Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Writer's Lag?

Somewhere recently, I either read or heard the following quote. I cannot remember who said it or to what reference it was, but I can so resonate with its premise. I won't get this verbatim, I know, so bear with me. It went something like...

Writing a book is like driving in the dark. I can't see very far in front of me but if I keep moving forward, I'll eventually reach my destination.

Oh, that is so me right now.

Do you find that your projects take on a life of their own? I don't mean characters taking over the story -- oh sure, mine tend to do that from time to time -- but the actual writing process itself?

For instance, the current wip is my 10th full length novel project. By full-length I'm talking category length or longer. I have three published novellas besides the those. As I'm writing this novel, with a projected length of about 70-80,000 words, I've noticed some resistance. Okay, well, perhaps it's more than resistance. Let's just call it full out writer's lag. Kind of like jet lag, you know? When my body comes to a direct and abrupt halt and won't go no further. Well, imagine that with the writing. Complete and abrupt halt. I refuse to call it a block. Maybe just a stall. Lag. Whathaveyou.

Anyhoo, last week it hit me. This book doesn't want to be written like most of the others. Usually, my MO is to write the story front to back, Chapter one, scene one, scene two, scene three, Chapter two, scene one, scene two, scene....

Resistance. This book ain't liking to be written in thataway. I'd written the first three chapters and then the lag. Scenes started coming scattered, begged to be written. Where do they go? Not sure yet. Get it down, save it, plug it in later. Hm. Seems to be working. For this project anyway.

At least I'm laying down fresh copy, right? Getting the story told, correct? Even if it's out of sequence? Okay, my OCD will just have to calm its little frenzied nerves and be done with it.

I refuse to lag any longer. This appears to be working. Huh, who woulda thunk? If this is the way this book wants to be written, then so be it.

Yes, I might know my destination and the path may be uncertain but if I keep moving along, just like driving in the dark, I'll eventually get there. Lags and all.

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