Friday, March 23, 2007

When bad work turns worse

OK, Packers!!! I need your help!! I'm currently in the horrible middle section of my wip in progress (the Regency noir Affair to Remember story). And it seems to me the biggest load of codswallop that has ever graced a computer screen. I'm trying to tell myself that it's only mid-book blues and that I always do foul first drafts but the "Get along there, Nelly," approach is wearing thin. Any ideas as to what I can do to reawaken my fire for this story? Anyone else go through this horrible, horrible miasma in the middle of a book? Or is it just me? I think it's a good concept. I just think my execution is what's at fault! Hailp!!!!


Christine Wells said...

I know exactly how you feel, Anna! It's a bit like a marriage, writing a book--sometimes you need that second honeymoon to revitalize and remind you why you're there.

Maybe you should re-read all those stellar reviews and remind yourself how great you are! Can you write a scene you're looking forward to writing? (I can't do that, myself. I have to write in a linear fashion but it works for some). Watch a favourite romantic flick? Sometimes that gets me going again. Look at great art, listen to some new music. Dance around the house? Send yours truly some of your WIP to read so I can tell you how great it is? Hmm, I really like that last suggestion. Can't wait for my next Anna Campbell fix!

Joan said...

Hey Anna,

When I got stuck in the middle of THE PATRICIAN'S FORTUNE (it became a running joke with my crit partners...get them out of the (*&^^%% merchant's store!)
I had my H/H start talking. It really opened up the situation and I could go back later and layer stuff.

Aunty Cindy said...

Oh no, my darling Foanna, you are FAAR from alone!
I've been working on my blasted current chapter for what feels like 4-EVER and the sucker STILL isn't done. grrrr!

Just remember what Anne LaMott said about SH*TTY first drafts...they are ALLOWED!

Christine's idea about a change of scenery often works for me. I've come up with some real break-throughs driving to or from lunch with friends. And Joan's suggestion to just let your h/h talk is good too. In fact, let me suggest you take the talk one step further. Try INTERROGA-- er, um, INTERVIEWING you h/h. MAKE them talk to you. Sometimes one of them will reveal a tidbit that will get you off and running in a whole new direction.

And never forget that YOU ARE A FABULOUS WRITER!
Aunty C

Christine said...

I hear you loud and clear, Anna. I'm stuck in the middle with you right now on my draft. So much for finishing by the 31st. I think the middle is the hardest because you really have to show them getting along more. They have to start realizing what they like about the other person. And that's WAY harder than conflict in my opinion. Just keep plowing through it and get it on paper. You can always fix it up later. At least that's what I keep telling myself.

Anna Campbell said...

Wow, thanks for all the wise advice. Actually, I sorta kinda know if I keep ploughing ahead, I WILL get through this. It just doesn't feel like it at the moment! And it's nice (well, it's not nice, it's 'orrible!) to know that I'm not alone getting these moments of despair with a manuscript. I feel a bit embarrassed about my wail of misery but when Aunty C said "wild weekend", I was just about ready to pull my hair out. Actually, Christine, I think you might have hit at least some of the problem on the head. I'm trying to develop rapport between them (and do sex scenes which are difficult at the best of times and even more difficult here because it's BAD sex! And I don't mean that in the modern sense of bad, I just mean bad). But I gave myself the day off yesterday (thank you, Madame D-W, good idea) and cleared up some contest judging and some gardening that had been hanging around so that at least got rid of some of the things annoying me from the back of my brain. Unfortunately, the gardening was WAY more enjoyable than the judging. Sigh.

Anna Campbell said...

Whingeing does wonders for one. I'm having a much better day! Thank you for letting me moan. If ever I can return the favor, don't hesitate!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Foanna, your other option is to kill them off - temporarily. A former crit partner of mine used to do this when the characters annoyed her. "And then, the carriage turned over and they died." "And then, they got the plague and died." "And then, small pox returned to London with a vengeance, they got it, became wildly disfigured and... you guessed it...died." :> It worked for her!