Monday, February 18, 2013

Energy

I don't know if it looks like this in my brain when I get
a new project, but it certainly captures the elegance of
the process.
I tend to get energy, that is get pumped up, when I conceive an idea or when I start a project. A lot of people do. Further, that energy translates into the task at hand once I've initiated it.

All the energy I get, I push back into the task which must be accomplished.

This explains why I was so high on my novel while I was writing it AND why I get so jazzed when I go back to it. The idea was so compelling, to me and I hope ultimately to a publisher, that I couldn't walk away from it. I could see things so crystal clear, like it was high-def in the best way.

Ever heard the saying "can't see the forest for the trees"? I can see the trees, all right in this case, it's the fact that they make up a forest that's eluding me.

All these disparate elements - characters, plotlines, intrigues - are what I'm anxious about. These are the parts I tell people who ask about the book. I think this is why I had such a difficult time in outlining the damn thing.

When I opened up a novelette I wrote in 2011 and revised in 2012 just recently, I saw a lot of mistakes I'd made. Things that were unnecessarily clunky and muddy, turns of phrase that could have been better, points of view that weren't the main character's. All of them had to be fixed. I thought I would just turn this around in a week and get it gone again, off to be published.

Didn't work that way.

Instead, the group that's editing it sent it back with more notes. Sigh. Really? I'd missed all these things in three or four tries? I was going to have to revise this book AGAIN?

Well, it was my fault in the first place. That I hadn't adequately plotted/outlined the book I was writing. I thought I had, but it turned out the book I thought I was writing wasn't at all the book that needed to be written. If I showed you the manuscript, you'd be shocked at how many different colors there are on it. It's a rainbow riot.

But it's because I get wrapped up in the excitement of The New, The Now. I figure I'll worry about things Later because I'm so pumped to start writing Now...

Don't let this happen to you.

Take some time to really think what you're doing through. Throw down an outline that you have to follow. Then flow chart it. See where you can make decisions count for more by asking "what if" more often.

Or don't. Then you'll end up endlessly revising and losing your enthusiasm for a project that you loved at the first.

The upside of this is that you may find your love for the project once you get digging back into it. That's what's happened to me. I love this book more now than when I first wrote it. To be truthful, I'm glad it wasn't published the way it was. It is sooooo much better now.

So. On with your day. Find your energy and get enthusiastic about what you're doing.

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