Tuesday, December 30, 2014

First Drafts and Writing

First drafts are complicated beasts. On the one hand, there's excitement- new story, new characters, new directions, new possibilities. On the other, there's frustration. And doubt. And that nagging suspicion that maybe I don't know how to write a novel after all. Despite this being my third go round (Fifth if you count the two books before A Tree Born Crooked, which I am not counting...), the old anxieties are beginning to swarm like yellow flies in the Florida woods.

With the last book, at this point in the writing (which is still very, very early), I was struggling with point of view. This time it's narrative distance. And the old standbys of pacing and plot construction of course. Add to that the sheer volume of unexpected research (due to unexpected story developments) and it's been a slow, somewhat intimidating process. And then there's everything else that's been going on in the writing, publishing, working, living world....

Still, I'm pushing on. I'm having to let go of some of the time expectations. I've had to allow myself room to explore this new book in the way that I want to. In the way that I think it deserves. In some respects, that means adjusting my writing process, which is difficult. I'm pretty hard on myself when it comes to writing and though I certainly don't planning on cutting myself any slack, I will have to be patient and understand that every book is different- this new one especially so.

And so this is the writing life. Neurotic. Critical. Plagued with anxiety and isolation and at times the edge of madness. At times, a tiny, exhilarating, addicting moment of success.....


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