Saturday, February 15, 2014

I Need Sleep


For the last eight hours, I have been ripping my hard fought words to shreds. Every writer goes through it, but that doesn't make it easier. It also doesn't mean it can be avoided. 

If you've ever told yourself you could write a book, but you haven't tried, pay attention to my words. You might be sure you have the next great novel trapped in your brain, if only had to time to spit it out. Well, how much time do you have? First, you must hone your craft, then study the works of successful authors, and then build a world that exists only in your mind. Then, you spend hours in front of your computer. Days drift away as you sit with your eyes locked on a bright screen of code. Endless nights pass as you search in vain for the perfect scene. If only we insomniacs could harness our collective power, we could solve the ills of the world, but that' not going to happen any time soon. One other thing, I'm sugar coating this. Writing a novel requires total devotion to the hungry beast of words.

Now, back to my day. You see, I've had this sick feeling in my gut for weeks. My opening chapters lacked that certain something--certain death to even the best of novels. To be fair, I also feel the rest of the novel is coming together beautifully. I had to do something so I steeled my spine and posted chapter one to an online writing community for critique. 

I had my answer in one day. It's strange how much vindication I felt. I was right the words weren't working. Well, not so much the words. My fellow writers liked my writing, but it was not an appropriate starting point for any novel. I'm going to have to learn to listen to the gurgling of my gut. 

I took their critiques to heart, and spent the next two nights tossing in bed, torturing my book's structure until it tumbled into position. All the interlocking pieces fitting tight, at least I hope they do. Now that the chapters have reassembled, my gut has quieted. I know more rounds of word assassination lay in my future, but I pretty sure I'll be able to sleep tonight. 

Writing = Anguish ... sometimes. 
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