Floundering. Again.

You may (or may not) have noticed I haven’t blogged about writing lately. It’s partly because I’ve been busy with non-writing things like family visits and trying to learn Celtic folk tales to tell at nursing homes. The other reason is that I’m firmly entrenched in the Pit of Despair, otherwise known as Act 2.

When I start a project, I know how it will start and how it will end. It seems logical that the middle would be easy. Just put the characters on the yellow brick road and throw some flying monkeys at them.  Would anyone be shocked to learn that it’s not that cut and dried?

My current book has a love triangle. Three different personalities, three different sets of motivations and agendas. Weaving them into a coherent plot is like herding cats. What I’ve found is that I have to write a scene, and then figure out how everyone reacts to what just happened. From that I can draw another scene or two, and then I have to analyze it again. To further complicate things, I sometimes know when I write a scene that it’s not going into the book. Some of them are only for me. They’re a tool to find the story, and of course I include them in my word count, but I have to force myself to not feel like I’m wasting my time. It’s long and arduous and frustrating. A few days ago, Barbara Scott tweeted that most writers hate the process because it can be painful. It resonated with me because there isn’t much in the process that I enjoy. The great days are few and far between, but I have to write. It’s therapy, it’s a calling, it’s an obsession, but it’s not fun. So I slog through the not so good days, and when I get on a roll, I have a good day. For a while, all the angst is worth it, and at the best of times, the high carries through to the next time.

Welcome to the life of an artist. Does it still look glamorous?



3 comments on “Floundering. Again.

  1. I’m in the last 1/3 to 1/4 of my WIP and I’m struggling too. I know where I want it to go and I even have it mapped out but I keep doubting the path. My plan for now is to follow the path, take notes on my doubts and re-evaluate when I’m done.

  2. wendyblanton says:

    I think that’s the way to go, Sonia. The first draft is for you, anyway. Pro writers I know who have been writing for years have to do a couple of rewrites to get to the real story. Steven King says it’s like archaeology. You have to dig and brush and dig and brush…

  3. Ellen Herndon says:

    Sounds familiar! On my children’s stories it is a simple (fairly) plot plan (and thank you for the ‘mind map’ idea, it is helping a lot in writing these). However in my ongoing fight to get the longer ones to proceed I have hit several snags from scenes not connecting. (By the way, I keep an eye on your blog for writing tips.) Yes, being a writer SEEMS glamorous.But I can well understand why the portraits of the more prolific writers look like they have been wrung out.

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