Monday, February 9, 2009

Give it up

I've been stuck. I hate it. You know the feeling, when you've written parts one and two and four and five and part six is calling you and part seven, well, who knows what's going to happen in part seven? Those other scenes are already dancing around in your head, bits of great dialogue and action flitting in and out of your consciousness even when you're not writing. And then there's part three.

I hate part three. It sits there, or rather it DOESN'T sit there because it doesn't yet exist. You haven't written it and you have to because it has all sorts of information or transportation or other STUFF that has to happen before part four. So you have to write part three and oh! I just thought of the greatest idea for another book! NO! Must. write. part. three. Blah.

Part three, I loathe you. But I am going to write you, I promise. Just as soon as I reorganize my entire office and go through all the children's clothes to see what still fits and make this call and play one more hour's worth of this game and eat this entire box of chocolate chip Bunny Grahams.

And then there's the guilt. I SHOULD be writing. I hate the guilt even more than I hate part three.

"Just agree to yourself that you're going to write something bad," everyone says. So you write something really bad and sometimes it works: it's not nearly as bad as you think and hey! It's written!

And other times you are unpleasantly surprised to find that when you set out to write drivel, often what you get is, well, drivel. And still part three is not what it needs to be.

So I am trying something new. I'm not writing part three. Face it: if it's this boring for me to write it, it is never going to be interesting to read. So now there IS no part three. And there might not be a part nine either. In fact, I have decided that any part of my book that I am not excited to write, any part that doesn't have me hurrying the kids along in the morning just so I can get to the page, I'm not writin' it. Yeah, I'll have to figure out how to squeeze that information and that transportation and that other stuff elsewhere. Or not. It's possible I'll never miss it. We'll see.

So, in this week's No, Seriously. Just Try It, I release you. If it's not fun to write, don't write it. Or figure out how to make it fun.*

Take that part three. Spend an eternity in the oblivion of the unwritten. I'm over you. And hello part four!

* Thor and Space Chicken would like to offer some suggestions...

8 comments:

Tina Lee said...

Okay, I love your blog. The tone of it and the characters of your family. Your whole blogging persona. You got voice--that's what I can say about it.

And this thing that you blog about today, I always wonder for my self. Am I just a lazy writer because I'm so darn unwilling to write this part of the book? Is it the shoulds--you know shoulding myself into writing it, that make it so darn hard? What if I let it go and only work on what I want to work on? Will it all of a sudden get easier? Will I get a lot better at it? What will happen if I give up the struggle? So thanks for the permission. I wish you good luck and I'm going to go try it too.

The only other thing to do is to love the struggle up like a extra child--I haven't tried that yet either.

Tabitha said...

I'm with you on this one! If I'm not excited about a particular part of my story, that's going to come out in my writing. And how could the reader possibly be excited if I'm not? So, yes! If you'd rather be scrubbing toilet than writing that particular scene, the scene is trying to tell you something. :)

Candace Ryan said...

Hmmm....trouble with parts 3 and 9? Are there issues with 6, as well?

I'm detecting a multiples of three problem. Just take them all out of your story, and you'll be fine!

Meg Wiviott said...

Jacqui - I couldn't agree with you more. I am stuck and keep re-writing the beginning, thinking it has to be perfect before I move on. I have to move on, I must move on. But there is laundry to do, errands to run, books that must be read, and spider solitaire is calling my name. Maybe I'll just jump ahead like you. Either way, I must plow on.

Jacqui said...

Thanks, Tina! You made my morning.
I can't love the struggle either -- or rather, I only love it when I'm obviously winning!

Exactly, Tabitha. I think cleaning the bathroom is like the writer's equivalent of hitting rock bottom.

Candace, you may be onto something. Maybe I will only write prime numbers...

Meg, plow on indeed. And good luck! Also, your cat is really cute.

Mary Witzl said...

All day long I've been jumping up from the table where I've been trying to write, in an effort to avoid doing what I know I have to do: change an integral part of my story. I've done it now -- finally -- and I don't like it. My heart's not in it; I liked it the way it was even though I know it didn't work. Or maybe I'm in denial...

I wonder if the reader will be able to tell I had such a horrible struggle? I wonder if the whole ms will just get put away in a back drawer somewhere? I could weep.

Jacqui said...

Aah, Mary. I've been there and I'm sorry. Weeping does help. But I wonder: whose idea was it to change it? And can you save the old bit for another tale?

cath c said...

amen. simply amen. i am nearly done with my youth novel, and yet there's this part, and that other part earlier that i put on hold to return to, and well, there's this part right now. ugh. the worst is knowing what needs to be there and it just not spitting out onto the pages.