Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Finding My Inner Kraken

There are 33 days left before my deadline to turn in Odelia #7 to my publisher.  Yep, 33 days... count 'em.

So guess what I did last night?

Go ahead, guess.

Give up?

I dumped almost everything I'd written so far on the manuscript.

Oh, yes, I did... I slaughtered and butchered it. Ran it through with a sword. Spit on it and ground it up in the garbage disposal. It was a major blood bath.

Why? Because I hated it.  And because I hated it, I knew my readers would either hate it or be disappointed in it. And I can't have that.

Since late April, early May, I've been going through a lot of issues.  Some things have been merely needed changes (see my post on changes in my writing direction), others have been more serious and personal in nature.  It seems that the only somewhat stable ground I've had for the past few months has been my job at the law firm, and for that I'm very thankful.  There are still problems, but I'm working through them, making needed adjustments, and finally seeing the light.

But sometime during these past few months, I also lost my mojo. My writing spark. My creativity.  I lost what makes my work tick.  But I was on deadline, so what's a gal to do?  Well, this gal plodded along, dutifully putting words to the page.  Problem was, my heart wasn't in it and so the words were flat and dull.  And Odelia is never flat or dull.

Sometime in the past week, something snapped. I'm not sure what brought it about, but suddenly something inside me reawakened. I was Rip Van Winkle opening my eyes and shaking off a very long snooze.  I looked at my various works in progress and thought, "Who wrote this shit?"

It started with my 3rd Holidays From Hell short story, Where's Your Daddy?  I'd been stumbling along on it for quite some time. Usually I work on the short stories during lunch at the office, so not to interfere with my novels. They are about 20-22 pages in length, but I had 16 pages of pure poop when the scales finally fell off my eyes.  Crap! Crap! Crap!

I rolled up my sleeves and started rewriting, totally restructuring and remolding the plot. It didn't take long, just a couple of days of focused determination. When it was finished and sent off to my early readers and proofers, they came back saying it was the best story yet.  They wouldn't have said that about the manuscript a week ago.  Where's Your Daddy? will be available on Nook and Kindle in the next few days.

Next, I took an honest look at Odelia #7.  First off, you know there's a problem when I don't even have a working title for a work in progress. Hell, I already have a working title for Odelia #8!  Anyway, I read what I'd put down so far and cried. It was simply awful.

So last night I tucked away my 1st draft of Odelia #7 and tonight I'll start on the second draft.  It starts with the same first paragraph - that was definitely a keeper - and it will still contain the same characters and plot idea. But the rest goes! Yes, all of it but the first paragraph.  Gone!

So, everyone get out of my way!  I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaak!  And I've got 33 days to kick ass on the page.

Unleash the Kraken!

(I've always wanted to say that.)


Shirley said...

Glad to hear that your "muse" woke up. I'm all for releasing Krakens!

Can't wait to buy my copy of "Where's Your Daddy? Can't wait for the next installment of Odelia, either.

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