I hate the way my brain works sometimes. I really do. When I was computerless, all I could think about was how I wasn’t writing and how that was driving me up a wall. When I got my computer back, I sat down all full of energy and raring to go and promptly wrote… nothing. Argh. After a week and change, I managed a whopping couple hundred words here and there. Me being me, and hating being idle, I did manage a ton of blogging and got edits done and prepped my submission for the Writer’s Group meeting, which fell on Saturday, November 24th.
Staring at where I left my characters, I started questioning the decisions I’d made, the directions I had taken them. I’m at a point in the Epic Fantasy where the shit is hitting the windmill. What? It’s Epic Fantasy – they don’t have fans. Everybody is spread out and going in different directions, facing their individual challenges to try and bring the characters full circle. Lots of balls in the air that I’m trying to juggle.
It’s time’s like these that I hear Mur’s voice telling me to just write the story.
Saturday, I gathered all my stuff together and headed out to Writer’s Group. They were critiquing the last few chapters of Sam Kane book 2. I had the first few chapters of the Epic Fantasy printed out for them to read this month. I put those copies on the table and people grabbed em along with the other submissions. Someone sitting next to me said, “What’s this? More Sam Kane?” “No,” I replied. “New thing. Epic Fantasy.” Third person: “How far along are you?” “103 thousand words.” First person: “You’re like a machine!”
I’m not. Or I don’t feel like I am. Half the time, I don’t feel like I’m writing to my potential. I’m disappointed with myself when I do a couple hundred words one day, and a couple thousand the next. I wish I could be more consistent. Here’s where my insecurities come out. Am I making him feel bad because I’m writing too much? Is that even a thing, writing too much? I shouldn’t care, right? I’m me and he isn’t. People work at different speeds, plus, I’m out of work right now which opens up more time for me to write. Not the ideal situation, I know – like losing weight because you’re ill, yeah, you’re losing weight, but, you’re also sick. It is what it is.
The other thing – as soon as I put those copies down on the table, I could hear a clock ticking in my mind. It’s out there now. People are reading it and I’m not done. It doesn’t matter that it will take 7 or 8 months for them to get to where I am in the story right now, the clock is ticking. I have to finish it. It’s silly and I know that, but that sense of urgency will now drive me to get it done and put the words on the page. I came home and pushed a thousand words out on a scene I didn’t even have planned before hand.
On the Sam Kane Book 2 critiques, well, I don’t know about other writers, but for me, there tends to be a list of things I know I should’ve done differently. Whether that list is an actual, physical thing, or a scrolling marquee in my brain, it exists. I took too long to do this, or reveal that. I short-changed the reader on such and such scene. So on and etc. For the most part, this group of seemingly random people with disparate backgrounds and interests, parrots the items on my list back at me at these meetings. I suppose an argument could be made that, if I am already thinking these things beforehand, I should just trust myself and make the appropriate changes before someone else reads it. Maybe it’s lazy of me not to. I don’t know.
Maybe it’s about validation. Did I really short-change the reader here or am I being paranoid? Great question, right?
Either way, they do a great job and the feedback is invaluable. They make me be better, and that’s the whole point of why I head to a writer’s group in the first place.
Which reminds me. Clock is ticking…