Saturday, April 10, 2010


It has occurred to me that I am bored with this book. I love the story and I love writing it, but I want to move on. I don't dare.

I'm not capable of writing two stories at once. I'm having enough trouble just finishing the one. Why would I elongate the process by writing another one simultaneously.

Yes, I know, some of you will tell me it would be a good idea to step away for clarity. Like being presbyopic when your arms aren't long enough to read the small print. (Presbyopia: After 40 when your near vision fades. It's the first physical symptom of old age after the occasional loss of bladder control)

I don't know, maybe you'd be right, but I'm not going to put this down until it's done, dangit. Still, it's boring and a lot of dang work. There I said it.

What would be wrong with writing an outline of each characters function in the book? Just sayin'. It might clarify that character's function. It might also find a lot of missing peices like, I don't know, the occasional detail while you are writing that comes up toward the middle when you think, Oh, crap, I forgot to mention that earlier. This is the part when you say, "Maybe no one will notice," or leave it to the reader to assume this little detail. Do that too many times and the reader's gonna wonder if they were meant to be mind readers. Just sayin.

Like what I did above when I jumped from being bored to leaving out details. I actually had a thought precess in the blank space between paragraphs. So what's being bored with my book have to do with writing an outline? Maybe these are the things making me bored--or more like crazy. Here's the problem, I've revised and edited so much that I fear I have removed some detail in the process of removing unnecessary text.

Or maybe I have and adult form of ADD.
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  1. After 40? I'm 33 and my near vision fades. But usually circa 4pm. Does that count as presbyopia??
    As far as 'shelving' your current story, after week 3 of an intensive writer workshop, that's just what I'm doing (read: has been suggested that I do) at the moment. Hard, yes, but great for clarity, as you've said. And great refreshment for the mind and therefore fertile ground (pardon the cliche) for a new story - and, no, it's not ADD, just part of the complex writerly mind. A change is as good as a holiday. Another cliche ;)
    Your shelved story will always be there, in easy reach; you'll never forget it and you and your story both will have benefited from your time apart.

  2. Step away. Far away. After I finished the first draft of my manuscript, I dropped it like a hot potato. Now I'm playing video games and being generally unproductive, but you wouldn't believe how many ideas have popped up in my vacation time since. It's hard, I know, but it works. You finished the hardest part - finishing the rough draft. Give yourself a pat on the back and a shot of Tequila.

  3. Elizabeth, I find that part of that itchy sensation comes from knowing how the story will end up, knowing it TOO well. If you're anything like me, you're very wise to stick with it.

    I come to a point with EVERY book where I hate it. It's crap. It's boring me, so it's got to be boring to readers, should it ever get there. And, oh, there's this other wonderful idea that I'm just dying to start on, and it will NEVER bore me.


    Stick with it. All writers have to learn to push through, because once they sign that contract, that other portion of the advance check won't hit the mailbox until they get those revisions done and done on time. It's a matter of discipline, and yeah, discipline is oh-so-mind-bogglingly (is that a word?) boring but oh-so-necessary!

  4. Hey,
    Please don't let yourself quit. I've done that so many times I should have slapped my own face back to reality. When I step away for a moment, I lose my focus, my love for the story, and I daydream that I can come up with something even better and it'll be so much more fun to write. If you're like me, that is. I have to keep my focus and write on through to the end of the damn thing. As Hemmingway advised young writers. It's the only way to finish. Don't quit til you write the end.
    My two cents. Barb

  5. Most stories I've written have gone through an 'I hate this' phase. Only you can tell if it is something that you need to power through, or something that needs distance. For me, powering through is harder, so I always try that first to make sure I'm not taking the easy road. If that continues to be problematic, I try taking a break. I usually have multiple projects going at once, so I can stay productive. Sometimes, really, really wanting to NOT work on one story makes another go like a dream ... Good luck. I applaud your editing efforts.

  6. I have felt the same way many times. I am bored with my current WIP and want to move along, but like you, cant seem to work on two at once. It's the compulsion that keeps me going back - and Im almost done and ready to pitch it at an upcoming writers conference. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other!

  7. How about a break? And a nap? And a snack? These are my solutions to everything including writing problems!

  8. Some suggest that you should shelf a book for a month after you finish writing and then come back and edit later. Perhaps that would help?

    PS. I swear I have adult ADD as well.

  9. Have you tried chocolate?
    It always helps.

  10. Just write an outline idea for a new book. This will motivate you to get the other one finished. Maybe bring in a new character, add a new angle to the storyline.

  11. If I get tired of one thing I will put it down for a while and work on something else. But don't ever leave it entirely. Go back with a fresh mind and the words will start flowing.

  12. Don't abandon it now! You're so close. Instead read what Heather Sellers has to say about "avoiding the sexy new book" in Chapter After Chapter.

    That book has saved me from myself on occasion after occasion!