Thursday, January 23, 2014

Losing Rhythm

John here.

I’m knee deep in the sequel to Bitter Crossing (Aug. 1, 2014). I’ve written about 38,000 words. Problem is, I’d hoped, by mid-January, to be in it up to my shoulders. The sequel is due, after all, May 1, and I’ve never missed a deadline yet.

I know there’s a first time for everything. But I am determined to make the May 1 date. I’m writing as much as I can right now. Some days that means two hours before work, some days that means re-reading a chapter when I have a half-hour free during the day.

I find that the narrative rhythm is borne of routine: if I can sit down at the same time each day, write for two hours, and end at a clear starting point, I can write well and reasonably quickly. It’s the haltingly jagged schedule that slows me down. The narrative waters get muddy, and I find myself typing @@ to mark my place and then using Control+Find to go back and reread scenes and past descriptions to assure continuity and consistency. It’s like running a mile, then turning back for a half-mile, then going forward another mile. You start to wonder if you’re really making progress.

Stressful? Sure. But it’s writing. And, stressful or not, it’s more fun than working.

Finally, a shoutout to my good friend Reed Farrell Coleman, a past contributor to Type M: Congrats on the Edgar Award nomination (“The Terminal”, up for Best Short Story).


Susan Russo Anderson said...

Oh, do I know the feeling! No advice, just a few jots to tell you you're not alone.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you shared. It is too easy to think that published authors well on their way just cruise through all the time. Drafts are easy for me, but editing puts me exactly where you are now.

Rick Blechta said...

I don't have too much trouble with losing rhythm. It's those damned accidentals that get me every time.
And the next arranger that writes a Cb is going to get a nasty phone call from me!