Some days are strong work days. You have focus. Drive. A really strong pot of coffee. Whatever.
Some days are just not.
Book 2, Draft 3 of the fantasy series is WIPping my ass. Most specifically, the last 1/3 of it.
Looking back, I think I encountered similar issues with Book 1, Draft 3 of the fantasy series and Book 1, Draft 3 of the romance line. Draft 1 rips out of my head at the speed of blur. Draft 1.5/2 is slower, more deliberate. What can I do to strengthen this scene? Does it fit that this character is afraid of heights? This whole section is cute, but it isn’t blowing my skirt up in context with the rest of the story.
Draft 3 is when things start getting nit-noid. When I scour the pages for weak sentences, try to rip out words I don’t need. Occasionally I’ll completely re-write a scene or add something new, but by this phase 90% of that is done.
The giddy thrills that marked the beginning of our relationship as writer and manuscript, as new lovers, has passed. Now we’re in the working stage.
Much like marriage.
Some days you wake up and look at your partner and you’re madly in love with them. Other days your thoughts are filled with unenthusiastic venom: “Why are you still here?”
My husband doesn’t even look up from his book. “Because divorce is too expensive and my life insurance isn’t worth $2 million.”
“Maybe we should rethink that policy.”
He shakes his head. “Premiums.”
“Yeah. And then there’s evidence. I’d have to put up with you for another few years if you had a policy that big before I bumped you off.”
He puts a bookmark between the pages and closes the book. “Wanna talk about it?”
Because manuscripts, art, whatever, takes work. Much like any long term relationship. Sometimes you just need to sit down and hash it out: “It bothers me that you do this.” “You drive me batshit every time you do that.” “Could you please put your dirty dishes in the damn sink? Just once?”
Other times, the relationship just ain’t worth saving (Interestingly enough, my spellchecker did not flag “ain’t.” Evidence of the constant evolution of language. Or De-evolution. It depends on how you look at it.).
Where was I? Oh, yeah.
Sometimes you have to look at the relationship and say, “I love you dearly, but this just isn’t going to work. I can’t carry you anymore.”
Don’t get me wrong – I think this manuscript is definitely worth the work. A real keeper. It’s just that kind of boggy period where pushing through it is not nearly as much fun as pondering an affair with another one.
Which is probably why I’m writing a second post today instead of working on a manuscript.
Because in every relationship, sometimes you just need time apart.