August 8, 2010

Diving Back In

Writing can suck you in deep. I'd almost forgotten.

I was very busy last week, and it was partly just having so much to do that led to an unplanned blogging hiatus. But it was also that I was primarily busy with revising Chapter 1 of THE EXTENT OF THE DAMAGE for the East of Eden Writers Conference contest.

Though I've been doing lots of thinking and planning work for the novel over the past few months, there hasn't been any actual writing during that time. Last week, I dove back into the manuscript itself. I ripped apart paragraphs and threw out useless sentences and sent conversations off in new directions. Most of all, I reinhabited the characters to figure out what they were thinking, experiencing, and trying to say.

I believe it's that process of becoming the characters that makes writing so all-consuming. After intense writing sessions, I emerge a little bit uncertain of who and where I am, and definitely unclear on what season it is. Or I don't fully emerge at all. I appreciate how tolerant my loved ones are about my occasional (okay, frequent) lapses in attention when I'm deep into a story and the fictional people are more present for me than the real ones.

I've been reluctant to start the next round of revision because my expectations were more about finding it difficult than finding it enjoyable. Last week reminded me that while writing is difficult, as well as intense, it's also something I really like doing. Last week also demonstrated that my concern about not having time for both writing and blogging is legitimate. I deliberately started this blog during a non-writing period in the hope that I'd get into a groove I could sustain when I returned to writing. I'm still working on that.

For now, I'm on vacation, visiting family for two weeks. I've known for a while that when the trip was over, I'd start revising for real. I think I'm finally ready for it.

Good Stuff Out There:

→ Jason Black looks at what Star Wars teaches us about character introductions.

1 comment:

Anna Scott Graham said...

Enjoy that holiday and a new relative! As to the writing, it is so consuming, part of why I love it, feeling lifted from my own momentary existence. Good luck on the revisions when you return!!

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