Put The Ball Down

Last night’s writing group meeting was a much needed bonk on the head, for two reasons:

  1. The group flat-out told me that the reason I’m having a brain-freeze about both WIPs is because I just finished the last draft two weeks ago. Of course I’m having problems. I know this — this is how it always is when I finish something, I can’t just go back at it and, no, a couple of weeks aren’t enough time. DUH. So, guilt free, STAR DOOR is getting pushed back for at least a week, maybe a bit more.
  2. I still didn’t have the inciting incident for the BLOOD OF WOLVES rewrite. Oh, I knew the tentpole stuff that comes later, but I had no idea how to get there, and my first attempts came up with nothing. Last night’s meeting, once we got the regular catch-up out of the way, was all about plotting and how we do it, or don’t do it. We wanted to share what tricks we’d learned or things we avoided doing, and during the course of the discussion both Andy and I got into specifics on our projects. And then, WHAM, the inciting incident hit me, along with a whole bunch of crunchy ways to reintegrate things I was sure would have to go. I left the meeting feeling energized about the rewrite and with a slew of new notes to springboard from.

It’s weird: my instincts are to not talk about what I’m writing. Bit fearful that doing so will expose it as the wispy non-starter I worry it is as well as worrying that I’m poisoning my beta-reader well. And the more I don’t want to talk about it, the more trouble I’m having with it. And, as this and other occasions have demonstrated, that’s when I most need to talk about it. Trying to explain the idea to someone else instantly shows me where it’s working and where it’s not. You can’t pretend there isn’t a problem when you’re naming it. And as soon as I do that, the answers I’d been unable to find burst out in a flurry and I can’t write it down fast enough. (Excitable gesticulating may have hampered that.)

You would not believe the sad, mopey kitten I was when I started yesterday. Mopey inner kitten has gotten her bowl of tuna, her catnip toy, and a ray of sunshine and thinks the Universe is a much nicer place now.

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