March 5, 2012

Hello Again

I'm back from my blogging hiatus. I missed you all! And I missed writing the blog while I was away, so I hope I'm returning with some new energy to inject into the project. I have various post ideas lined up, including several book recommendations for the upcoming weeks. (I'm going to skip a monthly recap and cover two months of books at the beginning of April.)

No, I didn't finish revising my novel while I was away. I didn't even complete the current storyline, but I did accomplish a lot of good writing and planning that will take me through to the ending of this story. As I've written about before, endings involve plenty of extra thought and notetaking, so they tend to go slowly.

Well, I should specify that it takes time to craft a reasonable, satisfying ending. When I wrote the very first draft of THE EXTENT OF THE DAMAGE back in National Novel Writing Month 2007, I whipped out the three ending chapters in a single day, because it was November 30, and I had to.

My notes from that day explain: "I wrote all day long, except for breaks for meals, and it was my wordiest day EVAR (8597 words). I wrote the final chapter to each of the three novel storylines, producing three rather cheesy endings. I finished with only 15 minutes left in the month. Woo hoo the end!"

We're talking endings so weak and implausible that one character is basically like, "Well, I have this drug addiction that was supposedly ruining my life, but you and I kind of started this relationship a couple of days ago, so maybe I could get over it and be okay." In the current version of the novel, none of the plots resolve the same way they did in the first draft (and thank goodness for that).

Writing a decent version of that novel I originally bashed out in 30 days is obviously taking a little bit longer. And then a little bit more. But it's going to be so worth it when I'm done.

Good Stuff Out There:

→ Anna Solomon writes at Beyond the Margins about why focus is overrated: "I've gone on countless runs, determined to figure out a problem in a story, and every time, it's the same: only when I get so bored that I forget my purpose does the answer come to me. At my last residency, I spent as much time staring at deer as at my computer, yet I churned out a record number of words on a daily basis."


Anna Scott Graham said...

Glad you're back! Sounds like you had a worthwhile break; good work always feels great!

mamagotcha said...

Huzzah! Good to see you back in my feed again. Write on!

Lisa Eckstein said...

Thanks to both of you!

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