The Quirky Ladies is a group of eclectic (and dare I say quirky?) ladies who are passionate about writing romantic fiction. All types of romantic fiction...paranormal, fantasy, historical, erotic and contemporary. Bring it on!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Fits & Starts or One Long Drive?

So, I'm really pretty excited to tell you that I got a great email from an editor saying my writing was "strong" and that she thought my love story was great and the emotions between the characters were very believable. She actually enjoyed reading it! It's that cool? I mean, isn't that why we do this? So that someone might enjoy reading it? So that you can make someone smile or laugh or cry? I was tickled. Delighted!

BUT (did you see that coming?), she can't accept it as it is because the suspense sub plot is thin and needs punching up.

The good news here is that if I do some of the edits she suggests with my suspense plot, I can send the MS directly back to her and she'll consider it again. I'm hoping that's code for "you're in!", but that's probably a little bit of wishful thinking. Just a little. :)

So, like a good doobie I promised to do the changes, and I sat down and re-outlined the entire book with more of what's needed. While I was at it, I addressed an issue that Michelle, Vicki and Tara have all expressed at various points of review, which is that my lead heroine's character was likable but a little thin and vanilla. And by thin I don't mean slender, though she it that. Bitch. (Just kidding, I really like her, of course!). Anyway, once I was done with all that, it was obvious that the editor and the Quirkies were right, this is a much better book and I'm completely excited to sit down and rewrite it.

But therein lies the rub. I need to sit down and WRITE it. It's not that I don't want to. In fact, it would be more accurate to say the rub is finding the TIME to sit down and write it. I can usually get an hour or two of writing work done at night, once day-job-work is done, dinner is served, lunches prepared, dishes washed, laundry folded, tubby is tubbed, pajamas are donned and my munchkin is asleep in his bed. The problem I find I'm having with these brief periods in the evening is that it takes me a good 1/2 hour to let all the run-around-crazy-stuff go and to get into what I'm doing. Then I'm down to an hour (or less in many cases), and if I'm going to shred the plot and a character, and try to reconstruct both, I'm worried that while taking it all apart will be easy enough, putting it all back together in fits and starts will result in disaster. I know the new and improved character is right and will work, but she isn't talking to me yet, and I don't know if she will in an hour - and if she does, I don't know if she'll sound the same the next night or the night after.

So instead, I sit stuck, desperately scouring my ridiculously busy calendar for a day, two days, 5 days , that I can lock myself away and just plow through it. If I can find that time, if I can invest that kind of focus, I know I can write it - and write it well!

Too bad I haven't found that mythical week on my schedule yet. And what if I don't? It's those times that I sit and think, what are you doing? You're making up excuses because you're afraid to dig in! To be honest, that might be true, though no more or less true than doing it all in one big push is the better way.

So the question is, do I wait for that week? Or do I suck it up and do it in fits and starts? Please, tell me!? All you writers out there - can you write or edit a book in one hour a day and not have it come out as complete rubbish? I'd like to hear from you!
Thanks all! I wish you all many hours of writing!



Penny Watson said...

Great post, Kate! I need chunks of time...probably a couple of hours to get something done. But if I am working on my WIP everyday, then I get faster about re-immersing myself in the story. If it's been awhile, then it takes me forever to get back into it. Congrats on the great comments about your's not long now, baby!

Michelle Picard said...

Maybe you can take that smidge of time and do a letter from the character's voice, trying to get into her head with material that isn't actually going into the story. That way, you're not sabotaging anything by not having a long stretch. A bunch of tiny exercizes practicing her voice and the feel of her character without committing to it being stuck in the story might jump start you. Of course, you might say, why waste time doing this when you have such little precious writing time as is. Yet, it beats staring at a blank screen, stuck as all get out.

Dalton Diaz said...

It definitely won't be long now!
I try to carry a notebook with me so when a line of inspiration hits, I jot it down. Of course, I forget the notebook 90 percent of the time, so I end of with little scraps of paper, but the end result is the same. Sometimes that's all you need to bring you back to that place where writing flows.

Victoria Morgan said...

Mmh, tough one. I definitely prefer chunks of time to get really into a WIP but as life constantly interrupts, I take what time I can -- usually in the after dinner hours. I think consistency is important. If you write a little each day (even it's a shorter period than you would like), the flow will come. This is the struggle of every writer with a job, kids, and all those small interruptions of life.