Monday, January 28, 2013

Of WIPs and Puzzles and My Grandma

I've been searching for the stride. You know it when you hit it - the words flow with ease and nothing can stop you!

Here's what happened: I started this YA Fantasy. Typical Jennie style, I jumped right into the action. My Crit Girlz went "whoa! I don't know these girls." So I made the mistake of going back. I needed to start earlier, but I should have finished the book first.  I added six chapters onto the beginning. They're good, solid (uber creepy!) chapters. I might have even been okay there if I had just left those first six in their New Beginning file and gone back to the existing book to continue. But, in typical Jennie style, I started moving the book over chapter by chapter.

Why is this a mistake? Because I edit each chapter as I move it. That's 30,000 words to edit. I notice inconsistencies that would have easily been addressed in the second draft of the book. I'm addressing them now. My rewrites take substantially longer than that quick, first draft.

I feel like I'm in a wagon stuck in mud.

The wheels are spinning and I can't get out. Each spin just takes me deeper in. 

Then I made the next mistake. In order to kick start the writing, I left this alone and just wrote some fun scenes. There were sizzling boy scenes, there was a killer fight scene, and last night I caught myself writing the ending.

Um, no?

I'm all over the place. I feel like I'm 8 years old again and I'm staring at all the thousands of puzzle pieces my grandma has just poured out of a box on her card table. Overwhelmed.

The good news is that grandma always, always got those puzzles together. Piece by piece, they came together. As a child, it seemed to take her FOREVER. In reality, her visits were far too short so she was completing them in a few days. If only it were that easy for this WIP!

How is your writing going? Have you ever had to wrestle one down? Had one all over the place?


  1. It WILL come together, I know it! I've written a book this way, and I felt like I was stitching all the different pieces together, but it did eventually get there! Good luck!

  2. You'll get it! Hang in there! Sometimes it feels that way in the beginning, but keep going, keep getting to know these guys, and the connections will emerge.

    Hooray! Good luck to you~

  3. Just keep working at it and it will come together.
    And sorry, I spend months just planning the outline.

  4. I used to do the same thing which caused me to have a bunch of started and abandoned WIPs. Now I just write, and not go back until it's done. For me, that makes the whole process a lot faster.

  5. I wrote my first book out of order, just whatever scenes I wanted and then I filled in the gaps. I am now rewriting that book, and it's a hot mess. Not that I don't think that method can work, I think it was just tough for it being my first completed book (partials written in my teens not counting, LOL). You'll get through it, though!

  6. Love the analogy Jennie! I've definitely written parts of the story out of order before I forget them and then piece them together. It's not as smooth sailing as having an outline and going start to finish, but eventually all the pieces fit together and it's a lot more fun in the process. :)