What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly saying, "hooray for our side"

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Genius is what happens when the stupidity stops

I've been stuck. I'm trying to write the next novel and I keep staring at the screen until my brain turns to mush and I go check to see if any of the items in my Amazon cart have decreased enough that I want to hit proceed to checkout. Sigh.

Thing is, I'm trying to write Chapter 1. Which I've already written, but many years ago. So I was starting "fresh", because, well, I needed to.

So there I stared. White pixels burning after-images on my retina while my thoughts moved like armadillos through ice. Neither one would give up its secrets.

And then, I realized, I should just write Chapter 2. And that feels a little better. Of course, it then takes me down the road of this novel still not wanting to come out in order (a major problem the first time I started it). But maybe I should just go with the flow. I might end up on the beach, or I might be cast out to sea. When I get another moment to write I'll find out.

This forehead slapping moment brought to you by Homer Donuts. Mmmm, donuts.


Michelle Sagara said...

I frequently start with Chapter One. And I write between 1-5k words and then start with a different Chapter One. I do this a number of times, not that I enjoy it, looking for the right beginning. I’ll move viewpoints, switch venues; it’s like I’m circling the wagons.

But at some point, I will start Chapter One, and I will know that this attempt is Chapter One. It’s like a key, and it unlocks the book.

I often hate the thousands of false-start words - but my husband points out that they’re not wasted; they’re necessary to my process.

Oddly enough, I don’t have to do this with the CAST novels; just the West novels.

Steve Buchheit said...

Michelle, I've known lots who have done the "5 First Chapters, pick the one you like" scenario. I'm sort of trying to do that with this one. There's a lot I like in that original draft, but I want to trash most of the writing (which is sluggish).

And I agree. Words out on paper/pixels are never wasted. It's like Tom Edison once said, "I have not failed 10,000 times, I’ve successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work." Although, yes, it would have been nice to have spent the time writing a thousand words that you would keep. (Maybe that's also part of my fear of starting, I'm afraid of failing again).