Once in a while the flow has to go with me.

How many days between posts lately? I don’t check, I don’t want to know. Time is standing still for me, yet when I look it has kept moving…

I have been thinking about a post for some days now – since I began blogging it is funny how much of life can be turned into a post, yet my thoughts are scattered. The holidays are coming, and I am thinking back to Tricia’s post asking what we have sacrificed by being a writer. At the time I had a difficult time coming up with an answer. Now, I see one: the ability to share.

So many other art forms can be appreciated at a glance. I cannot offer my art as a gift, and so I knit. I think to myself that next year I will be illustrating and will be able to offer at least the children in my life something more personal and from the heart. (Even though I am certain they will prefer Lego!)

I have a self-imposed a deadline for myself: finish the first draft of my wip by dec 18th. Possible? I thought so until my daughter came down with something and has been sucking time. Yet, still I think I can make it. I have just under 72 k done. I want to write about 80 k. That means about 8 writing sessions in the next 10 days. The problem I realize is that I don’t want to finish. I sit down to write, and think, I am already here? I don’t want to be here, writing an ending. Of course, I will probable be re-writing for another 2 years, so it is no true end (I say this as a joke, but if my first novel is an indicator then I am in for 2 years easy!).

Do you ever think you read too quickly? Coming to too many endings too soon? Lately, that is how I feel. I write, and I know the world will only be entered so briefly. I read and I think of how much energy and love was pored into a book that I devour in  a matter of hours.  I cannot help it. I know the author has done a good job, and I think I should slow down and enjoy it, like how I savor a good piece of dark chocolate. This is how I feel about  my wip. I do not want to leave it behind. I do not want to exit that world, and say goodbye to those characters.

My fear is that I will overwrite, prolong the inevitable, and so I write in a way I am unaccustomed to, and that is with precision. I do not let myself be taken by the flow. This time I am guiding the current where I know it should go.

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19 thoughts on “Once in a while the flow has to go with me.

  1. You won’t leave your work behind, Jennifer. The characters, the story, will always be a part of you. You will never forget anymore than you would forget a good friend or a family member. It will be different than a book that you devoured too quickly, I promise. The novel you are working on is an intricate part of who you are.

  2. I found it hard too, Jennifer. I really enjoyed my character’s lives and didn’t want the story to end. Of course, like you said, I’ve been spending a lot of time with them again in editing. But sometimes I think of them and continue on with their story for my own entertainment.

  3. You do have editing to look forward to (and maybe two more years with your characters). I wonder if that is part of my problem–ending it. I’ve been so close to calling it done then decide I want to add a subplot, then something else. It’s a neverending story.

    1. Hi Tricia! I do so hope this will not be another novel that I edit year after year with many months of lag in between. I actually hope to be done before the new one arrives in April and I won’t have an editor brain for an eternity due to well…a new baby!

      Yes, it can be tricky to carry on for too long with a novel, and change plot and subplot even when there is no need for it. I found myself doing that with my first novel, creating new scenes that were completely unnecessary. That’s why I am consciously trying to behave and write the ending as I know it should be.

  4. Oh I sympathise! I found I had to force myself to sit down and work on the last 5,000 words. The subconscious was not ready for it to be over 🙂

    And no, devouring a book in a matter of hours isn’t an issue, when you think about how many books are out there to be devoured…

  5. Perhaps I’ve had the opposite, too long with my characters. Right now, I feel they’ve moved in and set up camp. More than once, I’ve found myself commenting, that’s just what JL would say.

    It’s such a simple line, but I love what you say about finding yourself writing with precision. Your phrasing sounds so delicate, as if your wip is being formed like a piece of blown glass.

    1. Oh, thank you, Cathryn – what kind words!

      I have had a similar feeling with my first novel, Cathryn. Not with the characters per se, but with the story. I was and am so fed up with it. After it was read by some agents this summer I decided to give another overhaul before continuing with a query, but I could not bring myself to it. Now, I have a reader, and I am honestly not looking forward to editing it again. I just want it done! Yet at the same time I am too much in love with it and feel that it has come too far to shelve it. Especially since it came so so close.
      Is this the novel you are currently querying? I wish you all the best with it, and I wish you some some peace and quiet from your characters. lol

  6. That makes two coincidences today. After I replied to your comment in my blog with a comment about how an essay I wrote on DH Lawrence made my tutor want to punch me, I went to Dorothy’s blog and saw her latest post about Geoff Dyer’s temper tantrum after reading a book on DH Lawrence. And now this. I’m also writing the final chapter of a novel and I’ve been pondering it for weeks, even though I set myself a deadline of the end of December. The truth is, I rarely remember how books end. So I’ve been reading the endings of a few good books to see if I can pick up some tips. The ending is very important, isn’t it. I keep thinking how I could have made it easier for myself to write a good ending if only I’d done the middle and the beginning a little differently. Like you, I will do another draft (no. 3). I am consoling myself with the thought that most people won’t get as far as the ending anyway, unless, like me, they read books backwards.

    1. Oh, Joseph, I am certain that your book will be read – from front to back. And this is not just polite banter

      Endings are hard, but my trouble is beginnings. They seem to elude me? Where does the story start? Where is the hook? I suppose it will come easier in the years ahead…

    1. Oh yes, Joseph, the beginning was the first thing I wrote. It is with every story. But that doesn’t mean it won’t be re-written. And with every short and this is my second novel I struggle with a proper beginning when re-drafting. The further I progressed in this novel the more I knew the beginning is no longer appropriate.

  7. I completely agree with you. Writing is difficult to share. So many crafts are more immediate in their satisfaction. Writing makes for an impractical gift.

    I’m so curious about your writing process. Reading your post, about the two years of upcoming rewrites, I have to wonder if I’m missing the boat. My current stories take about two months for the first draft. After a couple of revisions they’re read in public. After that I record them as podcasts, two of which are on my blog, if you’re interested. What am I missing in the process? Somehow I think I’m lacking something in my process. (Perhaps that’s just my own insecurities talking.)

    1. Well, Vanyieck, each writer has a method for their own madness!
      Are you able to write a novel in two months? That is an amazing thing to me!

      My first novel took one year for a draft, this one about 1.5 but I had many many interruptions. I re-write, put away, re-write, and so on and son. From creation to end it was 4 years with my first novel. I hope this one will not be longer than two years au complet.

      However, most of my shorts are done in one sitting, with a handful of revisions.

  8. Yes, I can indentify with this. I get really churned up when I write my endings and find it hard to believe I might have to let go of the story completely. I don’t think writers ever get over the feeling.

    btw – am meeting the editor next week.

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