Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Dark Side Is Calling...

I have one writing gear...thats it. No multiple settings for this baby.  When things are good, they're awesome.  I write like I've main-lined pure adrenaline. Nothing distracts me, I start typing and before I know it, my husband is telling me to take a break four or five hours later. Poof! Just like that...and I swear it feels like I just sat down. I take a quick coffee with him, wish him good night, and start writing again.  Two or three in the morning? No problem.  I just type till I notice the tops of my hands are hurting. I pound out twenty plus pages a night this way and its fantastic.

That is not what is happening right now. Right now I sit and stare at my computer like I'm in a Barton Fink remake. I've alphabetized all of my cd's and books, dusted my keyboard and printer, and generally farted around. The problem with my writing binges is that they end. They last one night, two nights...three at the most, and then they're gone. Poof! Just like my lost hours, my steam is gone and I end up buying microwave pasta cookers online at two in the morning instead of working on my novel.

How does this happen? Its not like I don't know what to type. I'm extrememly organized and usually block out my scenes so I don't think that is the problem.  I know what needs to occur next in my story so why can't I write it? Maybe I just hate my characters and don't care if the two of them ever get out of the alligator invested swamp.

No, I think its that my heart is in another story right now.  One I'd resolved not to write. The tale of the dark and dangerous Siyah and the self-hating Raven.  It's not a happy journey. I'm not even sure they both survive it. I'm not sure about ANYTHING having to do with them. The entire plot and story is just a thick fog randomly lit up with sparks of electric possibilities. I've refuse to block it out or even think about the ending. But I can't work on anything else because their tale of terror and temptation is too, well...too tempting for me to focus on my "official" novel.

So I sit here, munching on M&M's and lurking amid the Facebook posts about new babies and the Tweet announcements of "awesome" summer antics.  Your pictures are blurry, by the way, just an observation from a grumpy insomniac.

My eyes flit from time to time to the scribbled notes I grudgingly jotted down about gypsy legends and curses. I thumb through an article about grifter scams, but quickly toss it away.  I will not abandon a perfectly good, well constructed novel, to work on this...this...wait -- is that a book on talismans over there?

Photograph by Jamie Neely.  Photograph by Horia Varlan.  

7 comments:

Mary McDonald said...

What if you allow yourself one day a week to work on the one that is scratching at the door? That way, you can write the other knowing that you aren't ignoring the other one.

Talei said...

Oh, I always succumb to writing on the 'other one'...otherwise my mind will never settle. Even if its just an outline of a story I'm thinking of, I have to stop my main WIP and just get the 'other one' out of my head. Happy Writing!

Catherine A. Winn said...

I think it doesn't hurt to do both. While you work on something,maybe your subconcious is working on the other. That might account for the writng "binges". Good luck.

Erin Kane Spock said...

Words of wisdom: If you build it, it will come.
How does that apply to you? Heck if I know. You are a talented (and compulsive) writer. The need will hit you and you will channel that into whatever it is meant to be. You won't be able to help yourself.
In the meantime popcap games can be fun.

Nicole Murray said...

The other WIP? I say work on it if it calls to you and the other has grown silent. I have spoken to many writers who have a couple projects going. They bounce when one gets jammed up. Doing something else can spark the creative flame again and later lead you back to the WIP you stopped. AND you may get 2 WIP's finished!

As for your uninspired lulls, are you writing to get published or just love to write as a pastime? A pastime you do what your heart desires, but to publish (like I have a right to talk) you need to sit at the computer on the 'crap' days and just type--anything, just something. That gets me back in again.

Best of luck to you. This is a subject near and dear to my muse.

Hart Johnson said...

I get stopped up when another story starts pestering me too, so I give myself a day or two to write out the basic plot... the details that are SO SWEET that I am afraid to lose them, and then I put it in a notebook. It frees me to get back to it.

Then again, I don't have the same level of binges you do. I've had 10 or 12 page nights and I've had 1-3 page nights, but MOSTLY I write 4-6 pages every day when I am writing (as opposed to editing)

Eric W. Trant said...

I do the same thing.

Rabid one morning.

Barren the next.

I wrote of one of my characters last week: "Conrad, I do not love you."

And I didn't love him. I need to love my MC and be ~interested~ in their outcome.

So I changed my MC, and this guy, I like much better. I'm thinking now that Conrad is going to be an asshole because he refused to work for me.

- Eric