Thursday, January 17, 2013

Flow and the Beast

So my shiny new project is still not underway. Even though I finished revisions on another story before Christmas and I finally have a clear brain, the new story is still not started. I do have plot notes, the main character is firmly established, the opening scene is right at my fingertips, but . . . I have yet to open a new Word doc and write.

And this isn't like me. Not at all. But I think I know what the problem is: I was so comfy in my other story. Like wrapped-in-a-warm-blanket comfy. It was my third novel, and the story simply flowed out. The setting, my main character's voice, everything. It all just . . . came.

But already I sense this new story will be a completely different experience to write. Which reminds me of something I heard Kate DiCamillo say. She talked about how one time a book just flowed for her and she expected the next one to be the same. Only it wasn't. The next ended up being the hardest writing she has done so far.

I know I'll get this new story written, but getting there will be a struggle. How about you? Do some of your stories flow while others are complete beasts?

18 comments:

  1. Yes. Some I have to stamp my feet and yell, come out already, alright!

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  2. So far, they've all been a combination of beasts and belles. Some days are easy and some are torture. Good luck with your new project. Sometimes I've found that it's the starting that's the most difficult part :)

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  3. That one of the terrifying things about starting a new project is that I've forgotten all of the pain the completed one caused--something like childbirth. :-)

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  4. I often have flow that ebbs and stalls as I near the end. I have so many uncompleted projects.

    Good luck with yours.

    Lee
    A Faraway View
    An A to Z Co-host blog

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  5. Stalled. I have been stalled for so long. I'm just hoping the dam will burst one of these days. I keep nudging stones out of the dam, but it still holds. I've had some flows in the past, but this stall is tough. Good luck with yours.

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  6. Sometimes I find that if I put a stalled project "on the back burner" and play around with something else, the project I've tucked away starts to creep into my thoughts and eventually demands attention, and that can help the flow.

    But yeah. Sigh. Sometimes a project I want to work on just isn't flowing.

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  7. Each project does have it's own personality. The stories that are hardest to write are often the best. They end up being deeper, truer, and more compelling. If they hadn't been compelling, they never would have been written.

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  8. I've been having the same problem with my new project. I revised the old one so much it was easy to work on. Finally I opened a blank page and typed Chapter One. At least I've gotten 50 pages done, but it's not gotten much easier even though I like the story. Maybe just try to start yours.

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  9. I hate to admit how long it took for my first book to take shape. This second one(another MG)has percolated for a while, too, and I was dragging my feet trying to get started. Then I began writing letters to myself, from my character all-grown up looking back, and the freewriting exercise has put fun in the process. The story is opening up in ways I never imagined! So good luck finding the prompt that works for you :-)

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  10. I just finished the first draft of my newest project, and while it's on vacation I decided to start planning the next one. I figured it wouldn't be hard to do, since I'm rewriting a YA project to NA. Except, I decided to make romance the major storyline and write it in a dual pov. This changed the story from the YA one, and so it feels like I'm starting from scratch. And it's soooo hard to start a new project from scratch, especially when it's tempting to use old scenes for the other version that should not be reused. :(

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  11. Mine always start out as beasts . . . takes me quite a bit of time to make them shine!! Good luck:-)

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  12. Yes, but even the ones that flow require a lot of revision. My third novel was also my easiest so far. I hope it starts to come easier for you!

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  13. Maybe this one will just be a struggle at the start. Once you get the words going, who knows, it could flow, too!

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  14. yes and yes on flow and the beast.the latest was with one of my picture books...it was a tough one to write. I tried it on the computer, on paper, with doodles, all my tricks. Finally got it going and a very rough first draft is there. Hope you get through the initial struggle to at least get something going!

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  15. I don't really have much flow, ever. It's always work.

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  16. I've only completed two novels now, and both of them were a struggle! So I'm still hoping for that flow. But some of my picture books have flowed right out of my fingertips, while others I've had to agonize over. So I know what you mean! All the advice I read says write it anyway. Even if it's not flowing. Just sit down (BIC, as Jane Yolen says) and start writing.

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  17. Oh no! I've had three books come out pretty easily... (though I admit I get stuck on the revising part). I suppose this means the fourth one will get me. Very likely, given that my first three were all ideas I had a long time ago and have turned over in my head for years. I don't have any more like that; it's all new uncertain ideas that I'm not sure which one to commit to. The plus side with that is that since I can't commit, I'm finally catching up on revisions on the other ones!

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  18. When things aren't flowing I tend to procrastinate. Sometimes it just takes sitting down and writing, like Joanne said. I always remember at times when I struggle that writing is hard, and it's okay to struggle. I like to hope that the struggle is really my brain working on the story in the background. I hope it starts to flow soon for you! :)

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