Thursday, November 21, 2019


Timeouts. I don’t know what else to call these pauses. I get in a rhythm, write 50 or 75 pages of the novel I’m working on and something –– let’s call it life –– gets in the way and delays me for a month.

Part of this is my OCD: if I break stride in a book, I have to go back and reread the whole thing, and that means reading it aloud (I think Rick has previously blogged on the importance of reading your manuscript aloud), which, although vitally important to me, is not a fast process, at least not for me. So I spend several weeks reading my work aloud (yes, apparently I’m talking to myself, to anyone who walks past my office) before advancing the narrative.

I’ve hit Pause again this week, about halfway through the novel I’m writing. I led a faculty retreat, which took a lot of planning and distracted me enough to slow me down for a week, and –– and more pertinent to this audience –– I was asked to write a three-season arc for a TV script I wrote based on said novel (yes, the one that’s not finished). Cart before horse? Probably. But the requests come from a producer and an agent who like the concept, and, as we know, nothing sells books like TV, so…

...the novel is on hold, and I’m fleshing out three seasons.

I like small goals and set them each week. Currently, I’m trying to get the arc done by Christmas, update the pilot script by New Year’s, and dive headlong back into the novel and finish it by April Fools’ Day.

I’ve called a timeout to write this, so I’m going back to work…

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