It’s been an exciting few weeks for this particular writer in paradise. I got an agent, finished major changes to my work in progress (I’ll be hearing from my online critique group tomorrow), had a producer-friend option an old screenplay of mine, and watched my son graduate college and head off to DC.
New chapters beget new chapters, and in this case, it means it’s time to start a few myself. (The time may be short, however, depending on the changes my agent wants and changes my critique group recommends on two separate manuscripts.) I have a new script and a new novel I’m working on. Yay!
Not yay. Even though I have a detailed outline for the novel and a general outline for the script, I’m struggling. New beginnings means struggling to find the voice. It means barreling through small scenes that are absolutely necessary to hold the story together but are difficult to write without boring me to death. Getting the words out feels like pulling out fingernails.
Most people probably think that if you’re a writer, that you enjoy writing. Maybe other writers do. Stephen King, for instance. He writes every single day, even on Christmas. He probably really enjoys it.
I like having written. I like going quickly through a finished manuscript, recognizing the errors, and making notes in the margins about how to fix it. I especially like it when I can do that to my own manuscripts. (I’m better with other people’s.)
But the writing… those first drafts … ugh.
The story, the characters, the dialogue, the narrative – it’s never as good on paper as it is in my head. In my head are glorious paragraphs that sing my story and intrigue my readers with every word. On paper – on the screen in front of me – ugh.
Eventually I get there. My current WIP – the one with my critique group – is on draft number nine, and I have a feeling I’ll have at least two more before sending it to my agent. But the process to writing “the end” or “fade out” for the first time is just so painful.
It’s so painful that I decided to write this blog post rather than torture myself with further words, even though today is the only real day this week I could set aside to write.
Or maybe I just need a break …