Wednesday, December 9, 2009

more on the process


Yesterday was a very bizarre day for so many reasons. There will be more existential sock puppets coming your way, though. Because, yes... they do, indeed, represent a cry for help.

When I went to the speaking event over the weekend, one topic that came up (as it invariably does with writers) was about work regimen and the revision process. One of the things that makes my process differ from a lot of other writers, I think, is that when I'm finished with a novel, I'm finished. That's when I send it off to agent and editor land.

The main reason I work this way is that I revise and revise and edit and edit as I'm writing. So, when I am finished, it's about as good as I can get it to be on my own (until my editor or agent can give me input).

So, here's where I'm at right now on novel number 7: I will be finished with it -- finished -- some time this month. I figure it's going to weigh in at about 450 pages or so.

And so here I am, for the seventh time in a row, near the end of something that has totally consumed my energy, waking and sleeping, and, just like every time before this, I find myself wondering what the hell I'm doing.

It's my special place: self-doubt.

It hits the hardest when I get into transitional parts of my books -- parts where something minor has to happen just to set up for the big bang up the road. Because, being the immature person that I am, I don't want to delay gratification by actually having to work for the payoff.

I hate that about myself.

I think that's the element that effectively separates writers from people who just want to tell stories. But what do I know?