Tag Archives: character

Broken Bicycle

Bicycle

Have you ever tried taking a bicycle apart? Or a car or plane or something that would be a huge project to put back together?

I was sick for the past week. I took work off. I did nothing but lay in bed. I hated every minute of it. I had a nasty cold – the worst cold I’ve had in a long time. I didn’t think about my book for a week. I put it out of my thoughts entirely. I still have the cold, but I’m getting over it slowly.

Today, I started to work on it. But then stopped. I feel lost all of a sudden. As if, I’d taken apart a bicycle and couldn’t figure out how to put it back together. All the pieces lay surrounding me. I just don’t know what to do exactly.

The entire book, everything… It’s finished and it’s isn’t. I know what I want to have happen. I have the characters pretty much figured out. I have a ton of parts already written. It’s just figuring out the finer details and how to connect the dots.

Oh boy… It feels like it’s going to be the long haul.

The Fascination of Drying Paint

Staring Out A Window

I’m stuck on a scene… Or rather I should say I’m stuck on several scenes and probably the rest of my book.

The problem isn’t that I don’t where to take the scene. The problem is that I feel as if my engine has been used up. As though there is no gas left in the tank. This is a horrible, awful, terrible feeling if you happen to be on a deadline and constantly trying to push yourself to write more.

My book is due to be published… Well, the editors should be getting back to me by November-ish. At which time I have to send them my entire book in its completed state. It’s current state is about eight chapters out of thirty. I’ve a lot of material written from previous drafts. Some of it I’ve been using and it’s helped.

My favorite feeling in the world is that sense of fire you get from inspiration. The flame that burns and burns and propels you to write a really, really good piece. It’s as if the words themselves are coming from some celestial place in the universe. A place of divine inspiration. A place that happens… Not as often as we’d like.

The worst feeling is the moment you start writing and it’s like watching paint dry. Each sentence, description, everything sounds absolutely stark. Forced. I’ve tried everything to bring my words to life this morning. I was completely productive and cleaned. I showered. I did chores. I went for a jog. I came home feeling refreshed and ready to fight the world. But then, I get on here and start typing. The words won’t obey me. My creativity is kaput.

Sometimes, when I feel like this I’ll stick a really good soundtrack on that’s full of energy. A few times it has worked and vitalized my writing. This time however… I’m still watching paint dry.

The Words all look the Same. How Strange…

manuscript-editing

When you write, you’ll reach a point where it’s impossible to read your story. You know everything bit by bit. All of the words. Everything that happens. You’ve slaved away on this manuscript for months, years, however long. After spending long nights in your basement punching out letter after letter on an Remington typewriter… Ok, maybe not a typewriter or basement but you get the point. After you’ve punched out the complete thing, you’ll want to proof read it. You turn the pages over and start to read but come to a earth shattering realizing. All the words look the same! Nothing makes any sense!

This has happened to me too many time to count. And I’ve dealt with it in many different ways. Some people will suggest getting an editor. An editor is a brilliant and probably the best option. They are a fresh pair of eyes. They understand how stories are suppose to work. They may not be good writers themselves, but damn, they can smell an error ten miles away.

But if you’re like me and couldn’t possibly pay someone $1000 to edit your story, then you do what I did. You come up with a creative solution.

When I hit a wall like this one and don’t have the capital to hire a gun, I do one of two things or both. (a) Get a friend or family person to read it. (b) Go over it myself.

I have very few friends who can read my stuff and give me the advice I need. In that case, I go with the latter option of myself. But then I remember the fact that I can barely read the manuscript and the errors are invisible to me. This is where the creative thinking comes in.

Print off your story. But in different font. Make it really weird font. I usually write in Garamond, so I’ll print it off in some strange font nobody’s heard of like KC Fink. DA FONT is a really good place to go for crazy font. I change the color and size of the text. I make it look at different as possible. The purpose of this is to make the manuscript look different so it’ll feel a bit new to you. It’s still your same book and you know this. It won’t read like some novel you randomly pick up at the library. But hopefully it’ll read a little fresher.

Another thing I do is cut up my manuscript into a thousand different pieces and spread them across my living room/bedroom floor. But this takes up a lot of time and if you don’t happen to have all the time in the world like I love to pretend I do, then you don’t have to go with this option. Just open WORD or Google DOCs and change the font of your book. Make it look crazy. Silly. Weird. Different.

Another option is to upload the entire thing to Fictionpress.