Sunday, May 23, 2010

Roadblocks & Angry Mobs...

... Get in the way of good writing.

It's pretty much an assumed fact that every writer suffers from writers block. On the AbsoluteWrite forums I indulge in frequently (check it out, Username IDGS) it seems to be a running topic of frustration - derailed plots from forcing, endless re-edits, revisions beyond number.

Now, I've never had a problem with over-revising the hell out of my works - I use a critical eye when the red pen comes out, but I wouldn't say I'm slash happy. I tend to write a little leaner than I like, be it a problem with outlining or thinking too far ahead in a plot and a desire to reach climax, I don't know. To omit big sections of work would be a bad idea when word counts are already not as high as I'd like them, and I know that.

My current issue isn't even really writers block, it's more 'where from here?' With my current Work in Progress - CRIMSON LETTERS FROM KANDAHAR PROVINCE, I'm reaching the witching-hour - where the main character is about to experience a quite moving series of events near the end of the book.

"Great!" You say, "You've got your work cut out for you! You're right into the meat of the story you've wanted so desperately to hammer out!"

"Wrong," I say. "Now what?"

It's that frustrating balance between getting the pivotal part of the manuscript out without skipping through to the end and coming up devestatingly short. I'm not a big fan of beefing up works, going back to enter paragraphs of arbitrary description and dialogue - If I had wanted to do that, I would have included them for later axing in the first draft.

No, the problem lies in that with a 20,000 word defecit at my current standpoint and only the money-shots remaining in the outline, I want to hit the events hard and mercilessly, pulling no punches. I don't want to drivel endlessly about what the characters are wearing to waste space, and I don't want to fill pages with spoken lines to stretch the distance.

It's a hard balancing act, and I'm not sure how to tackle it at my current state of progress. I'm sure as I get more and more accustomed to meeting self-made deadlines and benchmarks that it will become easier, but for now I'm stuck looking at the same juncture from which to build off of, and feeling a little intimidating by what must be done.

Lord oh lord, this is going to be a good one when it's done, but I can't wait to write "END" after the last line.

God have mercy.

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