17 October 2008

Unsticking The Project

Yes, you're getting an overload of posts this week :) I do hope that's okay with you. I'm running on the theory that it's making up for all the weeks I've missed posts O:)

It's about now that I'm due to do a Think Sideways: Month Three review. I'll do that properly some time next week, but for now, I need to squee a bit :D

For the last month, I have been majorly stuck on The Project. I've forced a few chapters out, because I felt I should, but I'm well and truly in the mire of the middle. I'm sick of the whole thing: the plot seems contrived, the characters I know are thin, and I just can't see the point of plugging through the first draft when the final product is going to be so rubbish.

Enter Think Sideways, week 13.

The title, most appropriately, is "Can't I Just Kill Them All? How To Fall In Love With Your Novel A Second Time." Boy, was this what I needed this week.

Oddly, one of the main things I got out of it was something I've read before in Holly's free workshops; but it's something that bears repeating. If you're stuck, it's usually for a reason; listen to what your muse is trying to say.

In my case, dear Musey is sick of writing about characters that neither of us like or care about. Heather is flat, boring, and undeveloped. I knew that. This story was an exercise in creating a plot (much like TBAEO turned out to be an exercise in character), and I realised very early on that I had no idea who Heather was; but I kept writing anyway.

Now, in the mirey middle, that strategy isn't working any more.

But now, thanks to Think Sideways, I know how to fix it. I know how to retrace my steps to the point where things were last working well, and I know how I'm going to write the ensuing chapter differently this time.

And this time, it's going to work.

I think I might just have fallen in love again :)


Just_Me said...

I'm glad you've got it worked out. Sometimes what you need is to start over after all :o)

Inkblot said...


It's amusing; I actually wrote this post two days ago, when I was still planning on working through the middle. But it equally applies to the current decision to restart. Most strange.

I'm so looking forward to restarting, which is good, but irritating, because I doubt I'll get time until November, which is, of course, Nano...

Windsong said...

Yay for figuring it out. Very good advice: when threats of dismemberment (computer) and burning don't work, and the Muse refuses to budge, it's not because she's trying to drive you crazy (this time), just that she's waiting for you to figure something vital out.

Glad you got it figured out!

Lady Glamis said...

Inky, you're doing great! I hope it works for you this time. I'm having issues with my MC, too, at the moment. Sometimes she just sits there like a lump on a log. Annoying little chick. And my novel is done, thank you very much.

So much revising....grrrr.

Emina said...

Congrats, Inky!! :) The acceptance is amazing!
By the way, I ADORE your blog layout!

Inkblot said...

Windsong, so true!

Glam, sympathies :S

Emina, thanks! I'm glad you like the new layout :)

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