Turtle Slow

I wish I could write a book in three months, but I can’t. I’ve been working every day, trying to pull the narrative along in Book 2, but for all my effort, I’ve only reached the second turning point.

Here’s the deal: In terms of daily totals, I’m not a big word accumulator. I type fast, I think fast—a combination that should guarantee the production of pages and pages of prose each day. But the downside is that I’m also quick and ruthless with the delete key. I will, and regularly do, highlight and toss hundreds of words. 

The story has to feel right. That’s the annoying part. Plotting be damned. For me, it all comes down to gut feeling.

I have a mountain of cue cards, and a logically thought-out outline. I’m ignoring both as the story unfolds. Why? Because every time I try to force myself to stay within the boundaries of my plot, my instincts say, ‘uh uh.’  How do you fight that? “Uh uh” isn’t logical. Nor is it helpful.

It’s just annoyingly insistent.

Finding the right way to move through your story is like finding the right guy. You don’t take a pencil and check boxes on your Perfect Guy List. You know. There will be a moment where head and heart are in total agreement, and your internal voice will say, “Where have you been?”

 Ah, well.

Things to look forward to this weekend:  Harry Potter and Charlaine Harris. To reunite with Harry, I must brave the crowds at the cinema. To enjoy a moment listening to Charlaine Harris, I must navigate the throng at the Polaris Convention. 

 I will be brave this weekend.

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About Leigh Evans

Leigh's an urban fantasy writer, living in Southern Ontario.
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5 Responses to Turtle Slow

  1. Hi Leigh! I’ve lurked around here for a while and decided to finally say hello. 🙂 I write fast but also go with my gut when it comes down to decisions about where the book should go, even if it isn’t where I thought it may end up. Of course, this leads me to always think that I’m “wrong” because I don’t do it technically the way I should, by outline and so on. But it’s just how I do it.

    By the way, your guy analogy is spot on. 🙂

  2. Hey Brandy. Thanks for dropping in. Last night’s twitter conversation made me shake my head and smile. On a bad day, my get-out-jail moment is the last period on my five page daily minimum. Now I know that if I could just stop deleting so much, I could gain my release in an hour! ~Leigh

    • I’ve always said that I write to get these characters out of my head, and I think writing fast helps me. I get it all out and then I can go back and fix what needs to be fixed later. I slow myself down by thinking too much. But your way seems to be working for you, with that book deal and all. 😉

  3. I wish I could type as fast as the voice in my head rattles off dialogue. My concern for my first novel is just getting it down on paper. I have a mantra hanging on my wall in front of my desk at eye level. Part of it says “Great novels aren’t written, they are re-written.” Another is “Anything worth doing is worth doing badly, the first time.” These keep me on track…most of the time, haha. Keep up the good work Leigh, remember Rome (Hedi1) wasn’t built in a day. Lol. Take care.

    • At the last convention, I heard, many times over, that you must grant yourself the luxury of putting garbage on the page in that first draft. I always try to do it (and oh, how I suceed some times!), but it’s not my natural method. I tend to think in movements–recently I realized they were plot turns–and I can’t move onward until the one behind me is ‘true’ to the circumstances and emotional state of the character most affected by the scene. That’s just the way it is for me. Wish I could plow through, but I can’t. BTW–how wonderful to hear rapid-fire dialogue in your head.

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