Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Donde Está My Groove Thing?

You know how when there are about 4 inches of new snow, driving is a total mess, but if you get in the grooves of other tires, you are okay? (I’ve lost you southerners and tropical types, haven’t I? You’ll have to take my word for it.) And if by some total fluke, the big truck whose grooves you are driving in goes all the way to where YOU’RE going, then you’re in luck and get there without any trouble. But usually there are some obstacles…

The Plowed Roads

These seem a nice easy way to go… the truck has been through (for the sake of metaphor here, this would be EDITING) and the main muck has been cleared off. There is a slick spot now and again, especially if it’s still snowing (sections still to write) or if the conditions keep fluctuating. (“It’s raining, no it’s snowing, no it’s raining, no it’s snowing!—this would be why you don’t chase trends---those Vampires that are being rewritten as angels will have to be turned into alien beings before you are done) *starts humming ‘Inter-Planet Janet’*

But for the most part, these conditions aren’t too bad. You need to go slow and careful, but other than that, once you hit the plowed roads, you can be pretty sure you’ll reach your destination.

Mall Parking Lots

You know sometimes it’s a good idea to just go do a couple spins in a safe environment where you can’t do too much damage. I have five of those places. 1) The Burrow, where we can experiment, show off and display, all 100 words at a time, 2) HPANA, where I can drive a lot of DIFFERENT cars, most of them equipped with joke horns or plastic wildlife, and 5) My blogs, where I am free to say just about anything I like, but nobody is obliged to read it when I run boring, offensive, or plain old insane.

Genre Literature

Writing a book from scratch in a genre that has a formula is STILL writing a book from scratch, but the roads have been driven on enough times that the writer can SEE where it is super slick and she is likely to just end up in a ditch (or Merlin forbit, the neighbors Coy pond). Now where the grooves are too deep, it can be really hard to do anything original, but hopefully there has been traffic doing a wide enough variety of things that changing grooves now and again to keep things interesting isn’t too onerous.

My Journey at the Mo…

In November, before the weather got bad, I turned down a sort of muddy road called NaNoWriMo. It made a spattered mess of my car, but I managed to get back to the main road at the end of the month. I drove a while, finished illusions, and then stared at the shiny, tempting AMAZON thoroughfare and decided COFLUENCE needed the shortening/polish to be ready for the race with the big boys (okay, they aren’t big boys, it is a MASSIVE race with a lot of LITTLE boys, but when you are in a crowd of 10,000 you feel small, even if nobody is bigger than you on a case by case comparison…)

Driving on that Autobahn of writing roads wasn’t too bad—it was after all, already prepared for mass consumption, just needed a little tweak here and there, shiny new pitch, all that…

But trying to get back to CONSPIRACY—Oi! I have found myself again and again spinning my wheels in mall parking lots, trying to get back to the hang of it… I was even asked to judge an exhibition at the HPANA mall (one of my stories won a Best Golden Oldie).

But every time I try to get back on that road with only a couple of meandering tracks, to try to make my own way out that route to my destination, I keep sliding toward the abyss. I have lost my nerve to just DRIVE…

So I got this satellite system to examine how I accomplished the LAST two drives—the ones that qualified me for this one… trouble is, it is a slow, analytical process and is leaving me in a funk… I suppose though, that is ALWAYS what winter is like for me. I miss the carefree drives of summer, when books were falling out of my pen in a mere six weeks (okay, so that only happened once, and to be fair, it was September, mostly).

I have faith… I will get back to it. I think if I tried to set a 1000 word a day minimum right now though, I would be an insane person in a matter of days… it just isn’t working that way…


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

We have ice left over from Saturday that hasn't completely melted yet! (I know...I'm going to the wrong person for sympathy on that!) :)

Maybe just set a 15 minute a day goal? Something really low. And then you can pat yourself on the back if you go over!

I love your new blog logo. And your profile pic is awesome, too! (Meant to tell you that a while back.)

Mystery Writing is Murder

Kas said...

Ditto on the leftover snow/ice.. though at this point it's mostly remnant in puddles and mud (not puddle of mudd, though I love them). Anywho. I finally realized recently what you've been going through this whole time... I've been trying so much to work on my original, that I totally neglected my fics, and even when I tried to write for them I couldn't. Fixed that last night though. [/mini-digression] Good luck getting back into Conspiracy. *starts cheer--give me a T, give me an A...*

Jan Morrison said...

I've been in the same rutted road going nowhere. Damn that nano baloney. I had 50 thousand words at the end of November. Now I have 53 thousand at the beginning of Feb. Why? Because I had to store lots of those words on other files because they weren't actually part of the story - or at least not part of the story that needs to be in the book if you follow. The only thing that has worked for me is that I wrote out all the beats of the book and then a whack of questions and I'm just going through them one at a time. With snow tires on my hands it feels like. OK, I did three thou today, now I'm going to go meditate. Love ya tartlet, I do. Keep swimming or driving or whatever metaphor you're onto at the moment.

Hart Johnson said...

*giggles at two North Carolina commenters having the same weather*

Elizabeth-true that there needs to be a REAL goal. And thanks! Joris did my logo design (as usual)--the pic is oldish--the last time I weighed what I like, but I am rarely on that side of the camera, so I am using that as my excuse.

Kas--is it your NaNo you've been working on? I think you are okay letting the fan fics sit a little for that one!

Darn it all, Jan--these NaNo's need beating into shape, don't they!? But 3000 words is GREAT! I'm hoping this question and answer process, while hard NOW will put me in fine shape when I actually get back to really writing.... hopefully then it will just FLOW because I will finally know what I am doing. *shifty*

Patricia Stoltey said...

I pulled myself out of one of those ruts (a deep one) and finally finished a first draft last weekend. It comes when it's ready, and when we're ready. Hang in there.

Sandy said...

Very adventurous journey. Nice posting mate. Thanks for sharing