<$Susan Goodwill$>

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Writing and Getting Unstuck

I'm looking out the window of my attic office and there's snow on the ground. Thirty-five and dreary. Aack!! And I have to walk the dogs right now.

But aside from sucky weather, today is pretty unique. Once in a lifetime actually. A lot of y'all probably got the same e mail I did. (I figure you prolly did, because I got it twice. That's usually a sign it's circulating.) At 1:02 and three seconds this morning, the time/date was 01:02:03 04/05/06. If you, like me, are a member of the Eye Missed It News Team and slept through the first one, you get another chance this afternoon.

I learned something this week about getting myself unstuck in writing. For about three weeks I was at an impasse. I tried "writing through it," that is, writing more of the story in draft form and worrying about fixing whatever it was that felt wrong later. That's what many, many writers I know would do. Tried and true method and all that. Didn't work for me. At all. Mercury in retrograde until last Saturday= Virgo in agony and all that...

So, anyway. On about the thirtieth read through of my first sixty pages, I got to about the fourth scene and something in my brain went off like a buzzer: Ennttt!

That scene was the culprit! The whole chapter really. And it needed to be dumped. I think subconsciously I didn't want to go back that far and rewrite for starters. I mean, who does? Secondly, the info that comes out in that scene is important. Listen-- the INFO was important, not what happened in the scene, cuz pretty much nothing happened. Standing around talking. Translation, a talking head scene, the next worse thing to a sittin'
and thinkin' scene.

So, I cut the scene and started rewriting from there. Boy, do I feel better. It's like I'm walking a path and walked off into the brambles and now I'm back on the path again. I actually want to write today. Sometimes the best thing about writing is kind of like when the pain goes away.

Whew, that made me feel a little sick...