalent of seven-league boots, so I might get to the end faster than I once thought.  Please don't shoot.  ^_^

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