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After the Shiny

Comes the crash. That time when you feel flat about the project your meant to be working on, even after you’ve managed to store that shiny away for another day.

And I did store it. I played with ideas, I made notes. I’m letting it simmer in the back of my mind while the right characters and plot direction sort themselves out. It’ll let me know when it’s just about done.

Still, there is the flatness (or there was). Here is how I tackled it:

a) I stuffed around, opening documents, reading small bits, closing them, unable to set my mind to any particular task.

b) felt too daunted by getting back to work on Mocha Nihilism so decided that something else would get worked on first.

c) decided that I should finish my Skaazi story and submit it, because that was a surefire way to make myself feel better.

d) didn’t.

e) got some advice from Bob via Merrilee (which she then wrote a great post about).

f) Merrilee then told me to write for ten minutes, set her timer, and away I went.

It’s a fairly long process, but I only lost a day over it, and I’m now feeling re-energised about Mocha Nihilism. I’m almost halfway through making my scene notes and I can see so clearly where the story can be cut, and where it needs to be strengthened. All the threads are being pulled together.

Mentally cutting stuff out of a story? That’s a priceless feeling. I think it’s one of the things I love most about revision – mercilessly deleting words that don’t need to be there. Taking chunks of exposition and then finding ways to delicately insert the important information into the story in more subtle ways.

Ah yes, I’m re-focused, and feeling good. I’ve set myself the task of finishing this bit by the end of tomorrow, and then I’ll work on a new outline and get stuck into the second draft.

Exciting times, folks! I am so excited about working on this til it’s looking great.

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2 thoughts on “After the Shiny”

  1. I, too, enjoy whacking chunks out of a story. Have to be careful to leave the good parts. After a while, it’s all so familiar to you that you think surely the reader will just KNOW all this stuff, because you’ve been over it so many times.

    Judgment. And patience. Yah.

    Onward.

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